At WorkReduce, we hire exceptional talent. And we believe that exceptional talent is found in people who have a strong educational foundation, a passion for continued learning, and the discipline to bring their best to work each day.
That’s why I’m pleased to announce a new program, WorkReduce Gives Back, where we donate a portion of our customer billings to support education through DonorsChoose.org.
I’m a native of New England, which is not only a beautiful part of the country, but also the source of a lot of educational progress and reform in the US. That includes the first public schools and public libraries in the country.
I’ve benefitted tremendously from the emphasis on access to quality education here. And that doesn’t just include the basics like reading, writing and math. From an early age, I was also lucky to have access to arts, theater, music, technology and the outdoors.
Back in 2013, I began participating in a project on Reddit called “RedditGifts for the teachers”. Every Fall, returning teachers would post wish lists of things they needed for their classrooms. Donors were randomly and anonymously matched with teachers who needed support prepping their classrooms.
The first year, I was matched with a teacher with the username “yahrealy” in a low income town in North Carolina. The $80 I spent donating notebooks, folders, a pencil sharpener, and Kleenex to yahrealy’s classroom felt amazing.
The second year, I matched with a teacher in South Carolina names keittycat. She taught Shakespeare to elementary schoolers in a gifted and talented program.
I poked around on Etsy and found a seller who made simple felt costume accessories for kids. The Etsy seller was even more excited than I was about the idea of kids acting out Shakespeare with her felt swords and princess hats. I think the $100 I donated worked extra hard as a result.
More recently, RedditGifts migrated the gifts for the teacher’s project to DonorsChoose.org. I was a bit disappointed at first to lose the quirky aspects of messaging back and forth with educators like yahreally and keittycat, but after seeing Craig Newmark (of Craigslist fame) promote some really worthy DonorsChoose.org projects in his Twitter feed, I became a convert.
Over the past year, at WorkReduce, we’ve established our WorkSkills training program to re-invest in our employees’ continued education, but I’m particularly proud to WorkReduce Gives Back as our first philanthropic initiative. Harnessing a partnership with Donors Choose, our program will help cultivate the next generation of the American workforce by providing financial support to exceptional teachers and teaching projects.
Our WorkReduce Gives Back mission
- We believe in the importance of education and will give back to support educational projects for people from all walks of life, to cultivate exceptional thinkers and to help give them every opportunity to live exceptional lives.
How will WorkReduce give back?
- We began the program at the beginning of January 2021 where we’ll be donating a portion of our client billings to fund projects on Donors Choose.
Who will choose the projects?
- We’ll select a different team of WorkReduce employees each quarter (aka our “WorkReduce Give Back Squad”) who will be tasked to find projects that they would like us to finish funding or fully fund.
Our 2020 end of year pilot program
The launch of WorkReduce Gives Back follows a pilot we ran late last year and were thrilled to finish fully funding seven great projects ranging from helping learning disabled students to overcome the challenges of dyslexia, allowing special needs students to have a sensory friendly safe space, maximizing hybrid-learning for Pre-K to High School students and teachers with improved equipment, and promoted the value of Engineering to help students “bring things to life”.
Our end of year donations made an impact at schools in Florence, SC; Brooklyn, NY; Concord, NH; Moon Township, PA; Pueblo, CO; Lorain, OH; Saco, ME. The positive response from customers, employees and recipients encouraged us to think bigger and find ways to give more, and give it more regularly.
Everyone at WorkReduce is excited to be able to continue to give back in larger and more impactful ways. Equally, we’re incredibly grateful for our client partnerships whose business is enabling us to change lives and provide greater educational opportunity across our country.
By Brian Dolan, CEO & Founder, WorkReduce
Introducing Donors Choose
Support a classroom: Build a future.
Donors Choose Mission
We make it easy for anyone to help a teacher in need, moving us closer to a nation where students in every community have the tools and experiences they need for a great education.
About Donors Choose
We were started by a history teacher. In 2000, Charles Best, a teacher at a Bronx public high school, wanted his students to read Little House On The Prairie. As he was making photocopies of the one book he could procure, Charles through about all the money he and his colleagues were spending on books, art supplies, and other materials. And he figured there were people out there who’d want to help – if they could see where their money was going. Charles sketched out a website where teachers could post classroom project requests, and donors could choose the ones they wanted to support. His colleagues posted the first 11 requests. Then it spread. Today, we’re open to every public school in America.