The fundraiser has ended

A total of $8,679 including matching was raised for Asha for Education. That corresponds to 45 children who can get food, shelter, and schooling for a year rather than live on the streets.

A huge thanks to everyone who contributed – you rock!

The content below is left for reference. The opportunity to get gift-matching has expired, but we still encourage donations to Asha for Education or other great charities that demonstrate that we all have the power to change the world - just a little bit - in the right direction.

Help us raise $18,000 for the education of underprivileged children in India

Eight million children in India are not attending school, and 26% of females aged 15-24 are illiterate. Lack of access to education is linked with increased income disparity, exploitation, unsustainable population growth, and social injustice.

In August we’re driving an auto rickshaw across India to raise funds for children's education, and we’re asking you to help by donating to Asha for Education.

Not only will 100% of your contribution go to Asha for Education, but Google and our gift-matching group will each match up to $6,000 worth of donations. This means that Asha for Education gets 300% of your donation. If we reach our goal of $6,000, Asha for Education gets $18,000.

Please make a donation to Asha for Education today and bring us one step closer to a world where everyone gets the education they are entitled to. Thank you for your support!

No part of the donation is used for the costs associated with the rickshaw trip or this website.


I don't get it. What does driving a rickshaw across India have to do with children's education?

Nothing, except that the rickshaw ride is a great opportunity to raise awareness and help Asha for Education get donations to support their work. None of the donations or the matching funds go to the rickshaw trip itself. The rickshaw trip and all costs associated with it are paid for entirely by us using our personal funds.

How does it work?

You make a donation directly at Asha for Education's website and forward the receipt to us to get matching. After the deadline passes, our gift-matching group will make a donation corresponding to the sum of all the individual donations (up to $6,000) and Google will match this amount (up to $6,000).

How come Google is matching the donations?

I work at Google as a Product Manager on Chrome. Google as a company cares deeply about charity and supports its employees in their giving and charitable initiatives.

What exactly is the gift-matching group?

The gift-matching group consists of individuals who have generously agreed to match donations to provide further incentive for others to contribute.

Is my donation tax deductible?

Asha for Education is a 501(c)(3) organization, and it is in the list of approved organizations (IRS Publication 78) as of June 6, 2012. As we cannot give tax advice, we suggest you check the IRS guidance about charitable donations or consult a tax professional. In any case, you should only deduct your own donation. That is, supposing you donate $100, and this gets matched by another $200 to a total of $300, you can deduct just the $100 that was your own direct donation.

What is Asha for Education and what do they do?

Asha for Education is a US 501(c)(3) organization that is secular/non-sectarian and non-political. Its mission is "to catalyze socio-economic change in India through education of underprivileged children." You can find more details on their website. As little as $12.50 pays for school and living expenses for a month for a child in India (more examples).

Can I donate to another charity and still get matching?

We will also match gifts to Akshaya and Doctors Without Borders. You can donate in any country where these are registered and approved as charities. Other charities are not eligible for matching this time around.

Who are you?


Oh hai! My name is Christian Stefansen. I am a Danish computer scientist (Ph.D.), working as a Product Manager at Google in California. Since visiting India for the first time in 2006, I've been passionate about the country and about helping its poor. This summer I look forward to going to India again and embarking on the adventure that driving a rickshaw across the country and meeting people along the way definitely will be. To find out more, find me on Google+.

Where exactly are you driving this rickshaw?

This map shows our route across India from Mumbai (Bombay) to Chennai (Madras). We start in Mumbai on July 28 and plan to arrive in Chennai Aug. 10 – which is the deadline for this round of fund-raising.

Can we get updates from the trip along the way?

Absolutely! We'll be posting photos and comments along the way. Bandwidth permitting we'll do Hangouts on Google+ too. People who make donations obviously get priority (hint, hint ;-)).

I have questions about becoming a matching donor or I would like to become a matching donor

Please contact us via email to discuss this.

Is my privacy guaranteed?

We will not share your information with anybody. This also applies for members of the gift-matching group.

Indian children in Belur, Karnataka

There are so many poor children and so many problems in the world. My small donation won't help anyway.

It will. When we vote in elections, governments are replaced and societies are changed – even if each vote seems to have vanishingly litle impact. The same applies here: with many small contributions, we can provide life-changing education for a large number of children.