Nonprofit World

Donors Choose

Other: You don’t need to have a school to volunteer with to help out.

I’m enthusiastic about Donors Choose’s efforts to address the truly unique challenges posed by our country’s schools. My son and his teacher (a New Jersey resident) saved three years of school credit by coordinating the first ever public school match, to find worthy students and develop lesson plans based on the students’ interests. Only a fraction of this generosity can be matched every year, so the overall goal is to expand the reach of Donors Choose’s matching service to match the enthusiasm of teachers nationwide.

Last week, the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) released a new tool that will allow thousands of individuals to sign up online and provide matching funds as soon as they see a real need. So far, tens of thousands of people are signed up to receive the daily text message they will be sent to learn of this online tool.

As an example of a school applying to Donors Choose to ask for matching funds, a fifth grade student at a public school in America expressed an interest in adding art to the curriculum to meet her goal of becoming an artist. For a school to receive matching funds, the matching mechanism will let Donors Choose allow that school to implement a program to enhance the art curriculum. As expected, the additional funds are used to purchase those necessary items such as supplies and art materials, such as paint, prints, canvases, brushes, and other mediums of art. With using this matching mechanism, the funding can be used to bring to the school added art classes for any children who have been missed in the curriculum due to a lack of art supplies.

The match mechanism enables Donors Choose to match the amount requested, based on a program matched formula, providing the maximum match for the amount sought. Donors Choose’s matching mechanism will enable the school to approach a wide range of generous donors and seek additional funds based on specific programs in the classroom. Donors Choose has specific guidelines for specifying exactly how much money is sought and how much amount is matched and distributed in specific classroom programs.

We’re excited that NTU will offer this new tool for providing matching dollars to public schools on a nationwide basis.