Celebs Like Stephen Colbert Lend Star Power to DonorsChoose.org

[ 0 ] March 5, 2014 |

Looking for a way to give back to a reputable cause where your money goes a long way? Check out DonorsChoose, and put your dollars to good use

DonorsChoose.org is making a difference in public schools in America. donorschooselogo

DonorsChoose.org is an online charity that allows people to donate money directly to classroom projects in public schools. What’s revolutionary about DonorsChoose, says CEO Charles Best, is that his charitable organization “taps into classroom teachers’ expertise and imagination and ideas for improving their students’ education.” By asking teachers directly what they need money for, DonorsChoose is closer to the problem and, therefore, more able to address it by providing micro-solutions.

The DonorsChoose Board of Directors includes several high-profile names that lend star power to the cause – satirist and host of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” Stephen Colbert, Craigslist Founder Craig Newmark, MSNBC analyst and author Jonathan Alter, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner and Desiree Rogers, CEO of Johnson and former White House social secretary under President Obama.

Watch genConnect chat with Charles Best about the impact of DonorsChoose and how Stephen Colbert is one of the organizations most active cheerleaders:

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Stephen Colbert on the set of Comedy Centrals ‘The Colbert Report’

Stephen Colbert is, according to Best, one of their hardest working board members. In addition to giving every guest who appears on “The Colbert Report” a DonorsChoose gift card, Colbert “has probably done about ten different campaigns, promotions, stunts, that have driven millions of dollars to classroom projects on our site,” Best says. “Everything from a philanthropic presidential straw poll to an armed forces ‘smack down’ to see who could support more military children.”

The National Advisory Council of DonorsChoose.org includes more big names, showing just how much this online charity has struck a chord. The council includes: Chegg CEO Dan Rosensweig; Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone; Bob Daly, former head of Warner Brothers; singer and songwriter Carol Bayer Sager; and Goldman Sachs Partner Scott Rofey.

DonorsChoose.org is a site where “anybody can be a philanthropist and any teacher can be an innovator,” Best says. The minimum donation on the website is $1, and by choosing a classroom project that speaks to you, “you can express any passion, geographic or topical, and then see classroom projects that match,” he adds.


Charles Best with Baruch Shemtov for genConnect

Best likes to think of DonorsChoose.org as part of a family of creative websites that includes Kickstarter and Etsy, among others, where “so-called amateurs can express their creativity, their originality without having to go through lots of gatekeepers.” The creators of these websites hope that when someone has a great idea or cause to support – classroom teachers in the case of DonorsChoose – there will be as few obstacles as possible in their way. 

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Category: Aspen Ideas Festival 2013, Charities & Causes, Giving Back, Videos

Profile photo of Charles Best

About Charles Best: Charles Best founded DonorsChoose.org at Wings Academy, a public high school in the Bronx where he was a social studies teacher for five years. He thought up DonorsChoose.org during a lunch conversation with colleagues, and [...]
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