#BestSchoolDay: Ripple and DonorsChoose.org
While much has been discussed about how digital assets impact the financial sector, there has so far been little discussion around how it will affect philanthropy. Blockchain-based global payments company Ripple wanted to change that by making a record-breaking donation using a digital asset (XRP), and in doing so, raise the profile of digital assets as a usable and beneficial asset for good.
Both Ripple and DonorsChoose.org share a passion for accessibility; Ripple is dedicated to making international money transfers faster and less expensive, while DonorsChoose.org helps make a great education attainable for every student in America, regardless of their community’s affluence. Ripple wanted to fund every single project on DonorsChoose.org in a single day, and donated $29 million in celebration of the 3rd annual DonorsChoose.org #BestSchoolDay celebration to accomplish just that.
Instrumental to the success of this campaign was surprise. No teachers or donors were given advance notice, enabling the DonorsChoose.org team to build a viral frenzy of excitement and anticipation. In the 24 hours leading up to the announcement, the DonorsChoose.org team teased a mystery announcement through email and on social media, encouraging donors and teachers to tune in to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Because teachers were familiar with #BestSchoolDay from previous years’ celebrations, some even guessed correctly that Colbert would announce the third #BestSchoolDay.
Once Colbert announced that Ripple fully funded every project on DonorsChoose.org with a single donation, the DonorsChoose.org team sent emails to donors and teachers including an announcement video from Ripple and DonorsChoose.org, sharing Ripple’s values. Teachers were encouraged to share what this donation meant for their classroom, and flocked to social media sharing heartfelt videos and messages of gratitude to Ripple.
Along with fully funding every project on DonorsChoose.org, Ripple selected 10 projects near participating employees’ hometowns that were funded in honor of that employee. The DonorsChoose.org research team analyzed the long-term impact of Ripple’s donation on the DonorsChoose.org marketplace and conducted teacher surveys to understand the qualitative impact on classrooms. Results were shared with Ripple employees in the form of coffee table books and impact reports, so that the full staff could see and celebrate the impact they helped create.
As a result:
- More than 1,000,000 students gained resources and learning opportunities
- 74% of teachers said the resources funded have had a large impact on their students’ education
- 82% of funded schools serve students predominantly from low-income households
- 1 in 6 US public schools received learning resources through this donation
- Compared to other major campaign days, there was a 20% increase in the number of donors inspired to give through DonorsChoose.org in the following weeks
- Over 50 national and local media stories ran, helping to support Ripple’s brand visibility and favorability
- On the day of the donation, Ripple was mentioned 5,000 times on Twitter
- Over the week following the announcement, Ripple was mentioned 34,600 times across social media, and 90% of those engagements were positive