DonorsChoose.org, Gates Foundation and Stephen Colbert Team Up to Support Teachers and Promote College Readiness for All
NEW YORK, April 21, 2009 — The Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation and DonorsChoose.org, the online charity that connects
individual "citizen philanthropists" with classrooms in need, today
announced a landmark grant that enables DonorsChoose.org to fund up to 50
percent of the cost of individual classroom projects developed by teachers
to promote college-readiness among students in high-need and underserved
urban and rural public schools.
TV personality Stephen Colbert, a DonorsChoose.org board member,
moderated the event where the announcement was made. "Double Your Impact" will be funded with a $4.1 million investment from the Gates Foundation and is expected to support more than 17,000 classroom projects, touching more than 300,000 students across the nation. By enabling DonorsChoose.org to contribute half of the required dollars, the grant helps to incentivize individual "citizen philanthropists" to donate and accelerate the process of fully funding projects. DonorsChoose.org enables teachers to describe specific educational projects for their classrooms and individuals to
choose which projects to fund. This approach has been effective in funding
projects in high-need and underserved schools.
"Teachers across the country are creating classroom projects and
lessons that engage kids in creative and innovative ways. Generous citizen
philanthropists, with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's invaluable
support, are making sure they have the materials needed to spark the
passion for learning," said Charles Best, founder and CEO of
DonorsChoose.org. "This grant helps us drive attention and contributions to
projects aimed at preparing kids to succeed in college."
"DonorsChoose.org supports teachers in a truly powerful way --engaging
the public in support of teachers and the innovative energy they bring to
the classroom," said Vicki L. Phillips, director of education at the Gates
Foundation. "We hope this partnership will give citizen donors an added
incentive to support projects that empower public school teachers to help
prepare students to graduate ready to succeed in college and beyond."