Omidyar Network Supports National Expansion

November 15, 2007, New York – Actors Claire Danes and Zac Efron and former Senator Bill Bradley announced today that, the award-winning nonprofit website where teachers and donors connect to help students in need, is opening to every public school in America.

Founded in 2000 by a young teacher at a Bronx high school, has been recognized as “America’s most innovative charity.” Already, 30,500 public school teachers have used the site to secure funding for $15 million of books, art supplies, technology, and other resources that their students need to learn. Through the site, donors from all walks of life have helped 700,000 students from low-income families.

“ is a simple way to fulfill needs and foster innovation in public school classrooms,” said actress Claire Danes. “Over the last two years, I’ve funded many classroom projects on The creativity of the projects, and the appreciation of the students who benefit, never cease to amaze me.”

“I am excited to be a part of this initiative,” said actor Zac Efron. “I’m happy for the millions of teachers and students who are going to benefit from the national expansion of”

With its “open source” approach to supporting public schools, has attracted the support of Yahoo! co-founder David Filo, renowned venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, Netflix founder Reed Hastings, and Omidyar Network, which is leading the group in supporting Together, these Silicon Valley titans are providing $11 million to underwrite the charity’s national expansion.

“ provides an open and honest environment where teachers and donors can connect over projects they care about,” said Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay and founding partner of Omidyar Network. “Just as eBay enables buyers and sellers to collectively determine the value of a product, lets the people decide which projects should get funded.”

“Here is a website where anyone can be a philanthropist,” said former Senator Bill Bradley, who recently joined the Board of Directors. “ has the potential to unleash the generosity of the American people by giving a $10 donor the same choice, impact, and accountability enjoyed by millionaire benefactors. We call it ‘citizen philanthropy.’”

AIG, world leader in insurance and financial services, is the lead sponsor of Ned Cloonan, AIG Vice President of International and Corporate Affairs commented, “We are proud to sponsor such an innovative organization that is making a difference for schools in communities throughout the country.” In 2005, won the Nonprofit Innovation Award given by Stanford Business School and The organization has also been recognized with the Fast Company Social Capitalist Award, a TECH Museum Laureate, and selection by Ashoka. made these strides while operating in eight states and four cities – New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Indiana, San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Chicago.

With now open to every public school in America, individuals from all walks of life can support classroom projects such as:

– Improving vocabulary with a class set of dictionaries ($150)
– Discouraging teen pregnancy with ‘Baby-Think-It-Over’ dolls ($500)
– Taking students to Washington, D.C. to see the Supreme Court consider a case ($2,000)

“I started seven years ago with the help of my students, and we never imagined that our experiment would one day become a national nonprofit organization,” said Charles Best, founder of and a former history teacher at Wings Academy in the Bronx.

About is a nonprofit website where public school teachers describe specific educational projects for their students, and donors can pick the projects they want to support. After completing a project, the donor gets photographs and thank-you letters from the classroom he/she chose to help.

Casey Klurfeld
Freud Communications
[email protected]

Emily Burgess
Freud Communications
[email protected]