A question for my readers

Well, actually, a bunch of questions, and its about fund raising.

If memory serves (memory enhanced by little birds that tell me things), it is in the fall that many Sciencebloggers engage in the DonorsChoice 2009 fund raising effort.

Last year was my first opportunity to do this, having joined scienceblogs during the previous effort rather than before. I chose to not engage in this activity last year for a few reasons, but mainly because of the election. I assumed that there were limited funds “out there” (in YOUR pockets) and I felt that if I was going to push for people dropping silver one one cause or another it was going to have to be political, given the dire circumstances.

I think I was right to do that, and via this blog a certain amount of money was raised for Michele Bachmann’s opponent, for Al Franken, and for the DNCCC, as well as some other specific candidates around the country. Also, many of you may have been reminded, encouraged, or convinced to donate your time here and there.

So, the question I have now is this: Do I engage in the DonorsChoice09 fund raising effort or not? You’all as a group probably know more about it than I do. The fact that it has been going for a few years may mean that there are other alternatives that are better (this often happens in specific fund raising genre).

If I’m going to start (mildly) haranguing you for money, I want it to be something most, or at least many, of you would support.

Beyond that, if I do engage in DonorsChoice09, would you participate? Finally, what projects should I chose to support and how do we do that, in your opinion?

I should warn you that I’m likely to try to develop a project in my own back yard somewhere. For instance, I have one school in mind that is always strapped for cash, has excellent science teachers, would spend the money effectively, and that would serve a generally undeserved community. But I’m in no way committed to that, and I’d love to hear about other possible projects, especially those in the Greater Twin Cities.

Please let me know what you think here in comments or via email.

Comments

  1. #1 Michael Spencer
    September 8, 2009

    Gosh, Greg, it would be good to have a little background on this? I went to a similar web site, but it is not clear what is up?

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    September 8, 2009

    Well, this is the donorschoose web site:

    http://www.donorschoose.org/

    And here is a famous cartoon on the topic!

    http://images.ucomics.com/comics/db/2007/db070909.gif

  3. #3 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    September 8, 2009

    Yes, I would. I would like to elaborate. Two years ago, before you were subsumed by the Borg, I donated $10 to a small school in Litchfield.

    Donorschoose sent me a letter 4 mnths later saying that a large donor had decided to match all of the donors from the SB drive ten to one. My $10 was turned into $110.

    I got the greatest album from the class of third-graders of hand drawn “Thanks” and pictures for that. It was worth more than the $10 that I had put in, by a long, long shot.

  4. #4 Paul Hutch
    September 8, 2009

    I like DonorsChoose.org it’s a great way to have all of your donation go to supporting the classroom project plans you like.

    I participated in the SciBlogs challenge two years ago (I sided with former SciBlogger John Lynch @ Stranger Fruit) but, last year the economic downturn eliminated my extra charity money so, I had to pass on the challenge. No idea if I’ll have the cash this year but if I do, I’ll donate via your challenge.

    Greg you should definitely help develop a project with a local school for submitting to DonorsChoose and then promote that as one of your picks. The SciBlogs challenge was a great way for me to find worthy projects since I feel more comfortable that a project is truly worthy when an education professional has reviewed the plan.

  5. #5 Barn Owl
    September 8, 2009

    I was very pleased with the DonorsChoose experience, through several ScienceBlogs, last year, and definitely plan to donate again. Recently, and quite unexpectedly, I had a small piece of creative writing accepted for publication in a certain journal. Apparently, I’ll receive some sort of payment (a cheque, to be precise) for this – not sure how much it will be, but I’m prepared to donate most or all of it to DonorsChoose projects. If you have a project, Greg, I’ll be sure to send some of it that way.

  6. #6 V
    September 8, 2009

    It’s difficult to donate to a charity in a distant community, however worthwhile, while we have so much poverty, and attendant illiteracy, right here. We donate to our local library.