DonorsChoose.org is a non-profit organization founded by Charles Best in 2000. While he was working as a teacher at Wings Academy, Best and his fellow teachers struggled to acquire school supplies through the solicitation of funds. At times, they had to spend their own money since the support they received was not always enough. Consequently, Best decided to establish an organization that would help solve the issue of funding. The organization was based in New York first, but it soon gained the capacity to spread to other states. The group significantly transformed the solicitation of donor funds by allowing donors to choose what programs to support. The organization is effective, and it is a source of inspiration for modern day managers since it provides the ideas they could borrow.
Managers of modern businesses and organizations should learn from Best how to effectively mobilize resources and prevent wastage. After Best saw how teachers experienced difficulties related to raising money, he decided to create a platform that would highlight the plight of children in many schools and to connect teachers directly to donors by means of the Internet, thus eliminating the need for middlemen. Best also enabled patrons to browse the Web and choose the programs they wish to support, thus facilitating effective communication that should happen in all modern firms. After launching the organization in New York, Best strengthened it and expanded to other cities. Therefore, managers and leaders could learn from his approach and try to expand their businesses as much as possible.
The way the organization operates is quite appealing. For example, the strategy that helped the firm adopt the use of digital operations to connect teachers and donors, thus eliminating the need for middlemen, is quite interesting. In addition, DonorsChoose is straightforward as it highlights various projects and related information to facilitate trust and openness. The firm also encourages teachers to determine the worth and authenticity of projects to prevent fraud and dissatisfaction by donors.
The company underwent many challenges at the beginning of its inception, and one of them was underfunding. Before 2004, Best had to use his own capital, but after funding had increased, he was able to expand to other cities. The organization also faced the challenge of refuting the donors’ skepticism regarding the fate of the money they donate. The other challenge was developing an effective way of addressing the diverse needs of different teachers. The other problem was expanding to other countries, but with the availability of funds, the mission became possible.
The current challenges the organization faces include addressing numerous varying needs of teachers in different schools. The other issue is vetting teachers to prevent the possibility of fraud and non-relevant projects. The firm also faces the challenge of transparency as it has to show the donors the value of money they contribute. Finally, since DonorsChoose is a non-profit organization, it faces the challenge of paying its staff members. All donor funds must go to their respective projects, and the organization must have other mechanisms of obtaining money to pay its workers.
The management challenge of integrity relates to the issue of eliminating skepticism on the side of donors because they have to base their donations on the organization’s integrity as well as the integrity of the teachers involved. The problem experienced by Best in expanding to other cities relates to the managerial problem of globalization that deals with the expansion across boundaries; in Best’s case, he had to cross various state boundaries. The problem of numerous projects and workers with different needs relates to the central issue of diverse workforce. Finally, the issue of vetting teachers and projects to establish their worth and validity is an ethical issue that relates to managerial ethics.
The goal of the organization is to ensure that all children have what they need in schools and that they receive an adequate learning experience. This aim provokes the management to eliminate loopholes for loss of funds, and this is what inspires the need for vetting those who apply for funds. The abovementioned target also encourages the need for accountability to donors by showing them what exactly their money is meant to finance. The goal of providing assistance to all needy schools made the organization expand its operations from New York to other cities, and this facilitated the organization’s rise to the national level. The same purpose and vision make the organization adopt the use of the Internet to reach out to a vast number of donors. In addition, the goal makes the organization conduct the vetting process to minimize the wastage of donor funds as well as attract the attention of new contributors of funds.
Among the aspects that organizational managers should borrow from the organization is the use of online services, which would facilitate the flow of business and help their companies reach a greater number of customers and suppliers. In addition, organizations must ensure that there is accountability in their transactions by vetting the need for expenditure and by making sure that financers have full knowledge of whatever project they are funding before giving out money. Managers of organizations should adopt Best’s mobilization skills, which helped him to pull a big group of donors. Managers also need to be ambitious to expand their operations to different areas just like Mr. Best did.
In conclusion, Mr. Best did a remarkable job by making it easy for teachers to solicit for donor funds to facilitate learning in schools as well as enable children to have access to quality education the required learning materials. DonorsChoose adopted the use of the Internet to mobilize resources, and accountability to win donors’ trust. The team faced numerous challenges such as inadequate funding, donor’s skepticism, expansion beyond New York, and developing a platform to publicize teachers’ requests. However, the organization managed to become successful, and it is a role model for other agencies and businesses.