NEW YORK, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Bloggers big and small,
including top sites such as Engadget and TechCrunch, challenged their
readers today to fund classroom projects in high-need public schools.
Google, Yahoo!, Six Apart, and Federated Media will give awards to the
bloggers who inspire the most generosity between now and the end of the
Powering this "Blogger Challenge" is DonorsChoose.org, an acclaimed
nonprofit website where teachers post projects to fulfill student needs,
and donors from all walks of life can choose the projects they want to
At DonorsChoose.org, bloggers have created challenge pages listing
their favorite classroom projects and urging their blog readers to donate
to those projects. Engadget and TechCrunch, the #1 and #3 blogs on the Web,
have set up challenge pages featuring technology requests such as "Teaching
Literacy Through Podcasts" ($390) and "Laptop For Learning" ($925).
Lockhart Steele, former Managing Editor of Gawker Media, has also
tossed his hat into the ring. "We aim to show that Curbed, Eater, and
Racked readers are some of the most engaged and generous of any blog
readers out there," Steele said. In keeping with the focus of his three
blogs, he has opened a challenge page on DonorsChoose.org featuring food-
and neighborhood-focused projects such as "Learning Nutrition Through Play"
($119) and "Neighborhood Ethnography Using MP3 Players" ($1,076).
Other notable bloggers who have joined the competition include Fred
Wilson of aVC.com, Kara Swisher of BoomTown fame, Anil Dash,
ApartmentTherapy, Overheard in New York, Gear Live, and Timothy Ferriss,
the #1 NY Times bestselling author.
DonorsChoose.org displays "leader boards" ranking the generosity each
blogger has inspired from his/her readers. During a beta launch of the
platform, Sarah Bunting of TomatoNation.com leapt to the top of the leader
boards after offering to shave her head if readers funded all $30,000 of
classroom projects on her challenge page. Her readers rose to the
challenge, and the resulting head shave was viewed 80,000 times on YouTube.
Now, she is challenging her readers to fund $40,000 of classroom projects
and will, in return, wear a tomato costume for an entire day, including at
30 Rockefeller Center, where she works.
Google will give an award to the bloggers who generate the most
financial support for public school classrooms in the DonorsChoose.org
Blogger Challenge. Yahoo! will award the bloggers who engage the greatest
number of readers, and Jerry Yang, the company's
co-founder and CEO, will take the winning blogger out to lunch.
"The DonorsChoose.org Blogger Challenge could inspire the blogosphere
to help hundreds of thousands of students from low-income communities,"
said Yang. "This challenge represents a great union of citizen journalists
and citizen philanthropists. Yahoo! is excited to see which bloggers can
engage the most readers in improving our public schools."
Six Apart will award the bloggers who reach the greatest number of
students. "I'm thrilled to see the blogosphere showing its true colors by
supporting students through DonorsChoose.org," said Anil Dash, Chief
Evangelist at Six Apart and one of the earliest bloggers. "The communities
around LiveJournal, Vox, TypePad, and Movable Type have always been
generous, so it's natural for us to award the bloggers who help the most
Federated Media will award the bloggers who come up with the most
creative incentives for readers to give. "Federated Media is proud to be
part of the DonorsChoose.org Blogger Challenge," said John Battelle,
founder and CEO of FM and a founder of Wired Magazine. "We're happy to
introduce our creative authors to the innovators at DonorsChoose.org, and
we look forward to the results of these charitable conversations."
Many of the bloggers participating in the DonorsChoose.org Blogger
Challenge have small but engaged readerships.
"My readers care a lot about science education, and DonorsChoose.org
lets them help real kids in public school classrooms in a way that feels
very immediate and personal," said Janet Stemwedel of Adventures in Ethics
and Science, one of 15 members of the ScienceBlogs community who have set
up challenge pages to fund math and science classroom projects. "Succeeding
in the Blogger Challenge is less about how many readers you have and more
about the relationship you have with those readers. Even without big
traffic, a blog with caring and committed readers can make a huge
difference for kids."
DonorsChoose.org liberates every public school teacher to be a change
maker, and enables every citizen to be a philanthropist. At this
not-for-profit website, public school teachers submit their best ideas for
materials and experiences that their students need to learn -- everything
from a classroom library, to basketballs, to a field trip to the zoo.
Any individual can search by area of interest, learn about classroom
needs, and choose to fund the project that she/he finds most compelling.
Every donor hears back from the classroom they chose to help. At
DonorsChoose.org, someone giving $10 enjoys the same choice, impact, and
vivid feedback that -- until now -- have been reserved for millionaire
DonorsChoose.org was founded in 2000 by a social studies teacher in the
Bronx. Since its inception, citizen philanthropists from all 50 states and
10 countries have funded more than 30,000 classroom projects at
DonorsChoose.org, channeling over $13.2 million of resources to students in
low-income communities. Recognition of DonorsChoose.org includes the
Nonprofit Innovation Award given by Stanford Business School and
Amazon.com; the Fast Company Social Capitalist Award; a Global Technology
Laureate from the TECH Museum of Innovation; and selection by Ashoka.
Contact: Charlotte Weiskittel, 212-239-3615 x 220,