I first learned of Donors Choose in 2007 when Google sent me a Donors Choose gift card as a holiday present. Back in those days, Google sent cool, techie holiday gifts to their best Adsense publishers. If they are still doing it, they have dropped me from their cool kids club. 🙁
Anyway, in 2007, after several years of widgety gifts, Google changed course a bit by giving us a gift certificate that we could spend on others. Here’s how it works. Teachers from across the country submit projects that they need funded. Then donors choose projects to fund. For any project you can give a portion of the funds requested, or you can fund the entire project. Donors (that meet certain minimum criteria) receive heart-warming letters from the students themselves, and you will walk a little lighter knowing you’ve done good!