Donors Choose - Transparent Local Fundraising for Education

DonorsChoose.org is an organization that helps raise funds for education. But instead of donating money to the organization and wondering where the money is going, DonorsChoose creates challenges where individual schools and classes post what they need money for, and groups try to raise money to complete each fundraising challenge individually. Not only do you know what the money is going for, but you know what class and what teacher has requested the money - at that level, you can probably go right to the school and confirm the fundraising initiative!

Right now the major tech blogs are having a competition to see which tech blog community can raise the most money for the needs of public schools - I donated money to help fund laptops for a middle school journalism program, and musical instruments for another class - both New York City schools. Afterwards I received a thank you note from the teachers:
Dear Kevin,
I cannot thank you enough for your generosity in donating money towards the laptop computer. The students will be using this laptop with such gratitude and appreciation. We have been sharing laptops with other clubs, saving documents on flashdrives which is very time consuming. This laptop is going to be such an asset and will make our school newspaper even better. The students were so excited when I told them and could hardly wait for it to come. It is great to know there are generous people out there and people who are willing to give money to the education of the great students here at our school. Once again, we are so appreciative of your generous gift. Thanks
If you want to help out, the tech blog fundraising effort is going on for another week. I'm embedding a widget here for you to donate to Fred Wilson's challenges (where I donated as well):