Charles Best is Founder and CEO of DonorsChoose.org, an online charity that enables individuals to provide direct support to teachers and students in public schools.
Best founded DonorsChoose.org at Wings Academy, a public high school in the Bronx where he taught social studies for five years. He came up with the idea during a conversation in the teachers’ lunch room, and his students volunteered to help start the organization.
DonorsChoose.org enables public school teachers to post and publicize classroom projects, and individuals to donate directly to the projects of their choice. Today, teachers at half of all the public schools in the United States have created projects on DonorsChoose.org, and more than a million people have given a total of $200 million worth of books, art supplies, field trips, technology, and other resources directly to teachers and their students. DonorsChoose.org has enabled “citizen philanthropists” to help more than 10 million students in all, primarily students from low-income families. DonorsChoose.org was named by Fast Company as one of the 50 Most Innovative Companies in the World, the first time a charity has received such recognition.