Walt Doyle, formerly the Director of Teacher Engagement at DonorsChoose.org, knew that the 100Kin10 team wanted to do its part to help partners navigate the network, connect with the right people, and make progress toward their goals.
One morning, Doyle was talking with Julie Paturzo, Senior Manager of Partner Engagement (and 100Kin10 matchmaker extraordinaire), about DonorsChoose.org’s success in Tennessee and its ongoing struggle to reach other rural schools across the country. Paturzo remembered the Orchard Foundation which works with rural populations in Louisiana. As Doyle put it, “to me, that was perfect, that means they know all these schools.” Paturzo made the introduction via email and Doyle followed up, seeking to collaborate with the Orchard Foundation and their extensive network of engaged schools.
Doyle made a proposal to the Orchard Foundation: “You regularly work with schools that we have never funded. If you show those schools how to post a project on DonorsChoose.org, we’ll make sure those projects get funded and you guys get all the credit because you’re the ones who actually went to the schools.” They agreed. A month later, 12 new Louisiana schools had access to STEM learning materials and DonorsChoose.org’s newly created STEM bundle. Afterwards, these two partners created “a monthly touch point” to continue the momentum.