[I'm dating this forward a bit so it'll stay at the top, because this is a worthy cause. I mean, what could be better than helping schools and students?]
I've been reading Slate more regularly, and just came across this article: A nonprofit works marketplace magic:
DonorsChoose has won several awards as the most innovative nonprofit in the United States. Best's brainchild was to create a market in teacher proposals, which are posted on donorschoose.org in informal, non-grants-proposal language by the teachers themselves. So for example, this week a teacher in Richton, Mo., posted a request for a $392 camcorder for her kids to act out stories they're reading; a teacher in New York City asked for a rug on which to read stories to kindergarteners ($474); and a teacher in a 100 percent low-income school in Los Angeles wants a $414 telescope to teach astronomy to her students. Donors scroll through the hundreds of proposals (searchable by region, subject, level of school poverty, etc.) and fund them in whole or in part with a couple of clicks.
We're calling all bloggers to help us raise funds for these projects. You can create a DonorsChoose “Challenge.” Pick the the classroom needs that speak to you. Your readers will be able to fulfill them. And kids will get great educational experiences.
Methinks I must participate ... excpect to see a challenge posted here real soon.
PS: Already done! See the banner at the top of the right column, including a progress bar. I picked two literacy projects in Mississippi, set a $1,000 goal, and started it off with $50 of my own. I would be delighted if you donated to my challenge, started your own challenges, or blogged it in any way, shape or form.