A journey to discover the people who change our world.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Donors can be Choosers

I find it interesting how the web is changing the face of philanthropy and nowhere have I noticed it more than in the US. A great example of that is Kiva; the online peer to peer lending organisation. Another permutation of the concept is Donors Choose, a web based connection space for giving.

Charles Best, the founder of Donors Choose was a teacher in the Bronx, NY wanting to initiate projects with his students but struggling to find the resources to do so. He set up a website where teachers post proposals for funding and potential donors can then select the project they want to fund. In return the donors get back photos of how their money was spent, and student reports about their perceived impact of the donation.

Behind the scenes Donor Choose acts as a vetting and distribution centre. Proposals are all double checked to make sure they are genuine, and once confirmed the resources are purchased and mailed to the teachers, and bingo, things start happening. Donors Choose has generated over 11 million of donor dollars for schools all across the United States to date.

That’s a lot of giving, and a lot of choosing.


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