Over the past few years, we’ve seen a blossoming of support for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives across the corporate social responsibility (CSR) sector, with racial equity campaigns front and center.
Through our education crowdfunding nonprofit platform at DonorsChoose, companies and foundations make a tangible impact for public school students by funding learning materials handpicked by teachers. Public schools aren’t created equal — school districts that serve mostly students of color get $23 billion less in state and local funding annually, and teachers of color are steeply underrepresented. Recognizing this, many of our partners have been coming to us, looking for a way to build a more racially equitable public education system.
We’ve honed in on three paths for CSR teams who want to tangibly and authentically foster racial equity in education.
One in four Black teachers in America use DonorsChoose, and we have access to robust school-level student demographic data. This, combined with our hyperlocal funding capabilities, allows partners to zoom in on the exact communities, teachers, and schools they’re passionate about supporting.
For example, Robert F. Smith, Vista Equity Partners, and PowerSchool gave $1.3 million to bring to life 2,161 projects in six southern communities where more than half of Black Americans live and work. Read Robert F. Smith’s letter to our community about this support.
Filling classrooms with diverse & inclusive learning resources
Every teacher and student has a role to play in building a more equitable education system, and making sure teachers have classroom resources that reflect and affirm a diversity of identities brings us closer to that goal. From books featuring protagonists of color to crayons that express a diversity of skin tones, culturally-responsive materials are shown to have a positive impact on students’ overall learning and success.
Inspired by The Allstate Foundation’s desire to support inclusive classrooms at scale, we launched a new project category: Racial Justice & Representation. Since we launched this category in August 2021, 32,000 donors have given to such projects, bringing more than 13,000 of them to life.
“Thank you so much for your contributions. [Students] both love the multicultural library space and use this space to engage with peers on topics like diversity, inclusion and justice. THANK YOU!” —Ms. Shaw, Grades 3–5, Syracuse, NY, Building a Multicultural Library with Flex Seating
Supporting insights through direct research initiatives
Teachers’ voices and perspectives are often overlooked in public discussions, and passing the mic to educators is a powerful way CSR teams can elevate front-line solutions from the teachers closest to the issue. By providing funding incentives for teachers to participate in research and surveys, companies expand DEI field’s overall knowledge, while providing material support to classrooms.
A coalition of anonymous funders teamed up to support the biggest ever survey on the experiences of male teachers of color. Teachers who participated in the survey received $300 in DonorsChoose funding as a thank you, and partners sustained support by fully funding projects from Black male educators across the country.
Our team would be excited to work with you to build a custom DEI CSR campaign that achieves your goals, aligns with your brand, and truly brings us towards a more racially equitable public education system. Contact us to learn more!