1. What are lessons about leading people and managing organizations provided by DonorsChoose.org and its founder and CEO, Charles Best?
The organization provides a wealth of experience and lesson regarding managing people and institutions at large. The founder of this charity and social non-profit making organization, Charles Best, serves as a perfect example of the kind of responsible and concerned leadership we would like to see in our societies if we want to push on as a community. The formation of DonorsChoose.org specifically to meet academic and educational needs of the learners (especially those from the low-income backgrounds) is a strong lesson that all leaders should embrace. It starts by identifying the real needs and demands of students/learners. Having identified these practical needs, the leaders should then look forward into approaches and methods of meeting these basic needs by arranging for financing. It is worth noting that leadership is not only about identifying the needs but also solving these needs. Leadership is a personal initiative which demands personal sacrifice and denial like did Best when he funded the project with his little savings and salary before receiving financial assistance from donor organizations and well-wishers.
2. What do you like about DonorsChoose.org? What do you dislike about DonorsChoose.org? Explain your answer
DonorsChoose.org is an educational charity foundation which operates online and allows charity contributions from all the well-wishers and individuals. The organization accepts as little as $1 and then creates a pool of these resources. What interests me most about this organization is the level of accountability and transparency. DonorsChoose.org operates in Columbia District and the selection process of the projects is very transparent. The institutions from which the projects are chosen provide credible information based on the needs of the students. However, DonorsChoose.org funding is only restricted to K12 institutions, thus limiting other needy and aid-deserving students from getting access to these donor funds. This is not highly welcomed; therefore, DonorsChoose.org should consider expanding the financial aid to cater for all the needy group of students irrespective of their educational levels.
3. What challenges did DonorsChoose face as a start-up organization?
Being a start-up organization, DonorsChoose.org faces a number of challenges ranging from financial to administration. However, the major challenges facing DonorsChoose.org are its inability to adequately meet the increasing education resource needs in the public schools. Like other start-up charity organizations, DonorsChoose.org has access to limited financial resources which limits its ability to deliver to the demands of the public institutions as it heavily depends on personal donations. Besides, the potential long-terms investors have not fully developed trust in the ability of this organization to provide for the diverse educational needs of the United States. The organization also embattle with transparency and financial unaccountability.
4. What challenges does DonorsChoose face in today's environment?
Today's environment poses a great degree of threat to the success of DonorsChoose.org. For instance, the main environmental challenge for DonorsChoose.org is technological advancements. With the rise in technology and innovativeness, this organization suffers from the rise in the cases of cyber and internet crimes. The security of the internet has been put to test over the last decades as more incidences of internet crime and hacking of the sites drives away potential financers because of security threats. The other challenge DonorsChoose.org faces is managerial and diverse economic crisis, which further limits a number of contributions made.
5. How do the challenges that you discussed in questions 3 and 4 relate to the management challenges - globalization; leading a diverse workforce; and ethics, character, and personal integrity - that are discussed in the text?
The above-mentioned challenges are brought about by the changing global dynamics. With the globalization of world economies, leadership (especially in the financial institutions) has become a major challenge. The act of leadership entails leading from the front. Therefore, DonorsChoose.org leaders must not only focus on financial resources but also workforce and integrity. It is through such an initiative that the organization would be able to achieve its goals and objectives effectively without compromising the quality of education.
6. DonorsChoose describes its mission as follows:
"DonorsChoose.org engages the public in public schools by giving people a simple, accountable and personal way to address educational inequity." Its vision is articulated as follows: "We envision a nation where children in every community have the tools and experiences needed for an excellent education." How does this mission and vision guide DonorsChoose in addressing the challenges that you discussed in the preceding three questions?
Even as DonorsChoose.org attempts to meet its missions and core values, the organization faces a number of challenges. In order to address these challenges, DonorsChoose.org focuses on its mission and vision. As outlined in the mission statement, DonorsChoose.org is founded on transparency and sound financial policies which enhance financial accountability. However, to improve the quality of education among low-income communities and achieve equality in education, DonorsChoose.org practices fairness in project betting and resource allocation.
7. What particular aspects of DonorsChoose.org would other organizations either nonprofit or for-profit organizations; do well to emulate? Explain your answer
The success of DonorsChoose.org is a good lesion for both profitable and non-profitable organizations. The higher degree of resource accountability and transparency are worth emulating. Therefore, organizations with the desire to success should start by focusing on equality and sound financial policies which are consistent with the organization's mission and core values.