#Igivearod2019
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Please visit igivearod.com for updates
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1. What is the Igivearod?
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The Igivearod is a loosely-organized, volunteer-directed, fundraising drive that runs alongside the Iditarod Sled Dog Race (not affiliated with the Iditarod Trail Committee). We do not take donations ourselves, but help direct potential donors to school and community projects listed on the crowdfunding website DonorsChoose (see below). So far, our focus has been on supporting Alaskan schools, with a particular emphasis on remote and rural communities like those that make the race possible. The communities often need help funding essential items like tables, chairs, and books for their students, or for classroom enrichment items like art supplies, music equipment, and STEM teaching kits. We’ve even been able to help fund class trips—no easy feat in Alaska!

1a. How do I make sure the spreadsheet keepers know that I've contributed? Do I tweet and tag someone?
The Spreadsheet Keepers and an army of anonymous volunteers are updating the spreadsheet as donations roll in. No need to tweet or tag anyone! You'll be counted. Tagging #uglydogs or #igivearod in your donation comment will help us gather metrics from DonorsChoose at the end of the IGiveARod but you're perfectly welcome to donate anonymously.

1b. When does the Igivearod end?
The Igivearod will end and the spreadsheet will lock when the Red Lantern (the last musher) reaches Nome. This is predicted to be Sunday 3/17. At this point we will stop tallying donations for the Igivearod, but many projects on DonorsChoose have expiration dates that extend for a few more months. If you feel able and inclined, keep donating to these worthwhile causes and schools!
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2. Who are you people, and who you calling ugly?
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The Igivearod is open to everyone, but you may see people talking about some ugly dogs. The “Ugly Dogs” (#uglydogs) are a Twitter-based group of dogsledding enthusiasts who are particular fans of BraverMountain Mushing, run by Blair Braverman and Quince Mountain out of Wisconsin. Blair and Q are accomplished nonfiction authors whose rich storytelling and irresistable dog photos have enchanted many followers. In particular, Blair’s ability to capture her dogs’ personalities in her writing has made her whole team feel like cherished friends. It’s a weird moniker for a community, to be sure, but like so much of Blair and Q’s world, it comes with a good story. When a Twitter troll told Blair to “go back to your ugly dogs, Karen,” her followers took it and ran with it. Make no mistake, all dogs are beautiful! Rather, Blair’s followers are the #uglydogs because they know that she’ll always come back to them. You don’t have to be an UglyDog to donate, and you don’t have to donate to be an UglyDog! 

The 2019 Igivearod has been largely decentralized, but as it’s grown, a small group of us have tried to keep things tidy. Currently managing the donation tracker are Cale (@calen26), Duncan (@DuncanDaHusky), Kelly (@Iowadogmama), and Alex (@jrmwcz)
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3. How did the Igivearod get started?
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The Igivearod started as a truly grassroots initiative. During the 2019 Iditarod, one of the Ugly Dogs learned that students in Nikolai, AK, one of the Iditarod checkpoints, were trying to raise money for a school trip. When news spread on Twitter, the trip was funded in less than a day, but the growing snowball of goodwill couldn’t be stopped! Users began sharing other links to Alaskan school fundraisers, an exhaustive spreadsheet was created to organize and track donations, and the Igivearod was born. We're particularly interested and focused on funding projects for rural and Alaska native schools along the Iditarod trail who donate their time and resources every year, but have also spread the goodwill out to other struggling schools across the state.
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4. I can’t donate right now—is there another way for me to participate?
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Igivearod was inspired by the compassion, kindness, and good old-fashioned neighbourliness of Blair and Q. Volunteering in your community, calling in MusherGrams for teams on the trail, or even just going out of your way to do something nice for others are all great ways to join in the spirit of Igivearod if donating isn’t in the cards. One example is the wonderful #IditaNotes initiative started by Julia (@JuliaFBXLawRpt). She’s sending friendly snail mail to anyone who could use a little love in their mailbox. But seriously—there is zero requirement to donate. Like we said, you don’t have to be an UglyDog to donate, and you don’t have to donate to be an UglyDog!
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5. Tell me more about DonorsChoose!
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DonorsChoose is a website and 501(c)(3) where teachers can request funding for specific projects for their schools. DonorsChoose vets all of the projects, collects donations, and purchases the materials for the projects once they are fully funded.

5a. Is Igivearod affiliated with DonorsChoose?

Nope! But the way the site organizes its projects is a good fit for this fundraising drive. We’ve been able to highlight schools throughout Alaska by sharing links to projects on DonorsChoose so that potential donors can find a cause that speaks to them personally. It’s also important to us that the fundraisers we list are transparent, a value shared by DonorsChoose as a platform.

5b. What happens if a project doesn’t get fully funded?


Many project funding deadlines extend past the Igivearod end date. You can keep making donations until the projects close! From the DonorsChoose website: “DonorsChoose will email you the day after the project expires so that you can decide what happens next. We'll send credits back to your DonorsChoose.org account, you can select a new project to support, or you can send the donation back to the original teacher as a DonorsChoose.org gift code. If you haven’t taken action in 30 days, we’ll apply those funds to other classroom projects in need.”
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6. What’s next?
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We’re working on it! Send your thoughts and ideas for IGiveARod2020 to igivearod@gmail.com or @igivearod on twitter
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Check out the tabs below (or the links above, depending on your view) to access the donation spreadsheet, musher information and spreadsheet spreadsheet, info about other Alaskan organizations, and our page of chaos and fun
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https://www.donorschoose.org/project/seating-for-reading/3817902/
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