<Ned> Front Porch
Comment by Michael E. Nolan
Linda - I am a kind of serial entrepreneur, recently thinking a lot about creating good organizations, instead of the usual "rape the land / exploit the worker" ones. Here my latest idea: (Hope this is in the right forum...)
Mini grants for teachers. An organization that allows teachers to post micro grant requests - think $1,100 for a new curriculum, or $350 for a bus and driver. These are things that the districts just cannot afford, but the kids really need. The organization - Kiva.org style - post these requests, and allows individuals fund the ones they want. (Matching gifts, challenge, etc.)
The organization creates school/district/state subpages so that local schools can advertise just their sites. PTOs can provide matching funds or make up funds. Corporate sponsors can get in on the act. We provide all the programming, bandwidth and management for free, and support our organization through grants, fundraising, sponsorships and donations.
The community would provide governance of the requests, to make sure they meet guidelines and that the money is distributed in accordance to each districts rules.
I served on the board of a local foundation called Educare for District 77 here in Mankato. We've supplied hundreds of these mini grants, and the teaching community has been thrilled at the support. Can we do it for the whole world?
Let's start an open source business plan here, and see if where it takes us