Money

Ripple donates $29 million after nonprofit's founder 'dared' himself to ask

The logo of blockchain company Ripple is seen at the SIBOS banking and financial conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada October 19, 2017.
Chris Helgren | Reuters
The logo of blockchain company Ripple is seen at the SIBOS banking and financial conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada October 19, 2017.

When Charles Best, founder of the nonprofit DonorsChoose.org, emailed Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen with a big ask, he was worried the crypto company exec would "be offended by the ridiculousness" of it, Best tells the San Francisco Chronicle.

He sent the pitch anyway: "I kind of dared myself to send an email pitching an idea 10 times bigger than I've ever pitched before."

Larsen and Ripple responded with a $29 million donation to DonorsChoose.org, the crowdfunding platform Best founded in 2000 that lets teachers post classroom project requests and donors choose which projects they want to support.

On Tuesday night, Ripple pledged to fully fund the site's more than 35,000 classroom requests.

"The teachers behind these projects work with more than a million students who are now going to get materials and experiences that they need to learn," Best said in an announcement on YouTube with Monica Long, senior vice president of marketing at Ripple. "I do not believe there has ever been a day when this many classroom dreams came true."

Best is encouraging teachers to use #BestSchoolDay on social media to share what the donation will do for their classroom.

One music teacher will get to replace broken instruments:

Another teacher will now get to take his students on a week-long trip to Atlanta and Alabama to visit historically black colleges and universities:

And one, who teaches students with autism, will get new arts and crafts supplies:

The donation may not have happened if Best hadn't "dared" himself to pitch his big idea to Larsen and Ripple.

"In 18 years of doing DonorsChoose.org, we have, honestly, honestly, never been this excited," he told the San Francisco Chronicle. "I would say it's the dream coming true, except we never had this dream because it would have been too crazy to even say."

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