On Tuesday the 18th I went to TEDx Copenhagen. What a day. My brain was completely stuffed full of information, inspiration and the passion that the speakers felt. It was my first TED event of any kind, but certainly not my last. I will write more about it but want to wait until the videos are online so I can link to them.
For now, however, I will write about Donors Choose, mentioned in one of the few videos we saw from other TED Talks. The video is below.
It's about money and happiness, and how money can buy happiness. You can watch the video for all the details, but it's essentially about how spending on other people has a bigger return for you than if you spend on yourself. At the end of the talk he brings up Donors Choose.
Donors Choose is a non-profit organisation in the US that allows people to donate directly to specific projects at public schools around the country. You can search projects by location, subject, most urgent, resource, age, etc, and choose how much you want to give.
They say, "Here's how it works: public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests on DonorsChoose.org. Requests range from pencils for a poetry writing unit, to violins for a school recital, to microscope slides for a biology class.
Then, you can browse project requests and give any amount to the one that inspires you. Once a project reaches its funding goal, we deliver the materials to the school.
You'll get photos of your project taking place, a thank-you letter from the teacher, and a cost report showing how each dollar was spent. If you give over $50, you'll also receive hand-written thank-you letters from the students.
At DonorsChoose.org, you can give as little as $1 and get the same level of choice, transparency, and feedback that is traditionally reserved for someone who gives millions.We call it citizen philanthropy."
I can't tell you how much I love this idea. It's so simple and lets me see exactly what my money will be spent on. You can even choose to get a thank you note from the students and teacher. How awesome is that?
It's my Autumnal resolution that every month (I've just done this month) I'll support a project on Donors Choose. It's not much, but it's what I can afford, and it goes towards helping inspirational teachers pass on knowledge and passion to a room full of children. I can't imagine a better way to spend my money.
Check it out, and see if you can spare a few dollars.