Digital Wish makes school fundraising easier


“I went in and I said, ‘Come on kids, let’s write letters to the community, and let’s see if we can get people to donate,'” Chirtea said. The results were astounding. The 62 students raised $20,000 to pay for a new science lab, playground, and nature trail.

“A lot of people said that they really wanted to help, but hadn’t known how until they received the letters from the kids,” said Chirtea. “I said, you know, let’s do this online. The internet is made for interfacing with the community,
let’s put together a website that lets teachers wish list and tell the community what we need.”

Chirtea created Digital Wish, which launched in July 2007. The company’s goal was to have 1,000 teachers post their wish lists by Christmas. They met that goal in 34 days.

“There was a lot of interest in teachers making these wish lists and posting them publicly,” said Chirtea.

In the 2009-10 school year, Digital Wish helped put $5 million worth of technology into the hands of teachers.

“We have 116,000 schools in the database, so we cover pretty much the entire United States,” Chirtea said. “We just granted our 25,000th wish to a teacher in the U.S.”

Digital Wish isn’t the only such site on the web. The most popular might be DonorsChoose.org, which reportedly has funneled $84 million in donations to schools across the country since its creation in 2000.

Digital Wish also has discounted offers for technology equipment that educators or education supporters can purchase directly from the website.

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