Direct to recipient grant funding

Interesting funding concept. A Web site called DonorsChoose.org was set up originally to allow New York teachers to make small proposals for projects and materials and to facilitate direct contributions from the public to fund those projects. The idea is spreading to other states and to cover operating expenses of schools.

DonorsChoose works like a marketplace, with teachers posting their needs, and donors making online contributions to meet those needs.

Residents of 48 states have used the site to fund more than 2,100 teacher proposals, providing nearly $1 million worth of resources to 736 New York City classrooms, more than 90 percent of them in poor schools.

I suppose this appeals to people who want to bypass the bureaucracy and overhead costs of traditional funding organizations and school administrations.

“This is an amazing concept that basically democratizes philanthropy,” Brader-Araje says. “No longer is philanthropy the exclusive domain of wealthy philanthropists or foundations. DonorsChoose puts that power in the hands of ordinary citizens and empowers teachers to focus on the things that are important in their classrooms because nobody knows their kids better than they do.”

What a subversive idea!

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