Charles Best coaxed his colleagues at a public high school in the Bronx to try out his website aimed at raising money for school projects by tempting them with his mother's pear tartlet.
Both the dessert and Donors-Choose.org were hits.
Since that day 12 years ago, the former social studies teacher's company has raised about $100 million from more than 822,000 people for supplies and projects at schools around the nation. Teachers posting their needs have received everything from pencils, paper and toner to touch-screen tablets for students with cerebral palsy.
“Today we have more than 2,500 projects on the site seeking funding,” Mr. Best said during his keynote address at the sixth annual Community Leadership Awards dinner Sept. 13. About 500 people from 100 financial firms attended the event in New York.
The charitable site has been especially valuable to teachers whose classrooms were destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York and by the May 2011 tornado in Joplin, Mo., Mr. Best said.
Awards in five categories were presented by the Invest in Others Charitable Foundation and InvestmentNews to financial advisers who have made an impact on their communities with their charitable involvement and leadership.
The honorees range from a Kansas adviser who created a charity to employ people with special needs, including his two sons, to a Virginia wealth adviser who raised money to build a school and develop other resources for a poor rural community in Kenya.
(See profiles of the honorees in this section. Profiles of all 15 nominees were published in the Sept. 10 issue of InvestmentNews.)
The Invest in Others Charitable Foundation will make a $20,000 donation to the charity of each honoree. In addition, a donation of $5,000 will go to the charities of each of the other 10 finalists.
“The honorees' stories of hope and determination are truly inspirational, as each of them uniquely exemplifies both the mission of Invest in Others and the powers of a single individual to make a profound and lasting difference in the lives of others,” said Kandis Bates, president of the foundation.
She also announced a new program that will provide grants of up to $5,000 to advisers on behalf of a charity they actively support.
Requests will be accepted through Feb. 1, and recipients will be announced in May.
CASADYS DONATE FUNDS
Initial funding for the Invest in Others Catalyst Grant program will come from LPL Financial Holdings Inc. chief executive Mark Casady and his wife, Julia.
Suzanne Siracuse, publisher of InvestmentNews, recognized the advisory industry as a “great profession to allow the honorees and finalists to be able to dedicate their efforts to do more for their communities.”
Each dinner attendee was given a chance to continue the charitable spirit of the evening with a $50 gift card to apply toward any school project listed on the Donors Choose.org website.
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