Donors Choose: The HP Match

Image representing Hewlett-Packard as depicted...Image via CrunchBase

I am excited to announce that we've got a match to play around with in the Donors Choose Bloggers Challenge. It is from HP and it works like this:

HP has committed to contribute a total of $200,000 pro-rata to all of the campaigns in the challenge.

This community has contributed about 7% of the total raised to date, so we are on track to get a match of $14,000.

Everyone who contributes (or has contributed) via my giving page will get a Donors Choose gift card to spend that $14,000.

The allocation of the $200,000 will be made on Sunday night so the more we raise between now and then, the more of the $200,000 we'll get to allocate.

I just made another donation (my third) to get us above $14,000. If you haven't given yet, please think about doing it today. If we get to my goal of $20,000, we'll actually get to $34,000, and that is 1.7 to 1 leverage on your gift.

Click here to contribute to the Donors Choose Bloggers Challenge.

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#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. Mark Essel

    Who doesn’t love a good 1.7/1 leveraged donation ;). How did Donor’s choose convince HP to match? That’s a huge windfall for educational fund raising. Congratulations and then some, to whoever made that possible, got a link to the story?ps, after rereading Jessica’s photography post I got the thought train running. Working on an analogy between photography, and blog posts as images of our minds.

    1. fredwilson

      i think it may have happened because of this blog to be honestethan bauley, who will be a familiar name to many old time readers, is nowat HP and was involved in this partnership happening

      1. Mark Essel

        Well we owe a big thanks to Ethan then, powering up your blogs contributions. Great stuff.

        1. fredwilson

          We do indeed

      2. kidmercury

        just need to make the obligatory comment highlighting this as an example of the power of blog stardom.

        1. fredwilson

          And the power of the star commenter. Have you seen what Denton has done with the comments on all of his properties and the concept of star commenters?

          1. kidmercury

            no, i haven’t — i just tried to find it by observing but did not see anything….but denton has a great blog star model, i think his business has a lot of promising things going for it. i also like the niche growth strategy gawker, techmeme, and craigslist use — node by node — i think that helps the niche stay true to its niche.

          2. Ethan Bauley

            The “blog star” comment and resulting post/conversation was one of my favorite all-time pieces from this community.While I’m busy commenting to week-old posts, I will make one addition/distinction though:All the communities driven by “blog stars” occur because the “star” has an undeniable vertical expertise (or as I am calling it “nichepertise” ;-)This may be obvious but it was unsaid in the previous discussion, as best I can remember.There are sooooooo many more opportunities in niche verticals to develop this kind of power. However I’d argue that the only people who can take advantage of those opps are people who have already demonstrated real-world/”offline” successes in a given niche.The “blog” the most commonly used tool, but the value is in giving the audience access to expertise they can trust.Any thoughts, Cap’n Mercury?

          3. kidmercury

            hey ethan,yes i agree — niche expertise is a great formula for blog stardom. however, i think we may see artist/bloggers, who simply publish their art on their blog. they may not have any particular expertise, but if marketed properly and if their art is inspirational/engaging enough, i think they could be candidates for blog stardom. but i definitely think the safe bet is niche expertise/education and that is at the core of the blog star network i am building.However I’d argue that the only people who can take advantage of those opps are people who have already demonstrated real-world/”offline” successes in a given niche.”that’s interesting. i see how it may seem like that, but i think blog stardom is great for unproven underdogs. for instance, i think musicians who cannot work with the major label system may seek to attain fame, fortune, artistic expression, and connection with fans via blog stardom.

          4. Ethan Bauley

            Well as someone who holds an MFA in music performance I’d argue that”ability to create art that resonates with people” is the same thing as”nichespertise”. That is to say: I am conflating these two things in mymind already ;-)Also agree that there is opportunity for “unproven underdogs” butbootstrapping authority and readership when you have nothing else to buildon is extremely difficult; it’s rare that people execute.Said yet another way: there are thousands of unproven underdogs (inmusic/art, for example) that deserve wider attention, start blogging, havegreat things to say…and don’t get any traction.People need an additional reason to tune in besides “this content hasmerit”. Maybe it’s because of an insane stunt that they did, or because youwant to network with them, or whatever. But in my experience, it’s not aperfect meritocracy out there (insofar as “lobbing content out onto the web”is the extent of the strategy).

      3. Ethan Bauley

        I have to admit that I am digging the “familar name to old time readers” distinction.Fred, don’t forget all of us who stuck with you in the early days, when you were just a diamond in the rough.(((That is a TRULY “epic lol” since you had already been on it for 3 years when I showed up ;-)))

        1. fredwilson

          I was just getting going 3 years in

  2. harpos_blues

    mark,I researched Donor’s Choose for one of my clients. There are other large (and not so large) organizations providing matching funds. One I remember of the top of my head is The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. I also noticed a few artist/performers making donations; this type of donation will read: “This donation made on behalf of [artist name]”

  3. JeremiahKane

    This is great – nice to see HP supporting this. Next step is tote bags.

  4. rajjr_tx

    Just finished a small but heart-felt donation. I admire you for your generousity and sincerely hope you reach your goal for the kids.

    1. fredwilson


  5. Robert Tsai

    Thanks Fred for keeping these important issues in the forefront.

    1. kidmercury

      hey robert, just to let you know, i clicked on your name, but the link is broken — i think you may need to fix the link in your disqus profile if you’d like it to functionanyway just wanted to give you a heads up in case you did not know

  6. kidmercury

    boo, thumbs down. every dollar that goes to donors choose is another dollar that won’t be going to real solutions, like the 9/11 truth movement. HP won’t donate to 9/11 truth for the same reason that most folks won’t: it’s bad marketing (who is going to like for reminding people that 9/11 was an inside job….but if you present yourself as “hey i’m a nice and wonderful person/corporation who perpetuates the public indoctrination system” then you’re cool and popular).but this is largely a community of investors/entrepreneurs, so make the investment you think is best. if you think your money is better spent at donors’ choose than with other competing charities, like the 9/11 truth movement, then spend accordingly. i will tell you, though, by any rationale measure 9/11 truth is the better investment (feel free to call me out if you disagree). it is also the global investment, as 9/11 truth is part of what will help create global peace (which in turn will help stabilize the global economy, which in turn will help you and i take it to the bank). and of course if you want real education, just study 9/11 truth. kooks call it “the gateway drug” to kookology. lol. true indeed.

  7. Dave Pinsen

    Good thing HP is pitching in. According to Tom Friedman,In a world in which more and more average work can be done by a computer, robot or talented foreigner faster, cheaper “and just as well,” vanilla doesn’t cut it anymore. It’s all about what chocolate sauce, whipped cream and cherry you can put on top. So our schools have a doubly hard task now — not just improving reading, writing and arithmetic but entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity.Seriously, there is something wrong with the American economy if everyone needs to be a superstar to have a chance at a decent livelihood. Not everyone has chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and cherries, as far as talent is concerned. I would challenge Fred and other economic superstars here to think a little more about this.

    1. kidmercury

      the solution is monetary policy. people have no idea how much richer we all would be if there was sound money. real estate, healthcare, food, transportation, energy would all be MUCH lower. many people would be able to support a full family with just a part-time job.but of course, to fix monetary policy we must first learn the truth about it — the truth that will set us free…..

      1. Dave Pinsen

        I was going to spend a few minutes explaining why gold buggery isn’t the panacea you think it is, Kid (in fact, a weaker dollar now might help smooth out some economic imbalances), but then I was struck by the realization that as much as I think you are a kook, a number of other commenters here probably think I’m a kook too. That realization sapped me of the motivation to write the explanation, but I’m sure you can find it elsewhere if you are interested.If, by some chance, you’re interested in more of my thoughts on the subject I touched on in my initial comment, see here, or here, for starters.And give a few bucks to Donors Choose, if you haven’t already. Even if you don’t think it’s the best use for your charity dollars, do it to for Fred. He gives us an interesting blog to read every day, so think of this like his tip jar.

        1. kidmercury

          i don’t think gold is a panacea, i do think it is the safest store of value — something it has been since 1999, and something i think it will continue to be. return to a gold standard is better than what we currently have, and is closer to a panacea, but the real panacea is using virtual currencies to recreate and manage the global money supply, in my opinion. i’ve blogged about this extensively on my kook blog.weaker dollar good for the economy… i love the stuff the silly fascists print in their propaganda publications: trickle down economics, weak currency is good….”bank holiday” is my favorite (when they shut the banking system down they call it a holiday….lol….when you or i stop going to work it’s called a strike, when they do it it’s a “holiday”…lol, still cracks me up)i read your blog posts. i agree with your logic, but i view those as ancillary issues. everything stems from monetary policy. it is simple, the international banking cartel prints all the money and buys everything up (private and public property). with this past bailout episode they are blatantly doing it to preposterous levels, like right out in the open, just printing trillions and giving it to themselves. that’s the problem. that’s what causes a weak dollar, that’s what causes high prices, that’s what causes excessive wealth concentration that turns capitalism into fascism. well, that and a population that puts up with money to donor’s choose because fred blogs? lol, you’re cracking me up today, dave. more likely fred should be sharing ad revenue with me and you — after all we’re giving him content for his site too. but i don’t want any phony federal reserve notes, i want honest money. that’s why i want to try to build a community for AVC in which we can use fredbucks. i just hope we can call it fredbucks, i find the name to be lots of fun.

          1. fredwilson

            Why is gold valuable? Because people value it? Will they continue to? It has no cash flow, no yield. Look forward not backward for the new gold

          2. kidmercury

            check my official gold sales pitch boss. gold isn’t rising, it’s the dollar that’s falling. gold is what has served as money for thousands of years; it is nature’s way of managing the money supply, that is why there is this big spiritual thing around gold, and why gold and kookology are closely related (gold bugs are almost always kooks). as for whether or not gold will continue to be the most popular commodity that is bartered, we can look at what the central banks use as money. they still are very interested in gold. if it is good enough for the richest people in the world i think it is good enough for me too.but i do agree you got the new gold in zynga….in fact once the right social gaming company develops the incentives to push growth of their money supply and is proving itself to manage a sound economy, i may have to sell all my gold for some of those virtual currencies!

          3. Dave Pinsen

            Kid,I’m not saying a perennially weaker dollar is good for the economy. Just that the global imbalances that lead to this crisis need to be remedied, and a currency adjustment might facilitate that. It may not be the best way to facilitate that. I think we’d be better off tackling it in other ways (e.g., by advocating policies that would encourage more foreign companies to set up factories here; by shifting our tax system to one that increases taxes on consumption and lowers them on income and businesses, etc.).It’s worth noting, though, that populists used to be on the opposite side of yours on gold (e.g., William Jennings Bryan’s “Cross of Gold”), and that this country has had some nasty deflationary depressions that started when we had gold-backed money.

          4. kidmercury

            the deflationary spiral following the crash of 1929 was not caused by the gold standard, as revisionist economists like to tell people. it was caused by what causes most bubbles, which is excessive expansion of the supply of money and credit throughout the 20s (the “roaring 20s”). this expansion resulted from the changes in monetary policy that occurred after the federal reserve act of 1913, which basically transferred monetary policy from congress to the privately owned banking cartel known as the federal reserve. this act is unconstitutional, and thus the federal reserve is unconstitutional, but who has time for such small details.the bust is the bubble correcting itself. this time, because there is no gold standard to institute discipline and allow the market to correct itself, we stand to get a deep stagflation — the job losses associated with deflation, and the high prices resulting from inflation (hence we are having a “jobless recovery” — recovery meaning high prices, jobless meaning no one getting paid more. except goldman sachs, of course).gold is not perfect, but fiat money is insanity. throughout history, countries that pursue an imperial agenda with a fiat currency end in hyperinflation (i.e. roman empire, weimar republic).

    2. fredwilson

      Ok. I accept the challenge. Where do I start?

      1. Dave Pinsen

        One starting point would be to read this post of mine that I linked to in my response to the Kid, How not to create broad-based prosperity and let me know your thoughts on it. At least a couple of progressive pundits have taken a stab at the question of what average Americans can do for a living with many good-paying jobs having been outsourced (neither seems to focus as much on the jobs that have been insourced). Matt Miller, of the Center for American Progress, is one of them, and I address his take in that post. Michael Lind, of the New America Foundation, is another, and I address his (similar) take briefly in this post, “The Nobility of Manufacturing”.In a nutshell, Miller and Lind both argue that service jobs such as health aides can provide provide a path to the middle class for most average Americans. I disagree, for reasons I elaborate on in the links above.I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I think we’d be better off if we limited unskilled immigration, which increases unemployment and lowers wages for native unskilled workers, and enacted policies that facilitated the creation of more high-paying manufacturing jobs in the U.S.Related to this, I noticed a couple of correlations last year, and blogged about them at the time (A tale of two states: Utah versus Rhode Island): one of the states with the highest unemployment at this time last year (Rhode Island) also had high taxes on business and high energy costs (specifically, industrial electricity rates). That suggested to me that increasing domestic supplies of lower cost forms of energy and lowering taxes on businesses (or, more specifically, manufacturers) might facilitate the creation of more domestic manufacturing jobs. We still lead the world in manufacturing output, but I think more Americans would be better off if manufacturing comprised a significantly greater share of employment.

        1. fredwilson

          I’ll read it Dave but the only religion I suscribe to is open is good and that extends to borders

          1. Dave Pinsen

            I happen to think that an immigration policy more along the lines of the ones in place in Australia or Canada would make more sense for us, but what are your opinions of the rest of what I wrote?

          2. fredwilson

            i have some reading to do

          3. Dave Pinsen

            OK. Looking forward to reading your thoughts on this subject.

          4. Dave Pinsen

            Fred,Another, more concrete way to think about this: what do you imagine the NYC public school students who don’t have the aptitude for college will be able to do for a living when they graduate? Will there be jobs for them at any of your portfolio companies? Will any of your entrepreneur or investor friends have jobs for them?Not that those who do go to college and graduate will be assured of jobs afterwords, but a society needs to be able to provide a means for those of average intelligence to earn a livelihood. If you insource many of the unskilled jobs, and outsource many of the skilled jobs, where does that leave them?

  8. Kevin Prentiss

    Done. Thanks for all you do Fred.

    1. fredwilson

      Thank you!

  9. Facebook User

    Leave it to Fred to use a leverage comparison for a donation 🙂

  10. Helen Kurukulasuriya

    Donated, just bummed that I moved away from NY and can’t go to the meet-up.

    1. fredwilson

      Thanks for giving. Sorry that the meetup is only in nyc