I don’t know how you feel about giving monetary donations to big organizations, but I always have the sinking feeling that the money might not end up where I’d like it to. And that a big part of it will be ‘swallowed’ by the bureaucracy biest. I read about DonorsChoose over on “morethandonuts” and *love* their concept:
DonorsChoose is a simple way to provide students in need with resources that our public schools often lack. At this not-for-profit web site, teachers submit project proposals for materials or experiences their students need to learn. These ideas become classroom reality when concerned individuals, whom we call Citizen Philanthropists, choose projects to fund.
Proposals range from “Magical Math Centers” ($200) to “Big Book Bonanza” ($320), to “Cooking Across the Curriculum” ($1,100). Any individual can search such proposals by areas of interest, learn about classroom needs, and choose to fund the project(s) they find most compelling. In completing a project, donors receive a feedback package of student photos and thank-you notes, a teacher impact letter, and an expenditure report showing that their tax-deductible gift was spent as directed.