Results tagged “donations” from kwc blog

Some more love for East Palo Alto

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A kind anonymous donor has come in as a matcher for the Matching Donations Project. This donor has selected East Palo Alto Charter School, a not-for-profit charter school started by parents in 1997.

Matching Donations Project

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After Hurricane Katrina hit, my company offered to match any contributions to the Red Cross. I thought this was a fantastic way for my company to encourage donation. Not long after my dad and I matched donations with one another for the holiday season.

This season I'd like to do something similar, but bigger. I thought, why not match other people's donations? That can be fun in itself, but I'm not super rich; I still need enough money to buy a Nintendo Wii to help... myself. Then I thought, what if multiple people could team up to match donations? The more that can be matched, the more that people can give. It also makes it easier on me: if two people team up to match donations, then I only have to match $0.50 for every dollar donated; if three people, $0.33; and so on... Thus came the idea of the Matching Donations Project. Thankfully, m has already stepped up to help out.

There are two ways to participate:

1) Donate to any of the charities below and send me a receipt (please indicate whether or not you wish to be anonymous): contact

OR

2) Agree to match contributions and add your own charity to the list above. You must a) agree to match at least $250 and b) donate $50 up front.

  • Current totals: $250 ($500)
  • Matching funds left: $1000 out of $1250

Current Matchers: * kwc * m * 1 anonymous donor

Do I expect a huge number of people to participate in this? No. But I figured nothing bad could come of trying this, so why not?

FAQ in the extended.

Unintentionally interesting

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Multiple people had been telling me about Neighbor Search, which lets you look up who contributed to what political campaign. You can either seach by name or you can input your zip code and see what turns up.

I found a particularly devious use of the tool: it happens to be a really good way of looking up the address of famous people. You also find out who they gave money to, as well as what they list their occupation as.

It all started when I started trolling through Los Altos donations and I noticed Andy Grove's name (head of Intel). I then tried the next Bay Area CEO that popped to mind -- Steve Jobs -- and was able to find his wife listed. Silicon Valley CEOs are kinda boring, though so I started typing in the names of famous actors and musicians. At first I was discouraged, until I started typing in the names of known politically active celebrities and came across Susan Sarandon. My first real celebrity, at last! Strangely, I couldn't find Tim Robbins, but perhaps his real name is different.

Typing in the names of various celebrities, as well as looking up their real names to search on, wasn't paying off as fast as much short attention span would allow. I needed to get more matches quickly. I thought to myself, "If I was a famous person, where would I live?" Bel Air, Beverly Hills 90210? Bingo! Between the zipcodes for the two areas the names came rolling in. Here's a partial list (a question mark means it's unclear if it's correct):

- Susan Sarandon
- Andy Grove
- Steve Jobs
- Jon Bon Jovi (?)
- Helen Hunt
- Johnnie Cochran
- Mary Steenbergen
- Mel Brooks
- Ted Danson
- Mike Myers
- Larry David
- Paul Reiser
- Mike McCready (Pearl Jam guitarist)
- Leonard Nimoy
- Melanie Griffith
- Michael Douglas (?)

Also, the job titles you see listed are often interesting. Here are some of the jobs titles from a single zip code search (90200):

- Executive, Warner Brothers
- Producer/CEO, Jim Henson Co
- Chairman/CEO, Warner Bros Entertainment Inc
- Executive Producer, Walt Disney Studios
- Producer, Sony Pictures
- Executive, Castle Rock
- Chairman, BMI Music
- President, Sony Work Group

Clearly, there are easier ways of getting the addresses of famous people. A $5 map to the stars probably gives a thousand times as many names as this, but for some reason I find this indirect method particularly entertaining.