Yahoo! Gives The Gift Of Education

    December 19, 2006

Instead of dolling out thousands of dollars worth of gifts that high-end customers will never use, Yahoo! has taken a philanthropic approach to holiday gift giving. poses the questions, what if there was a simple way to provide students with the books, technology, and supplies that they need to learn? What if people from all walks of life could connect directly with public schools, learn about specific classroom needs, and choose how to help?

Yahoo! wants to help them find the answer this holiday season, by giving out gift certificates to high-end customers in the form of donations to the non-profit charitable education site.

With COO of Yahoo! Dan Rosenweig sitting on the Bay Area advisory board of, the search engine giant has begun a campaign of giving to the children’s charity.

Recipients of the gift certificates from Yahoo! read this message when they opened the card: “you have received a DonorsChoose gift certificate. At our not-for-profit web site, public school teachers submit proposals for materials or experiences their students need to learn. These proposals become classroom reality when concerned individuals like you choose one to fund,” according to Frank Watson.

Not only did Yahoo! give gifts in the form of charitable donations, the sponsor of DonorsChoose is also giving $50,000 to double the donated money on any Bay Area project up to $700.

When DonorsChoose founder Charles Best called Yahoo! and requested the expertise of six of their most talented techies, Yahoo! Co-founder David Filo responded immediately. is a simple way to provide students in need with resources that our public schools often lack, according to the site’s representatives. At the non-profit website, teachers can post proposals for materials and experiences their students need.

“Citizen Philanthropists” may choose to fund any project on the site by area, with proposals ranging from “Magical Math Centers” ($200) to “Big Book Bonanza” ($320), to “Cooking Across the Curriculum” ($1,100).

Upon completion of the sponsored project, the donor receives 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.

DonorsChoose even makes teaching philanthropy to students part of the curriculum. Groups of students from around the country have come together to fundraise for donations to sponsor projects at DonorsChoose. In Brooklyn, a group of 1st graders held a bake sale and used the proceeds to fund “Big Floor Puzzles” for a classroom in North Carolina.

Tax deductible and for a good cause, Yahoo!’s choice in giving out gift cards is a good decision from both a financial and philanthropic standpoint.

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