In 2015, I left Esquire to edit social media for a nonprofit called DonorsChoose. The gig ruled. DonorsChoose was started by a smart former public school teacher named Charles Best with a simple mission: put school supplies into the hands of students through crowdfunding. He launched DonorsChoose about a decade before Kickstarter turned crowdfunding into the popular practice it’s become.
I joined as one of its first full-time “content” hires, as the company was beginning to flex its storytelling muscles to serve its vibrant and devoted community of teachers, donors, and, of course, the public school students most affected by its efforts. I didn’t work at DonorsChoose for very long (I loved journalism and raced back in about six months), but I did a lot: programming new content every day, developing sustainable and teachable processes, charting KPIs for all of our social channels, cultivating partnerships with other nonprofit teams, launching a content strategy for The DonorsChoose Blog, and helping turn their “Best School Day Ever” campaign into a massive social hit. (It went on to become a recurring franchise.) I’m most proud of the occasional interviews and reporting I did for the Blog, which focused on creative projects teachers would get funded, like one who brought lightsabers to class and another who launched a fencing program in his school.
Image: The DonorsChoose Blog