Some 12,000 classroom projects for which teachers across the country were raising money online received a collective $14.2 million windfall in a "flash funding" campaign involving dozens of celebrities and tech-industry titans, Fast Company and the Associated Press write.
Fifty-eight actors, athletes, and business leaders each paid for all DonorsChoose.org projects in a particular state, city, or major urban neighborhood as part of the #BestSchoolDay effort. Charles Best, chief executive of the crowdfunding site, said he conceived the "flash mob" campaign last year after being contacted by philanthropists who wanted to emulate television host Stephen Colbert's surprise funding in May of all DonorsChoose projects in his home state of South Carolina.
Participants included actors Seth Rogen, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Samuel L. Jackson; athletes Serena Williams and Carmelo Anthony; and current and former tech moguls such as Microsoft co-founders Paul Allen and Bill Gates. Sergey Brin and Brian Acton, respectively the co-founders of Google and WhatsApp, pledged to match $3.2 million in additional contributions from the public.