A few years ago, the personal finance blogging community came together to create the pfblogs.org Financial Literacy Challenge through DonorsChoose.org, a charity that facilitates funding for classroom projects needing money. The challenge was designed for bloggers to encourage their readers to provide tax-deductible donations through DonorsChoose.org to fund classroom projects focusing on increasing financial knowledge.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is issuing a similar challenge. The foundation with fund 50% of any classroom project that prepares students in rural and high-poverty communities for college if the remainder is funded by individual donors.
You can browse the classroom projects eligible for the matching contributions from the foundation. There are hundreds of projects available so it is very likely that at least one will focus on aspects of education you find important.
The classroom projects are not expensive and DonorsChoose.org monitors every step of the process to ensure the teachers requesting the funds use the money properly, effectively, and efficiently. For just a few hundred dollars, you can fund a project. And with the guarantee offered by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, your money will go much further.
Working with DonorsChoose.org was a great experience. The organization kept me informed and I received a package from the teachers and students I helped with photographs and personal notes thanking me for helping their projects become a reality. I strongly encourage anyone who believes the education of children is an important piece of a modern society to take any opportunity to help school programs that are grossly underfunded and in need of assistance.