Choosing to Help Kids

I’ve been a big fan of Donors Choose for some time. It’s a charity my readers may well have heard of, which helps students in public schools by letting regular folks like us directly fund the requests that teachers make for classroom essentials.

I’m supporting Donors Choose with a campaign called Notes for Class, which is designed to support music initiatives in schools.

There are a lot of elements of that model that appeal to someone like me, who’s familiar with technology and more than a little skeptical of the level of accountability in traditional charities. Instead of my money contributing to some nebulous “good deeds”, I can choose exactly how I want to have an impact: Which schools, which students, which projects. Donors Choose and its work have been so compelling that I’ve been eager to help promote and participate in the Blogger Challenge initiative.

But that’s not the only reason that I found it easy to support Donors Choose. I’ve also had the opportunity, a few times now, to meet Charles Best, CEO and Founder of Donors Choose. He’s a former school teacher, an incredibly charismatic yet modest guy, and most importantly, he’s a true believer. It makes it clear, from the top down, that the entire organization really believes in what they’re doing. I didn’t realize how much that mattered to me until I saw it.

So, I’m urging all of you to participate. First, go to the Notes for Class page, and pick an effort that you think is worth sponsoring. And then, for every $10 you donate to any of the proposals, I’ll add another dollar on top of yours. Donate $100? I’ll add $10. Donate $1000? I’ll add $100. I’ll be matching every donation from my readers, up to $10,000. (That’s a $1000 contribution.)

I do have an agenda here, of course. I want to show people what I’ve seen: That the blogging community I’ve had the privilege of belonging to is one of the most generous communities anywhere. I believe it, and I’m putting my money where my mouth is. I’m also helping out with promoting this effort at Six Apart, where we’ve promoted the Blogger Challenge to our communities on LiveJournal, Vox, TypePad and Movable Type. In fact, for a few more hours, you can email us at and request a $30 gift certificate for making a donation to Donors Choose as well.

I’m hoping we can do a great job of showing the world the positive side of what the blogging community can accomplish. And I’m really hoping we can help fund that tenor saxophone or any of the other needs that teachers have listed on the site.