The DonorsChoose.Org Map App

More years ago than I care to remember, Geoffrey Parsons changed my life.  Up until age 11, geography was the most tedious thing I’d ever experienced (these were pre-reality TV days.)  All I recall is struggling to recall the major crops of Canada or the annual tin exports of Bolivia.  Mr. Parsons was our new geography teacher and he had a mission to bring the world to life.  I learned how glaciers shape our landscape and field trips started opening the world up like a book.  I studied geography at college, work in maps, and have well-used hiking boots. 

On a visit to NYC last spring, we met with Charles, Oliver and the team and we started talking about maps.  I see in a way of helping the Geoffrey Parsons of the world to make a difference, giving them the resources, support and encouragement they need to bring the world to life for young minds.

Hot on the heels of last week’s announcement of “REDU” and this week’s announcement of the “Our School Needs” contest where schools can win $100,000, we’re sharing the fruit of those discussions, with a new map app designed to help people make a difference in their community by supporting educators., founded in 2000, aims to improve public education by empowering every teacher to be a change-maker and enabling any citizen to be a philanthropist. The organization focuses on connecting donors at any level of donation with classrooms across the US to fund teacher-led projects.

This map app helps you find donation opportunities in Bing Maps, in your local community or across the U.S., and support subject areas and types of schools that you care about.  You can donate a little or a lot, and find projects where your donation is the final contribution that makes the project happen.  More than that, schools, school districts and donors can now put a Bing Map in their own website and help spread the word.

Once you open up the map app, you’ll see donation opportunities in the current map area as well as more information about these classrooms in need on the left-rail. Clicking a push pin on the map, or a result on the left-rail, will bring up a description of the classroom in need, the remaining funding needed, and a link to donate. Clicking on either the “more” or “give any amount” links will take you to the project page on; an example is below. Finally, the built-in search filters help you hone in on the project that you really want to support.

The map app helps spread the word about and helps people fund education needs and make an impact with as little as $1. And, if you have a website where the map could live, embed it and spread the word.  This one’s for you, Mr. Parsons.

Matthew Quinlan – Bing Maps

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