© flickr / usdagov

DonorsChoose

DonorsChoose.org coordinates direct donations for state schools in the USA.

DonorsChoose.org coordinates direct donations for state schools in the USA, with a dimension of personal contact with the pupils. It’s the classic authentic founding story: a dedicated teacher from the Bronx tries to give pupils a leg-up by founding a donation platform for school projects. Market analysts predicted that it would go bankrupt, but the non-profit organisation fought on. Indeed, it went from strength to strength: according to their own figures, they have managed to raise over 100 million dollars for around 300,000 projects at around 50,000 schools within 11 years, with around 70% of all projects reaching their donation target.

The organisation is able to finance itself by giving donors the opportunity to assign part of the donation to the company’s administration - around 89% of donors choose to do so.

This success story is not only built on authenticity, but also transparency and tangibility: the figures on the website are regularly updated, the projects are described by the participating teachers and evaluated on Facebook.

A rather controversial extra is the contact between pupils and donors: it’s advertised that the pupils will paint a thank-you picture for donations upwards of $50. It’s a critical point whether or not these pupils voluntarily ended up in the role of aid recipients who smile gratefully at the camera, since there can be a stigma to such a role. On the other hand, this interaction allegedly leads to spontaneous “sponsorships” between pupils and donors, which can result in supportive personal relationships.

©State Farm

©State Farm

Donorschoose.org

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