Donors Choose 2009: Help Kids, Win Books

As you may have seen on some other ScienceBlogs blogs, it’s time again for the annual DonorsChoose fundraiser:

If you haven’t been here in past years, DonorsChoose is a charity dedicated to education. They take specific proposals from school teachers looking for items to help their classes– anything from pens and paper to classroom furniture, to smart boards and computer projectors– and allow donors to choose specific classroom projects that appeal to them. We’ve run a fundraiser for them every year since ScienceBlogs was started.

This year, they’ve expanded beyond blogs, to a more general “Social Media Challenge.” They’ve also abandoned the specific financial goals for individual blogs, meaning that any threshold for a big incentive will be an arbitrary choice later. I still haven’t heard a good big incentive suggestion, so if you’ve got a brilliant idea, leave it in the comments over there.

I can, however, offer some smaller incentives that will hopefully inspire a few people to donate: free books. I have one spare galley proof of How to Teach Physics to Your Dog left, and the finished books are scheduled to start rolling off the presses in mid-to-late November. So, two incentives:

  • I will give one advance copy of the book (choice of galley proof or finished copy) to the largest individual donation to my challenge during October.
  • I will give at least one advance copy of the book to a donor chosen at random from those who contribute to the challenge.

(The weasel wording is because if I get lots of qualifying donations I may give out more than one, so the odds of winning aren’t too bad).

In addition, as in past years, a donation of $20 gets you the right to ask a question of your choosing and have me answer it on the blog.

So, if any of these sound attractive to you, make a donation to the challenge, and forward a copy of the confirmation email to to claim your prize.

Obligatory disclaimers: Residents of Chateau Steelypips and their immediate families are not eligible for the free books– you’ll get yours later. People who wrote cover blurbs/ beta reader reports, ditto.

Incentive offers may be combined, so a $100 donation would get you five questions answered and also qualify for the drawing and potentially the biggest donor prize.

I reserve the right to refuse to answer questions that I deem inappropriate for whatever reason. If I refuse to answer something, I will tell you that, and give you the chance to ask another question.