Sunday, December 14, 2014

Giving Communities - Why I'm Done

So since April I have been giving to various teachers with Donors Choose projects, mostly through a few giving communities, one in particular. These giving communities "choose" projects for their page and if your Donors Choose project is chosen, it likely gets funded. It's a beautiful process in theory but the problem is in the execution. 

I've been doing this since April (super consistently) and after doing this Sunday routine for the better part of a year, and meeting with my CPA, and just looking over the numbers I've decided to stop - as of today - and I have 3 reasons why.

1. I've not seen a giving page without drama and most are cliquey. I'm not into this and the game playing makes me sad. Dissension -or mere questioning - is often met with snarkieness and snarky doesn't make me happy either. And to be perfectly honest - I'm too old for it. 

2. The project choosing process is rarely transparent - though the rules for asking for a spot are crystal clear. On a funding day, you typically donate to a project on the giving page and then post yours - hoping to get your project chosen for the page. Again - I've noticed cliquey elements. When projects are chosen the reasons are often unclear or are arbitrarily specific to the process - sometimes longevity is noted, sometimes being new is noted. Sometimes large donations are noted and sometimes it's noted $1 is all it takes. It's hard to recommend a giving page to someone when the choosing process is arbitrary.

3. Charity begins at home. I looked up my donations for the year. The figure is real, y'all. Holy Moly. And that's just for the donations I've made in my own name. It makes me sad that I usually don't get a thank you - though I do like supporting others for the sake of charity - and I've donated - A.LOT.  

So what will I be doing?

I will still be supporting teachers. We have to. I love to. If not us, who? But - I'll do this differently now. I will support teachers that I know and I'll better support my own classroom. I have lots of colleagues who have projects up and I will happily send them a donation. 

My aim is to avoid those 3 big bummers, noted above. It's not a Bah Humbug situation - no sour grapes here - it's a different path - a local one, one I can manage and make sense of. It's a path that brings the process close to home.

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