Savage Minds Readers Choose!

While we do not place ads on Savage Minds, we do have a “help out” section on our side bar where we try to highlight worthy causes. In the past we’ve had links to charities helping victims of hurricane Katrina and the Pakistan earthquake. This time we are trying something different.

Our overseas readers my not be aware of the tremendous inequality rampant in American education, but it is not uncommon for schools in poorer neighborhoods to lack the most basic equipment and resources. While they now get tax breaks, teachers must often supply the most basic classroom equipment out of their own pocket. Addressing this is one of the most innovate charity organizations I know of: Donors Choose. Donors Choose allows teachers to suggest projects for their classroom and donors can give as much or as little as they like, tracking the project’s project every step of the way. If a project fails to be fully funded, you are given a chance to reassign your money to another project. It is kind of like eBay for educational giving.

Recently Donors Choose started a new program for bloggers, allowing blogs to set their own fund raising goals. Accordingly, Savage Minds has picked a few worthy projects and we are trying to raise $2,403.54 towards the funding of those projects. You can donate either to the Savage Minds Challenge as a whole, or to the individual project(s) you like best, as you wish. The projects include buying books for a school in Harlem, buying Social Studies books for a rural school, and equipping a video production club at a NY high school with 75% low income students. If we get just $6 a piece from everyone subscribed to our RSS feed we will easily meet our goal. You can track progress in the sidebar on the right.

Thank you!

4 thoughts on “Savage Minds Readers Choose!

  1. Kerim,

    Do you have a way to contact the Donor Choose people and let them know that a donation system that accepts only U.S. addresses is a barrier to contributions?Demanding a state on a form that accepts only one of the 50 states prevents the use of credit cards issued outside the USA.


  2. John,

    Sorry you had trouble. I have a friend who works there, so I will let him know. There may be legal reasons for this, since there are very strict rules governing non-profits in the US. I’ll find out!

  3. More likely just a failure to think about overseas Americans. We’ve been through this a lot with political sites, and the good ones like Act Blue now take account of the possibility of overseas-issued credit cards. Simplest fix is just an n/a in the list of States and making sure that the postal code field doesn’t insist on a US standard code. For legal purposes, all donation forms include a way to check a box swearing conformity with legal requirements and FEC regulations, i.e., 18 or over, U.S. citizen or green card holder, use of only personal funds.


  4. The trick seems to be to select a “fake” state.

    As I suspected, it is a legal requirement, but I was surprised to learn that it is actually a requirement of the Patriot Act! I never new there was a danger of terrorists laundering money through America’s public schools. You learn something new every day!

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