DonorsChoose.org brings philanthropy to class

Bob Daly and Carole Bayer Sager have brought online philanthropy to Los Angeles public schools with DonorsChoose.org.

Daly and Sager will underwrite the program for two years and Bank of America will meet half the cost of all Los Angeles classroom needs posted on the site, up to $200,000.

“We believe the schools need as much help as they can get,” Daly says.

DonorsChoose.org contains teachers’ wish lists and allows donors to select what they’d like to give. Requests include art supplies, books or funding for field trips.

Teachers and students return the favor by sending donors thank-you notes and photos of the gifts.

Gifts start as low as $10. “Everyone is a prospective philanthropist,” says Sager, who has created four PSAs for the charity narrated by Sidney Poitier, Bette Midler, Claire Danes and Morgan Freeman.

DonorsChoose.org was created in 2000 by New York public school teacher Charles Best.

“Most teachers are going into their own pockets to buy basic supplies,” says Best, who hopes to take his org nationwide in the next few years. “We’re anticipating delivering an enormous amount of help to L.A. kids.”

Last month, DonorsChoose.org won the Amazon.com Nonprofit Innovation Award. Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, called the charity “a genuine and practical invention in philanthropy.”

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