Help the kids with DonorsChoose

I must be the last one to hop on this bandwagon — only because I had to give everyone else a chance first, you know, I wouldn’t want to drain all the donors* — but now it’s about time I joined in. Scienceblogs is working to raise money for teachers, and we need you all to chip in and donate to DonorsChoose. Go ahead and donate to any of the projects on the Scienceblogs leaderboard, or you can donate to the
specific projects in the Pharyngula challenge. It’s all a good deal, because Seed will match funds, up to $15000.

So come on, dig into your pockets, and hand over a little cash to the deserving cause of science education.

*Actual reason: because I suck. But you all knew that.


  1. says

    Off topic, but this sentence is in a sidebar quote: “These are homologous similarities, and they indicate ‘propinquity of dissent,’ to use Darwin’s words.”

    Does ‘propinquity of ‘dissent‘ mean that Darwin was worried that homologous features disagree with those to which they are close, or was the original spelling ‘propinquity of descent‘? I suspect a typo, a ‘dissent of homophones’.

  2. Kevin Lund says

    Is the reason that so many online donation sites don’t accept PayPal because they have to pay a fee? I’m about 90% more likely to make a donation if I can just use my PayPal account, but I hate giving out my credit card number (or, if I’m in a hurry, going to the effort of generating a virtual card).

    Yes, I’m lazy, I understand that – but don’t you want to make giving as easy as possible?

    I mean, it’s the least I can do (and I’d do less, if possible).

  3. Louise Van Court says

    I’m happy to make a donation for science education especially for some inner city public school students. It is nice to see a positive blog post for a change around here.

  4. says

    While supporting US science education is a very worthy cause, I’d kinda like to support my local science education first. Not quite sure how just yet. Does anyone know of anything even vaguely similar in Australia?

  5. JB says

    I’d like to donate locally, also. Except I’m in the US. Where are the MN options? It seemed like everything was in NY and NC.

    As worthy as many of those programs seem to be, I’d rather keep my rather small amount of money in the area.

  6. Enkidu says

    I’m a math teacher myself, and I’ll tell you, you can do a lot for a local school by simply asking what they need. Take one activity at my school as an example. Science done right is expensive. Our seventh graders (all five hundred of them) dissect cow eyes. They can’t be saved for next year, and at four kids to an eye, that’s quite a few eyes. We don’t have a budget for gloves, so the kids have to share, one glove per kid. So we donated several boxes of gloves. Someone else wealthier paid for the eyes.

    If there’s a school in your area, decide how much you or your group can afford, then call the science teachers and ask what they need. They may really need YOU! Can you help dissect cow eyes?

  7. Jon Hendry says

    OT: PZ, I tried to email this earlier today but it bounced.

    There’s a radio show on BBC 4, a comedy set in Hell, which I thought amusing and thought you _might_ also. In the second episode, Satan tells a recent arrival that he hadn’t seen such a case of denial since Mother Teresa arrived.

    Episode 3 mentions Dawkins

    Ep 2 is at
    Ep 3 is at

    Ep 1 is not available. Ep 2 might be going away soon.

  8. craig says

    Paypal is risky for that kind of thing. They get pretty jumpy about possible fraud, and I’ve heard of at least one charitable fund having their funds frozen by Paypal for weeks because the sudden influx of small amounts into the account triggered their fraud alarm bells.

  9. Apprehensive says

    There’s a hell of a markup. If you get the actual cost report (although I have to give kudos for actually supplying all the numbers so I can criticize; a lot of charities do significantly worse but are secretive about it), you can see, e.g. someone the “Microscopes Needed!” project wants $625, but after all the overhead is tacked on, it totals $939.13.

    Now, I have to give praise to DonorsChoice for actually putting the numbers out there and drawing attention to the “fulfilment” costs. A lot of charities have worse ratios but hide it. But 50% markup is bit painful.

    (Not to mention that sells a better microscope (it has a mechanical stage and a more comfortable 30 degree eyepiece angle) for $455, including shipping, and no sales tax.)

  10. Lobar says

    Chipped in for some Bill Nye DVDs. The markup made me raise an eyebrow too, but Charity Navigators gave DonorsChoice four stars. I guess it could be a lot worse.

  11. Lauren says

    I found Donors Choose when you mentioned it last year. Since then, I’ve chosen a project to contribute to every month or two. It makes it easy to find what a teacher wants and to find something in my area.

    I just took this month’s donation dolalrs and did the Pharyngula challenge instead of my own normal donation.

  12. Lurchgs says

    I, too, would be happy to donate my soda money for a week.. or even skip a lunch or two. Except I shredded my credit cards years ago and will NOT get another.

    Paypal or nothing, I’m afraid. I rather imagine if somebody at the receiving end were to give Paypal a heads-up that they are a charitable organization going through a funds drive, Paypal might look less frantically worried at the sudden influx of random amounts of money.