You might have noticed a few “Donate Now” buttons showing up on our site today. They look a lot like this:
No, this isn’t an April Fool’s joke…we really are asking for money, starting with a big email a few weeks back. That raises the interesting question: how do you ask people to pay for something that’s free? My answer is pretty simple: we just ask and see what happens.
Another question naturally arises: is the Saylor Academy in danger of closing its doors, spinning down the servers, and going dark…forever? No! Not at all. Of course not. Yet here I am, asking our community, our learners, you, to donate a few dollars.
Our reasons are pretty simple. One, people often ask how they can contribute to what we do, and while we haven’t yet recruited a corps of proofreaders, forums moderators, and street-corner evangelists, we can at least offer people the opportunity to give a small amount. If giving money will give you some joy and a sense of ownership in the Saylor Academy, then I am only too happy to oblige.
Like I said, the doors will stay open, but every donation counts. Our mission is to make affordable, effective learning available to anyone who wants it — no barriers of time, money, politics, or geography…just the learning you need for the outcomes you want. We are partnering with schools and businesses to put academic credit and innovative credentialing on the menu. To make the leap from most closely serving thousands to serving tens (hundreds? thousands?) of thousands, we need sharper content, more engaging technology, and a tighter focus. That, for us, is 2014 in a nutshell. We need funds, absolutely. We also need buy-in from our student community. We need you to know that you own this.
Sending a few bucks our way is just one of many ways to take ownership of the learning and credentials you get at the Saylor Academy; I’m always happy to suggest others, and always happy to hear from you.