DonorsChoose 2009 Social Media Challenge: How we did.

Hey ScienceBlogs readers: you rock!

In a year where lots of folks are waiting for the signs of economic recovery to be manifest in their daily lives, and where public school budgets have been even more hard hit than they were a year ago, your generosity helped us significantly surpass the impact of our October 2008 drive.

Let's break it down:

In 2008, ScienceBlogs bloggers mounted 21 challenges. 270 donors to those challenges helped raise about $38,000 to fund classroom projects.

This year, ScienceBlogs bloggers mounted 13 challenges. The 266 donors who stepped up and gave to those challenges (including Hewlett-Packard, sweetening the pot and adding some excitement to the fundraising competition) raised $56,439. You dug deep -- even when digging deep meant a donation that might look numerically small but represented a large chunk of your discretionary budget. And as a result, your generosity has impacted more than 11,500 public school students so far.

But your impact doesn't stop there.

Thanks to the generosity of HP, the $200,000 in matching funds they put up for the 2009 Social Media Challenge, allocated in proportionate shares to all the giving pages in the drive, are being distributed to our generous donors for them to choose how to apply them to more classroom projects. HP will be sending electronic giving cards to all donors who contributed to our Social Media Challenge giving pages (these should go out in mid November).

Watch your inbox for your electronic giving card! The timing is such that you can probably use it to make donations to projects on the Friday after U.S. Thanksgiving (which the Free-Ride family honors as a day of philanthropy rather than mall-crawling).

Indeed, if you have kids of your own in school and are in the habit of giving their teachers a gift card right before the December school break, you might want to shop for some DonorsChoose giving cards for the teachers, too. (You can get physical gift cards as well as electronic ones -- since the physical ones need some time to get to you through the mail, they require a little advance planning.) Our experience is that the teachers we've gifted with DonorsChoose giving cards really enjoy helping classrooms even worse off than their own ... and they start investigating DonorsChoose as a way to make some of their own classroom projects into realities.

You can check out the ScienceBlogs leaderboard to see how each of the blogger-mounted challenges did. Let me take this opportunity to thank those bloggers for putting together giving pages and rallying their readers:

To anyone who thinks the blogosphere is just a wasteland of shouting matches and navel gazing, you folks and your awesomely generous readers are a powerful challenge to that assumption. I feel tremendously honored to have you all as virtual neighbors.

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And thank you Janet for leading the Sb participation in this effort.

By DrugMonkey (not verified) on 03 Nov 2009 #permalink

This was a great use of social media. In bad economic times people still pull together and help each other out. Social networks highlight this fact and make helping hands reach a little further.