Donors Choose, an online resource to connect teachers needs with people who would like to give. For the October fund raising challenge, I'd like to pick a project that encourages cycling for transportation, fitness and fun. If you know of a project that needs some funding to get off the ground or has a matching grant requirement, let the teacher know about this upcoming challenge and encourage him or her to sign up and fill out the details at Donors Choose. Leave a comment here if you know of a proposed project that could benefit.
How it works A teacher signs in and writes a short essay outlining his needs. Once Donor Chooses approves the project and notifies the school administration, fund raising can begin. When the needed funds are raised (along with the fulfillment fee), Donors Choose buys the request materials and delivers them to the school teacher. The teacher also receives a feedback package -- the teacher photographs the students, sends the photos and feedback to Donors Choose, and Donors Choose distributes the feedback and photos to donors who contribute $100 (tax deductible) to the project.
Donors Choose charges a "fulfillment fee" of up to 25%, though this rate is discounted to 15% for high poverty schools.
Projects I'd consider promoting include:
- Safety education for children similar to the LAB "Kids 1" curriculum. Donors Choose will not pay for teacher professional development -- sorry, you have to pay for the LCI education yourself -- but it will pay for handouts, supplies and goodies that are used by the students.
- Incentive programs to encourage children to ride their bikes to school (but I have no idea if Donors Choose would consider this project eligible, unless maybe there's an education component to it). This might be something like the amazingly successful Freiker (Frequent Biker) program in Boulder County, Colorado.
- At the secondary school level, bicycle repair or building instruction. Perhaps your school needs some tools, a frame jig, or a welder?
- Let your imagination run wild and post your idea below!
Projects I will not support are:
- Programs that solely promote helmet use, including helmet giveaway programs. Corporate resources for these are widespread and easily available.
- Appeals for tricycles for pre-school children.
- Fitness room equipment requests for the school gym.
Please spread the word to your teacher friends, let them know about Donors Choose and let them know I want to promote their bicycling related project. Cyclelicious.
Photo Credit: "Walk & Bike to School Day" by Jonathan Maus. CC "Some rights reserved" license.