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Home » Donors Choose and Contests

Save The Day: April 1

Submitted by on April 1, 2011 – 12:08 AM40 Comments

No fooling, super-friends: we’re underway! Huzzah!

4:30 PM update

As of this writing: $11,170! Great start, everyone. Please scroll down for information on today’s mini-prizes, and don’t forget, for these, you do have to forward me your receipts.

Now let’s talk about the 25K match! It’s very simple: you guys raise 25K by April 8 (one week from today), and the board has authorized a match of another 25K. Cinchy. Make 25K, get 25K. You’ve got a week.

1 PM update

As of this writing, two things: one, we’re somewhere north of 9K; and two, I can’t give you an exact figure because our annual ritual sacrifice of the servers is now in progress. Heh. Well done, lads and ladies. Please stand by (or watch Twitter — the link is at the top left there) for resumption of normal service.

Mini-prizes! I’ve got three (3) signed photos of Michael C. Hall, compliments of the East Fifth Bliss production team and the Couch Baron! EFB was named as the opening film at the Newport Beach film fest just moments ago (I was one of the Costco PAs). To win a photo, donate to either of these fine Florida-based projects about film, then forward me your receipt by midnight ET tonight!

I’ve also got a $25 Amazon gift card for donors to projects about weather and the environment! Donate any amount to a meteorology/environmental project, forward me your receipt, and you could go shopping!

9 AM update

Not bad, overnight shift, not bad: $7,667 as of this writing! And look at those Giving Pages go — thanks, Charmaine and Victory Garden!

First mini-prize of the day: donate to either of these fine Florida-based projects about film, and you could win one of three (3) signed photos of Michael C. Hall, compliments of the East Fifth Bliss production office and the Couch Baron! Do it for the Oscars Death Race!

This is one of those times when you do have to forward me a receipt. To be eligible for the mini-prize, donate to one of those projects, then email me your donation receipt at bunting at tomatonation dot com. Thanks!

Stay tuned for 25K-match news and another mini-prize update.

midnight kickoff update

And now, our old pal the bold-faced progress report…as of this writing, $6,768, which is nearly 3 percent of goal.

A few very quick administrative notes, and then I really must go and lie down (with my Sports Illustrated baseball-preview issue, of course):

1. Go watch the launch video! Mr. Superhead VO, Master Stupidhead’s secret identity (now with more drunk-esque dashing about), tomato puns, Rossini, and the mega-cute offspring of your fellow readers!

2. Yes, donations received prior to official kickoff count towards the total.

3. Qualifying for prizing works differently this year, to wit: unless I notify you otherwise vis-a-vis a specific mini-prize, you don’t have to forward me your receipts. If you do need to forward me something, or do anything else, to qualify for a given prize, I will let you know at that time.

4. In order not to drive my servers nuts, I’ll usually post a single update entry per day, and add new info to it throughout each day. Follow me on Twitter (at TomatoNation, or use the tab at the top left) for more frequent updates (as well as cranky observations about seventh-rate television), or just park it here and refresh every now and then.

5. On that tip, I’ll have the first set of mini-prizes on offer later this AM. A FAQ/link dump will also go up today, aaaaaaaand: matching-funds fun times ahoy! If the TN leaderboard can make 25K by next Friday, we’ll get another 25K!

More details to follow; questions and comments welcome. Now go save this day!




  • Vanessa says:

    So excited about the contest, I stayed up just to donate at its start. Go Nation!

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    …The progress report is immediately out of date. LOVE YOU GUYS.

  • Mariam F. says:

    I’m so excited about this Challenge! Good luck everyone!

  • Helen says:

    Yahoo! And let the Tomato Nation fest begin! :) From one big fan of DC and now, TN!

  • Elyse says:

    oooh…who is matching? Is it from DC?

  • Robin says:

    This little ol’ pumpkin couldn’t stay up past midnight, so I made my starting donations as soon as The Bad Barn Cats woke me up this morning. Puts a much better shine on a wet and cold morning.

  • Christy M says:

    YES! And my birthday is coming up and Donors Choose sent me a $10 birthday gift! I know just what I’m going to do with it!

  • ferretrick says:

    I’m dense, and I’m kind of lost on the whole form my own giving page, and the layout of the front page?? So, everyone is picking their own projects and then the actual projects TN is doing are in the subpages? Sorry, I just kind of find the whole layout overwhelming, and difficult to understand what I’m doing.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    TN is the leaderboard, so EITHER you can form your own Giving Page and pick your own projects that you’d like supported; OR you can donate to the TN Superpage — — if you don’t want/need a Giving Page of your own.

    Whether a project is on the TN Superpage (selected by me) or on another Giving Page (selected by y’all), donating to any project on a Giving Page WITHIN the TN leaderboard counts toward the contest total.

    If it makes things easier for you, just ignore the leaderboard and bookmark the Superpage.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    Also, we’re at $7,853, my bad.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    …$8,253. I don’t know why I bother. (Remember when I had to hand-code these updates? Hee.)

  • bristlesage says:

    Just made my first donation of the contest. I’d say that’s the best feeling, but really, every time I give it’s just as good.

  • Robin says:

    $8,890 on the leaderboard page as of 11:23 AM. Wow.

  • Tal says:

    Initial donations made. I’m with Bristlesage – this feeling never gets old.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    $9,286, doo dah, doo dah!

  • Megan says:

    Darnit it is hard not to blow my entire contest budget in a single day. My obsessive need to complete projects keeps forcing me to revise my budget upwards. Highlights and haircut can wait until May, I suppose.

  • Sarah says:

    Almost $10K? And we just started! That’s $25K mark will be gone by the weekend.

  • Dsayko says:

    Guys, I think we crashed DC. I’ve been having trouble completing donations all morning, and I finally got an error page from them. Well done.

  • ferretrick says:

    Did we crash Donor’s Choose?

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    I believe that the annual “TN donors fry the DC servers” ritual is now in progress. Sorry/thanks for your patience; I will inquire.

  • Tal says:

    “Our site is momentarily unavailable.

    We’re probably busy updating our site to help even more classrooms!

    Or maybe our servers are acting up and we’re working like mad to fix them. :)”

    We crashed it! First crash of the 2011 campaign!

  • Another Elizabeth says:


  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    Anna of the Infinite Powers reports that Oliver and the tech team are dealing with the problem right now (read: “cursing my name once again”). Stand by!

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    …Seems to be working! For now. Heh.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    Just as I posted that, it horked again. Hang in there, everyone!

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    $9,423. Server seems stabilized for the moment, knock wood.

  • Tal says:

    Just got my first “thank you” note from a teacher. *Sniff!*

  • Jen S 1.0 says:

    Yay TN and hope for the human race!

    I just paid rent so I’m going to have to wait a bit, and by that time I’m sure the goal of one MEEEEEEEELLION dollars will have come and gone, but every bit helps, amirite?

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:


  • Driver B says:

    I just donated to a project concerning the National Latin Exam.

    NERDS FTW!!!

  • Rachel says:

    I just paid the mortgage, so my awesomeness will have to wait until mid-month. In the meantime, I am spreading the kickoff video far and wide because my adorable daughter is in it. She’s wearing her The Who shirt and arrives around 2:30. :)

  • attica says:

    Am liking the DC Giving Page set up. Am excited that so many projects have already been completed. Am unsuccessful in stifling the sniffling.

    Feeling pretty tomatoey. Pronouns be damned!

  • darkBlue says:

    @Christy M: April birthdays FTW! I got my $10 too.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    FAQ updated with contest information here:

  • Kat says:

    Every year I eat out a little less so kids can have more…finally have a job (somehow in this economy) where I have Extra at the end of the bills….
    first donation made…already feeling the verklempt…

  • MH says:

    Just set up a giving page with projects focusing on physical activity/sports in honour of the Blue Jays opening night win! :) I love the Tomato Nation contest and give what I can, even though I’m a university student with no income at the moment. Tomato Nation rocks!

  • MAL says:

    I hope I’m not missing something completely obvious. Is there any way to search by keyword within the TN Superpage projects (or any of the other giving pages) like there is for all Donors Choose projects? Or to view them by topic? There is a particular study area I’d like to help fund a few projects in, but wasn’t sure if I’d have to look through them one by one to see if they’re already added or if I should email you a couple of requested additions. Thanks (and apologies if this makes no sense, it’s late)!

  • MAL says:

    Oh, PS, watching the tally rise turned an otherwise bleak day into a truly uplifting one. The nation rocks.

  • Ann says:

    Good morning to all!

    Our family set up 3 unique giving pages to make it easier to find
    specific kinds of projects. Check them out!
    FIRE! FIRE! For projects that are about to expire. TN Jeopardy <$50 so you can find High Poverty projects for less than $50 to complete. Pets4Kids w/Special Needs Plus Appalachia & OR too for those projects. Check them out and chip in to help classrooms across the country.

  • Sarah D. Bunting says:

    @MAL: At this time, it’s faster to email me the projects to see if they’re already on the page. Thanks!

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