What Cheer uses DonorsChoose API to highlight Omaha schools in need
What Cheer used the DonorsChoose API to create a page of Omaha-area projects in need of funding.
Best spoke Friday morning at Big Omaha about DonorsChoose, the nonprofit organization he founded that allows public school teachers to post classroom project requests and, in turn, lets donors pick specific projects they want to support. When Best mentioned the DonorsChoose API during his talk, it captured the imagination of the guys from What Cheer, an Omaha-based design and development shop. Best's mention of the API coupled with the donation of $10 DonorsChoose gift cards to conference-goers spurred What Cheer's John Henry Müller (above, left) and John Hobbs (above, right) into action.
"It occurred to me that hundreds of people in this room had gift cards and would be looking for projects to give to," Müller said in an email. "A simple page that listed only Omaha projects would be useful and benefit classrooms in our city. The fact that it would be focused around Omaha made it brandable with our I live in Omaha project."
So Müller and Hobbs set to work using the DonorsChoose API to make a subpage for What Cheer's I live in Omaha website. The subpage aggregates all Omaha-area DonorsChoose projects in one place. Though not remarkable in its complexity, the page is noteworthy for its timeliness — Best spoke mid-morning, and the page was up by lunchtime.
"The page is very simple," Müller said. "Simple idea. Simple execution. It was mostly about getting it in front of people right away."
And getting it in front of the right people — you know, Big Omaha … I live in Omaha.
"We branded the page I live in Omaha because the page promotes teachers doing great things in Omaha," Müller said. "It was a natural fit with our project."
The I live in Omaha DonorsChoose page currently features 30 projects in need of funding, and, as Müller made sure to note, the $10 gift cards must be used by May 31. "There is an expiration date on the Donors Choose gift cards," he said. "Big Omaha attendees should use these gift cards right away!"
For people interested in using them for projects in Omaha, that shouldn't be too tough to do.