Montana State University

Founder of online charity that has raised $170 million for U.S. classrooms speaks March 5 at MSU

February 15, 2013


Charles Best, founder of DonorsChoose.org, an online charity connecting classrooms in need with donors, will speak in Bozeman March 5. Best will give members of audience $50 gift cards to distribute to classrooms.   High-Res Available

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Educator and entrepreneur Charles Best, founder of DonorsChoose.org, an online charity connecting classrooms in need with donors, will tell his story of philanthropy and innovation at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, in the Strand Union Building Ballrooms on the campus of Montana State University. The lecture is free and open to the public.

As the founder of DonorsChoose.org, Best went from teaching in his own classroom in the Bronx to impacting more than 8.5 million students in America. DonorsChoose has currently distributed more than $170 million.

"We are thrilled to be hosting Mr. Best, who in the spirit of philanthropy will be giving the audience over $22,000 in the form of $50 DonorsChoose gift cards," said Carmen McSpadden, director of the MSU Leadership Institute. "Those attending can feel the joy of being a citizen philanthropist and the joy of positively impact a classroom of their choosing, be it a Montana classroom or one damaged by the recent New Jersey hurricane."

Best said that half of all the public schools in the nation have had at least one teacher post a project to DonorsChoose, whose supporters include Stephen Colbert and Bill Bradley, as well as Oprah Winfrey and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Since its inception, 49 percent of public schools in the U.S. have posted and received funding through its efforts, Best said. Best's passion to decrease national disparity in classroom tools and funding led him to become one of Fast Company's 50 Most Innovative New Companies.

Doors open at 6:45 p.m. Best's lecture is sponsored by the Associated Students of MSU, MSU Office of the President, Hopa Mountain, MSU College of Business, MSU Parent and Family Association, MSU Leadership Institute, and MSU College of Education, Health, and Human Development and the Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship in the MSU College of Business.

For more information call (406) 994-7275 or online visit http://www.montana.edu/leadership/speakers.html or facebook.com/MSULeadershipInstitute or twitter @MSU_Leadership.

Carmen McSpadden, director, MSU Leadership Institute, cmcspadden@montana.edu, (406) 994-7667