By Aaron Hurst, Reimagining Service Council Member - Donors Choose has become one of the most successful nonprofits in America. It is based on a simple idea: that teachers are struggling to get money for basic supplies and have creative ideas for bringing their subject matter to life that require just small sums.
To achieve that success, the group didn’t have a vast staff. Instead, its founder, Charles Best, sought as much donated support as he could get. Technology professionals have given their time to help the group build a constantly evolving efficient marketplace for teachers and donors. Today, that same approach to using pro bono help is aiding the organization as it matures. Pro bono service accounts for over 20 percent of its budget. American Express, for example recently provided the group with a team of analysts to figure out how viable the DonorsChoose.org approach of matching donors and teachers would be over the long haul.