Donors Choose Campaign: Update

We've been running the Good Things Come To Those Who Code campaign here on AVC for two weeks.  We've raised about $12,000 from about 50 folks. That's a lot of generosity from a relatively small number. So thanks to everyone who has given to date.

I think we can do better and get more folks involved so I am going to throw out an incentive:

On September 23rd, here in NYC, we are going to throw a big party to celebrate the 10th anniversary of AVC. I am going to pay for this event and it is going to be open to everyone. It's going to be based on the "Cheers" theme that I've talked about from time to time here at AVC. I am going to tend bar and I hope that many of the AVC regulars can make it. I will share more details of this event as I nail them down.

We are going to have VIP passes for this event. Some of you have earned them by virtue of your participation here over the past ten years. But I am not going to announce the VIP list for a while. One way to get on the VIP list is to donate to the Good Things Come To Those Who Code campaign. The folks who have already donated are on the VIP list. If you want to join them, go here and give.

#hacking education

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    I donated without the reward, but who doesn’t like a party!On my calendar.

    1. fredwilson

      you were on the list anyway Arnold

    2. Cam MacRae

      Indeed. Donating is its own reward, no? Perhaps I’ll find an excuse to be in NYC late September…

      1. awaldstein

        True but nudges sure don’t hurt when done well.NYC in September can be great (actually great all the time) so give it some thought.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          I’m hoping it makes sense for me to come into NYC then – I’ll only know closer to the date.

          1. awaldstein

            Just do it if it matters to you.Who is that busy or that important or that scattered that they can’t be away for 24 hours?No one is the answer;)

          2. Donna Brewington White

            When I came for the last AVC party I was in town for 36 hours and am still incredulous at what I packed in! Put me on your calendar!

          3. awaldstein


          4. William Mougayar

            Book early so you don’t have to scramble for places to stay or travel costs.

          5. awaldstein

            I take that as a commitment William. I’ll take the day of for lunch or the day after for dinner!

          6. William Mougayar

            Yes for sure I’ll be there.

        2. Cam MacRae

          September and May are my favourite months. Perfect weather.

          1. awaldstein

            You know the old saying: Never complain about the weather, the noise, the dirt, the crowds and the expense.(Will agree though that when you have sideways freezing rain it does kinda suck to get around.)

          2. Cam MacRae

            Only thing I ever complain about is the commute!

          3. ShanaC

            Me too. It is amazing to hike through NYC parks during September or may

          4. laurie kalmanson

            growing up in the city, new back to school clothes were always too warm in late sept when autumn turned back to summer for a few glorious days. it needs a better name than “indian summer”

    3. Aaron Klein

      Same here. It’s on my calendar and hoping to make it.

      1. awaldstein

        Great.If you do, this time I’m thinking I get you downtown for a drink, Ten Bells maybe.

        1. Aaron Klein

          You’re on!

    4. baba12

      well I did not donate, I don’t get rewarded for donating, nor do I get not rewarded for not donating. Either case it wouldn’t matter. If I donate it would be because I believe in it. I donate to Thirteen, WFUV, WNYC, WBAI, KCRW,WGBH, I believe in what they are doing. I donate to a few organizations that are providing basic healthcare in countries in Africa and Asia. I give to the local community groups in Brooklyn that work with kids in Brownsville section of Brooklyn.I will support this effort that Mr.Wilson is supporting but I wonder if there is a ulterior motive or is it purely a function of wanting to do something right.I am consciously trying to be at the intersection of being “humble”, “self confident” and “non judgemental”. I still have a long way to go o be “non judgemental”.

  2. William Mougayar

    Lol. Great to see a VC apply incentives that startups use on a regular basis to attract users.Another trick is to do referrals, ie have those that donated forward to a handful of friends, or re-tweet the donation link.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      The publicity would be great, not sure if the location could handle 1000s of people though.Maybe @fredwilson:disqus would arrange a rooftop party if that’s the case? 😉

  3. Joel Natividad

    I donated because kids are our future. But I do hope to make the “Very Inspired People” list 🙂

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Very Inspired People. Love it.

      1. Greening

        Will compile a list of very “inspiring” people. No pass for guessing who will be the first name on it.

      2. Joel Natividad

        Inspired by a true “Very Inspiring Person” 🙂 And speaking of VIPs, Steve Job once said “One way to remember who you are is to remember who your heroes are.”

        1. Matt A. Myers

          My heroes I more consider mentors, people who have said things that resonate with me – qualities and characteristics I find attractive. That’s a great quote though. Who we want to be around or think of is a reflection of who we are or will become more like; We are what we think.

    2. baba12

      hmm inspring or inspired?

  4. Matt A. Myers

    Do you know if you’ll have Google Glasses to let us play with?

  5. Tom Labus

    I look forward to meeting you all in person and have a few drinks too.

  6. William Mougayar

    If you want to tweet the campaign link, just click here:(you can change the text before the tweet once it loads)…It includes a link which goes straight to that page.

    1. laurie kalmanson

      done. thank you.

    2. mikenolan99

      Done and Done!

  7. laurie kalmanson

    I donated #becauseawesomeThe requests were so basicAll kids should have the schools that help them build all the skills they need with all the tools available

    1. Donna Brewington White

      It was heartbreaking to see what classrooms need…math manipulatives…clay…[sigh]

      1. laurie kalmanson

        Colored pencils for drawing projects. How is it possible that schools are so starved of resources

    2. awaldstein

      I helped buy a table for a classroom devastated by Sandy. A table!

      1. laurie kalmanson

        i gave to these two:1. My students need a chart easel so I can take notes along with them, reminding them visually what is important.2.My students need colored pencil sets, so they can render their city scape perspectives and bring them to life!it’s so sadwhen a piano was destroyed by flood damage at my daughter’s school, parents replaced it promptly … we are fortunate to be able to send her there but it is so very wrong that other schools are fundraising for basic resourcesrelated: the ludicrousness of people having change jars are checkout counters for transplants/cancer care etc because they don’t have healthcare insurance or that even with insurance they can’t pay the bills

      2. ShanaC

        Calculators for a Staten Island school

        1. awaldstein

          Cool.It’s so interesting the joy that these campaigns and giving through KickStarter capture.I’ve never done a KickStarter project for myself but nudged and nudged a friend and helped her launch a project to write a book about the Jura (…. Obscure place with wonderful wines that really don’t get that widely distributed cause there’s not a lot it.Been super successful and I just feel good. I’ll take that feeling anytime.

  8. Donna Brewington White

    So what comes with a VIP pass?Although I’d come anyway and donate anyway.I almost waited to donate when I could give a larger amount and then it occurred to me that I could donate more than once!How long will the campaign last?

    1. fredwilson

      I am still figuring out what will come with a VIP pass. This event is very much a work in progress

  9. Donna Brewington White

    Sort of on this topic my 17 y.o. finished a codecademy course and now just ordered something from Amazon on HTML/CSS and is talking about taking classes. It is still in the hobby category for him but I have some ideas about where this might lead. We’ll see… Of course everything must be his idea at this age but I’d like to think that some of the things I’ve been telling him are getting through. He is beginning to realize that he has many of the makings of an entrepreneur.

    1. William Mougayar

      That’s impressive Donna. Do you think your hanging around here rubbed off on him, or it came to him from elsewhere?

      1. Donna Brewington White

        AVC has had a huge influence.BTW, did I ever mention the time that my son and I were having a disagreement and he said “I bet Fred Wilson would agree with me.” ?

        1. LE

          “I bet Fred Wilson would agree with me.”I think that’s a dangerous path to support (an appeal to someone you respect which doesn’t mean you agree with everything Fred says, thinks or does anyway).Better to encourage your son to present evidence of why he thinks you are wrong and he is right, without quoting some person of any fame etc.Even if he is 17 years old if he can present compelling evidence by research. or by building a case just like a lawyer would. I think that allows him to grow intellectually when he finally gets you on board to agree. And teaches him how to “sell” which is a really important skill. You reward the effort he takes to present his case in a logical manner. If he’s to lazy to do that you don’t change your mind. Simply saying “Well Steve Jobs would have” is to easy and takes no effort.I had to do that as a kid and it has helped me a great deal in getting what I want both as a kid and later in life. The effort and research to support your POV always pays off.

          1. Donna Brewington White

            I agree LE. This kid’s ability to make a case would amaze even you and exhaust most people. It is not easy being the parent of a kid like this.

          2. panterosa,

            My father was a lawyer, same as his father. PantherKitty’s dad is a legal reporter. She spins some crazy cases. Fortunately she has a sense of humor, so I call her bluff and we just laugh.

        2. William Mougayar

          That’s a funny one.

          1. Donna Brewington White

            Apparently Fred is “cooler” than I am.

        3. baba12

          I am always reminded of Dennis the Menace & mr.Wilson :)…

          1. fredwilson

            Me too

        4. fredwilson

          I bet I would

    2. ShanaC

      Good for him,

      1. Donna Brewington White

        We’ll see how this mixes with his ambition to go to culinary school — which was in part the result of an idea he has for a business.

        1. LE

          That’s pretty in vogue right now. Not sure the job opportunities (given the increased interest) are as good as with CS. Also long term – even if “hot” right now what will it be when he actually graduates?That said I would definitely research all of that before he goes down a particular path.It’s not just about doing what you want.It’s about finding something practical to do that you also like and that you can earn a living from. Simply liking something is not enough. You have to have good chance of earning a living from whatever you choose or it’s a non-starter (assuming parents aren’t going to support you with a trust fund.)

        2. panterosa,

          Donna, foodie + code = ? Good for him!I have a foodie child as well, but she is younger, and doesn’t code. I will have to hear how this develops!

        3. Cam MacRae

          Mixed ambitions are good; he’ll most likely have 2 or 3 careers.

        4. ShanaC

          honestly, who knows, I do know that most restaurant sites are fugly!

          1. andyidsinga

            amazing how many in the tourism industry are horrible too!

    3. RichardF

      fantastic Donna, I’d recommend he gets CSS: The Missing Manual

      1. Donna Brewington White

        Thank you, Richard. You have a great track record in recommending books to me so I ordered this immediately.

          1. kidmercury

            w3schools — basically my CSS reference manual right there

          2. Donna Brewington White

            Thanks for the recommendation LE and for the endorsement @kidmercury:disqus . Sending the link to him now.

        1. ShanaC

          I loved that book – it was excellent. I think he should learn a raw scripting language – what does he want to do with his new skills

    4. Noah Lackstein

      When I was around that age and dipping my toes into coding and creating, my dad would always tell me that he’d give me all the tools that I needed, but that it was up to me to build something with them. It was like a challenge; there was always something new to learn and build.

      1. Donna Brewington White

        That’s cool, Noah. Smart dad. Does he have a tech background?

        1. Noah Lackstein

          Nope, but he was very entrepreneurial.

    5. fredwilson


  10. David Petersen

    Fine. But not because I am paying to hang out with Fred. I think kids should code. Really!

    1. fredwilson

      I should pay to hang out with all of you. Oh right, I am going to do that

  11. campryenwater

    For those that struggle with a donation number, consider 31.41 or even better 3,141.59. Also, don’t forget to utilize the matching gift program from your companies as appropriate. I know I will, thus adding a 1:1 match. JJD – Inspired on a Sunday…

  12. laurie kalmanson

    booking the date now. #becauseawesome excited to see irl and virtual friends f2f with the best bartender ever. question: will a certain large robot dino be in attendance?

    1. fredwilson

      I sure hope so

      1. laurie kalmanson

        oh me 2 me 2 me 2

        1. laurie kalmanson

          perhaps for extra donations to donors choose he might be encouraged to autograph things …

  13. Brandon Burns

    fred will be the bartender, but what about everyone else? would be awesome if folks came “in character.”i think i’ve got a blow torch prop for kid somewhere… 😉



      1. Brandon Burns

        will you come in costume? or will we all be treated to your revealed human identity (if you evenhave one)?

        1. FAKE GRIMLOCK

          MAYBE, AND NO.

          1. LE

            It makes more sense to come as you but not labeled as you assuming anyone who knows “you” won’t reveal who you are. That way it’s a great guessing game as far as “who is the real fake grimlock”. Much better strategy to keep the myth going.

          2. Brandon Burns

            i like this. but i also want to see him drink through that dino head piece. either way, we’ll be entertained by fake grimlock, as always.

      2. jason wright

        I’ll take mine IV – more talk time

    2. laurie kalmanson

      name tags with avatars

      1. Donna Brewington White

        At the last one @panterosa:disqus wore a Pink Panter t-shirt as a clue.

        1. laurie kalmanson

          that is awesome. i have astro boy knick knacks but not a t-shirt … hmmm ebay …

        2. panterosa,

          Donna, good memory. I should get more animated pink cat bling than a t shirt…………

      2. fredwilson

        Daniel Ha will have to provide those

        1. laurie kalmanson

          DIY — we all have lots of badges from conferences … turn one over … draw / paste / print on the back … reduce reuse recycle

    3. fredwilson


  14. ShanaC

    Err I guess this means I will wash dishes?

    1. fredwilson

      Not a chance.

      1. ShanaC

        but you’ll need help bartending?

  15. kirklove

    F the VIP list. I want to be on the #punk list.

    1. fredwilson


  16. RichardF

    oh wow, I’ll have to work hard to get a pass from Mrs F to visit NYC without her…gulp!

    1. markslater

      i am an expert at the pubs richard.

      1. RichardF

        I have no doubt mark 😉

  17. scottythebody

    Oooo… Enticing prospect. If I made it a short enough trip: no jet lag.

    1. fredwilson

      I am not sure but you might be the commenter with the longest tenure at AVC Unless Jackson and Tony Alva make an appearance

  18. Luke Chamberlin

    VIP = Very Important Poster

  19. John Revay

    Any chance that the GothamGal will make a cameo appearance

    1. fredwilson

      Not a cameo. She is cohosting

  20. MJ

    How are you choosing projects for your giving page? I am a former DC teacher. I mow spend my time and resources helping other teachers with DonorsChoose. I especially love teachers who are brand new to DonorsChoose.

    1. fredwilson

      If you teach in a school that teaches computer science/coding, you can get on the giving page

  21. Elie Seidman

    Fantastic cause. And congrats on ten great years and all of your success.

  22. mikenolan99

    I’ll bring some Minnesota Bent River Camembert cheese…

  23. Paul Sanwald

    just donated, in memory of our friend Rich Markwart, an extremely talented programmer and a great friend. I was in a lot of pain when I wrote how I’ll remember rich:…. thirty is far too young.

    1. fredwilson

      Oh man

  24. ericstern

    Done! Thanks Fred for the reminder 🙂

  25. daryn

    Thanks for the reminder, donated last night, right after submitting a larger donation to the federal government :)Also, here’s the VIP reward: a group photo that gets turned into a painting by the artist who did your avatar.

  26. David Semeria

    I’ve often thought about how cool it would be to meet many of the regulars here in person. I hope not to offend anyone, but top of my list are Andy Swan and JLM. If both commit to the party (and assuming we’re all invited) then I commit to flying out from Milan to attend.

  27. leapy

    Wow – I am a long-time lurker but would love to know what you all look like in real life. Please post pics or how about a live webcast for those of us on the other side of the pond and no chance in hell of flying over.

  28. Lynnetta Volentine Bragdon

    Please help me get this funded……lost the Horacemann12 code and really dont want to loose Chase…..PLEASE!

  29. georgebc

    Posting this in case there are still some who want to contribute:Donors Choose doesn’t seem to want to accept international credit card details – it wouldn’t recognise my post code as a valid zip code. For the benefit of those who, like me, are overseas and want to donate, just use the Amazon Payments option since Amazon recognises international payment/address information.