Chances are if you have a child in public school in the United States, that school has received support from DonorsChoose.org.
From its start in 2000 by a Bronx teacher, the crowdsourced giving network has raised more than $830 million for some 500,000 teachers. Four out of five public schools nationwide have had at least one DonorsChoose.org project, and educators have turned to the network to help fund everything from classroom decorations to clothes for needy students – helping some 34 million students in all.
If those numbers seem huge, it’s because teachers have been funneling their own cash into school projects for decades. Studies show the average public school teacher spends $479 of their own money on school supplies each year, and those in low-income schools spend up to 40 percent more than the average.
To build and promote on these efforts to help children thrive at school, Volkswagen is donating a total of $1 million to DonorsChoose.org to help teachers by funding classroom projects across America. Volkswagen dealers will soon receive DonorsChoose.org donation cards pre-loaded with funds from Volkswagen to share with customers during the “Drive Bigger” Summer Event. Customers who receive a donation card will be able to visit the web site and select a classroom project that they want Volkswagen to support.
“We are absolutely thrilled about this partnership,” says Vashti Barran, Partnerships Manager at DonorsChoose.org. “We love that dealers can engage with new customers by giving them a DonorsChoose.org donation card that they can use to support a classroom project that inspires them. This campaign truly reflects Volkswagen’s commitment to the ‘Drive Bigger’ initiative and we’re honored to be a part of it.”
As part of its $1 million donation, beyond funding donation cards distributed by dealers, Volkswagen will also make an overall corporate donation to the giving program, and will match its employee contributions from $25 to $2,500.
This partnership closely follows Volkswagen’s recent announcement for the new brand direction, built on responsibility, innovation and helping work toward the greater good. Last year, donors gave $159 million to teachers’ requests for supplies through the DonorsChoose.org. Once a project is fully funded, the requested items are purchased and shipped directly to the school.
“Education in our public schools is a fundamental foundation for every student in this country, and DonorsChoose.org is able to support thousands of teachers and students each year,” says Jim Zabel, Vice President of Marketing for Volkswagen of America. “The Drive Bigger Event will allow us to turn our words into action. We think our role as a car company can be much bigger than just bringing students to and from school. With a focus to support teachers and classroom projects across America, we hope to encourage our Volkswagen dealers and customers to drive something bigger than ourselves.”
Donation cards are pre-loaded with funds from Volkswagen and are available while funds last. Donation cards must be used by the expiration date printed on the card, and are not available for cash.