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.
Letting the beneficiaries of aid programmes finally have a say – technology makes it possible.Show trend
Transparency is a mega-trend that the Internet is driving forward, and it's also affecting people's expectations of social sector organisations.Show trend