2014-08-22

Co.Exist

This Weekend, Bill Gates Will Match Your Back-To-School Donation To Teachers

Essentially, it's a 50%-off clearance sale on doing good.

Classes are starting back up again and that means thousands of underfunded schools and teachers are in need again.

This weekend, for any donation you make to projects on DonorsChoose.org, a crowdfunding platform for teachers that was featured as one of Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies this year, none other than Bill and Melinda Gates could help your donation go further.

Today through Sunday, for all projects that raise 50% of their goal, the Gates Foundation will contribute the other half. So, say a $500 project raises $250 in donations--the Gates Foundation will give the other $250 (it will spend up to $1 million dollars). Essentially, it's a 50%-off clearance sale on doing good.

Writing on his blog yesterday, Bill Gates explains how, when he was in seventh grade, parents at his school worked together to put a computer terminal on campus. Trying to figure out how to use "this crazy thing" was the beginning of his career. He says:

Many students aren’t so lucky. Teachers across the country are struggling to give their classes great tools for learning. I hear it from teachers whenever I visit a school. Some classrooms need computers, but others need more basic things: textbooks, building blocks, art supplies, even just a rug big enough for the whole class to sit on.

Since DonorsChoose was founded in 2000, it has grown into an educational charity juggernaut. It has helped more than 175,000 teachers fund over 400,000 projects that have aided the education of more than 10 million students.

According to DonorsChoose, the most popular four categories of teacher requests on its platform now are books, followed by educational toys and games, classroom supplies, and technology. The most requested books are: Wonder, by R.J. Palacio; Divergent, by Veronica Roth; and The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green.

You can search for a project in your area here.

[Photo: Flickr user Jan-Erik Finnberg]

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