Last month, Amy and I matched all of the Colorado first time DonorsChoose.org projects. So far, 103 projects have been fully funded, with a total of $25,722 donated. We still have plenty of matching dollars out there, so we’ll continue to run this match for a while.
In the meantime, I started talking to my friends at Sphero about doing something similar for all the DonorsChoose.org projects that have a Sphero as part of them. They got excited about it and have announced a $110,000 gift to Donorschoose.org to match anyone who donates to any of the 200+ teachers on Donorschoose.org who have Sphero products included in their projects.
Amy and I, through our Anchor Point Foundation, joined Silicon Valley Bank, Needham & Company, Flex Logistics, Nasco, and my partners at Foundry Group, in providing the funding for the match. SVB, Needham, Flex, and Nasco are Sphero business partners and I deeply appreciate their support of Sphero, DonorsChoose.org, and all of the teachers we are helping fund.
If you want to support a teacher who has a Sphero-related project for their classroom, jump in now. And, if you are a teacher who wants to do something around Sphero’s STEM-related robots and software, including Sphero BOLT, Sphero Mini, and the newly-released Sphero Specdrums, join DonorsChoose.org and put up a project today! Finally, if you are a Sphero business partner and want to participate in this, email me and I’ll get you in the mix.
This match will continue until the dollars are used up. Amy and I are incredibly proud of our friends at Sphero, along with their partners SVB, Needham, Flex, and Nasco, as well as my own partners at Foundry Group, for helping teachers get more STEM-related activities in their classroom through DonorsChoose.org.
Amy and I decided to match all of the funding for first-time projects in Colorado on DonorsChoosee.org. We are doing this through a gift from the Anchor Point Foundation and will be running it through the end of 2018. We believe deeply in the value of education and particularly like the DonorsChoose.org model of teacher-initiated projects.
There are currently 108 projects that fit this profile. We launched yesterday and nine have already been fully funded (and 330 students have been helped.) The criteria for our match is that these are projects put up by new teachers on the DonorsChoose.org platform.
Our hope is that two things will happen before the end of the year.
First, if you want to support a teacher and students in Colorado, go make a contribution of any amount on DonorsChoose.org from this link and we’ll automatically match it. Or, you can also click this link if you want to do a search on the active projects that Anchor Point Foundation is matching. You’ll notice a mention of the Anchor Point Foundation next to the projects we match – it’ll look like the following.
Clicking through will show a page like the following where you actually make the contribution.
Second, we hope any teacher in Colorado who has never had a fully funded project on DonorsChoose.org before, submits a project before the end of the year. We’ll match those projects as well, so getting more online is an awesome thing.
We believe DonorsChoose.org is an outstanding platform for getting additional funding into classrooms. Please help us support education in Colorado.
Amy and I love to read. Growing up, one of my favorite places in the world was the hammock in our backyard with a book. As an adult, one of my favorite places is our living room, on my couch, with Amy on her couch, and the dogs laying on the floor between us, while we read.
I also love DonorsChoose. Whenever I’ve had a crummy day, I often go online and fund a project or two.
Today, DonorsChoose has a match across the entire site for any donations for books. It’s DonorsChoose Book Match Day. How cool is that?
Amy grew up in Alaska and we have a house there so I just went and funded all the book projects in Alaska. Hopefully, by the time you read this post, there won’t be any left.
If you are a reader, love books, or want to help kids around the US read more, I encourage you to go fund a project (or a few) on DonorsChoose today. Search for the city you live or grew up in and have at it. It feels good and helps the next generation of readers.
Amy and I just funded all of the unfunded DonorsChoose projects in Alaska as part of the annual DonorsChoose #BestSchoolDay event. As part of the #BestSchoolDay program, your donation is matched. In all of the Alaska projects, Aspect Ventures matched our donation. Huge thanks to Jennifer Fonstad, Theresia Gouw, and team!
Amy grew up in Alaska and we have a house in Homer, which is what motivated us to support Alaska this year on #BestSchoolDay. As I was supporting projects, I saw one in Homer and a few Sphero and littleBits requests which made me smile.
We’ve been continuous supporters of DonorsChoose for many years. Whenever I have a shitty day, I often go to DonorsChoose and support a few projects. It’s generated some incredibly satisfying moments for me, like a connection with Monica Zamora, a fourth grade teacher in Edgewater, NJ. I funded several programs for her students including some BB-8s and some littleBits. I gave a 30 minute Skype talk to her class, where I met a budding CEO of a new company called SockWorld who pitched me on her new business around socks. Or, the time I got a note from Norma Gibson at Carr Creek Elementary in Littcarr, Kentucky. At her initiative, she pointed me to a number of projects at her school which we funded. Her appreciation – for her students – lept out through the email to me.
If you are motivated to participate, I encourage you to pick some projects on DonorsChoose in the city you grew up in.
Today, we funded 72 projects, which delights us. If you want to see a few examples, check out:
When I sat down this morning with Amy she started reading off people who had funded entire cities worth of projects on DonorsChoose this morning. Amy has DonorsChoose in her twitter feed and we quickly figured out what was going on. I saw Fred Wilson’s post on #BestSchoolDay and we agreed to fully fund projects in a number of cities that we have connections to.
We ended up fully funding all the DonorChoose projects in Alaska, Boulder, Longmont, Brighton, Breckenridge, Richardson, and Detroit.
Some of these cities may be obvious to folks who know us. Amy grew up in Alaska and we have a house in Homer. We now live just outside of Boulder in Longmont. We have a ski place in Breckenridge (and it was the only city we could find in Summit County that had active projects.)
Brighton is a fun one for us. The wife of one of Amy’s cousin (Brie) is a teacher there. We just saw her at Amy’s mom’s funeral and talked about the amazing work she does as a teacher (she supervises / trains teachers in K – 8.) Funding everything in Brighton in honor of Brie felt good.
I grew up in Dallas and went to school in the Richardson Independent School District (RISD – Spring Creek Elementary, Westwood Junior High, and J.J. Pearce High School.) I had a number of teachers who had a meaningful impact on me and fondly remember several who became close friends as adults, especially Mrs. Wonderly. Funding all the projects in Richardson schools felt karmically good.
My partner Jason grew up in Detroit. We enthusiastically helped expand Techstars to Detroit and bought a house there for Techstars teams to live in during the program if they wanted to. We all think Detroit has the opportunity to be a great city again and Amy and I happily added it to our list of places to fund, even though we’ve never lived there.
We ended up funding around 50 projects to fully fund everything that was still active in these cities. If I’m inspired later today, I might do a few more cities so I’m open to suggestions – mostly of projects to fund that other readers of this blog have supported at some level.
So – go to DonorsChoose, fund something, and leave a link to the project in the comments and I’ll fund whatever you’ve contributed to.
Yesterday Amy and I contributed $10,000 to the MakerBot Academy campaign which is on a mission to put a MakerBot 3D printer in every school in the United States.
We did it via a contribution on Donors Choose, one of our favorite non-profit contribution sites.
We specifically finished out the funding for five MakerBots for the following teachers in their classrooms:
- Mr. Hendry – Yorba Linda High School, Yorba Linda, CA
- Mrs. Bragdon – Brownsboro Elementary School, Brownsboro, TX
- Mr. Eiland – Woodlawn High School, Baton Rouge, LA
- Mr. Condon – Decorah High School, Decorah, IA
- Mr. Colling – Coronado High School, Scottsdale, AZ
Amy and I are planning to give a lot more to this campaign, but we decided to do something tangible right now by finishing off several of the campaigns on Donors Choose.
For those of you who have asked in the past “what can I do for you Brad?”, here’s an easy one. Just go on the MakerBot Academy Donors Choose page and make a contribution of any size to one of the campaigns. You’ll be helping the next generation.