Micro-Grants, in Person-to-Person fashion: DonorsChoose.org

DonorsChoose.org facilitates privately-funded Micro-grants benefit students in the classroom. The non-profit was founded in 2000 by teachers in the South Bronx as a way to help support their classrooms.

The platform allows donors to choose the classroom and project that they would like to fund. From literacy and music programs, all the way down to “we need more pencils.” Donors can contribute any amount they want to support these classroom projects.

Prospective donors can sort by the urgency, geographic location, academic subject or even the poverty level of the school program they would like to support.

DonorsChoose has received a four-star rating from Charity Navigator, and 86% of their income directly supports programs. Also, their nearly $16,000,000 budget is entirely supported without government support—driven only by donors.

If a program is not fully funded by the date the funding is needed, the money is returned to the donor, who can reinvest it in another project.

Jessica Ward is a freelance writer and blogger in Seattle. She also blogs at http://www.pennywisefamily.blogspot.com/.