Charles Best, founder of DonorsChoose.org, has enabled his organization to provide a record $40 million in funding for 300,000 U.S. classroom projects, simply by personalizing public appeals for charitable giving. When potential donors enter their personal interests, an online database supplies a list of corresponding classroom projects.
For example, artists might consider funding a silkscreen press for an art class. Hikers can purchase trees for a classroom to plant. When the funded project is completed, the donors receive a note from the teacher, along with photos.
DonorsChoose.org maximizes the personalization potential by asking the participants if they want to post their donation on their Facebook wall, where friends may read the post and feel compelled to make their own donation. Teacher-generated Facebook project updates garner even greater success; these two types of Facebook status updates have so far raised a combined $1.9 million.