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Stephen Colbert unveils donors for #BestSchoolDay

More than 50 actors, athletes and entrepreneurs have pledged to fully fund all public school grant requests on the site for specific areas of the country
Stephen Colbert on $14M funding by public figures 08:03

When Stephen Colbert wrapped up The Colbert Report last December, he made sure two of his beloved set pieces would live on.

Auctioning off his iconic anchor desk and fireplace hearth, the talk show host earned $800,000 and gave back to his home state, funding every classroom project in South Carolina on the crowdfunding website,

Colbert first engaged with when he ran for the South Carolina Democratic Primary in 2007. Instead of accepting donations for his campaign, he directed supporters to donate to classrooms in need in his honor, totaling $70,000. The Late Show talk host also hands gift cards to every guest on the show to support a classroom project of his or her choice. Now, Colbert's philanthropy is blooming in even fuller scale.

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A board member since 2009, Colbert inspired #BestSchoolDay, a call to action for people to fund supplies and resources for classrooms in need across America.

"#BestSchoolDay is probably the best thing I've ever been involved in," Colbert told "CBS This Morning" on Thursday. "It's my favorite charity because teachers in classrooms all around the country can put up any project they want to teach their children or help their kids with but they don't have the funds for."

Fifty-eight celebrities, athletes, business executives and more have joined in the cause, committing over $14 million to flash fund over 11,000 projects in communities spanning 47 states and D.C.

"The reason they're doing it and the reason I did it is that I know the real heroes are the teachers who are too often themselves spending their own money for these projects," Colbert said. "And every dollar you give goes exactly to that project and you hear back from those kids."

Donors also hear directly from the teachers and students who have received their support. The teachers and students send thank you letters and photos.

"Dear Stephen Colbert," wrote one student. "Thank you for donating... We heard you have a TV show but it is too late for us to watch. Are you funny?"

"If I'm not, I'm in big trouble," Colbert responded, laughing.

On The Late Show Thursday, Colbert will speak to his favorite fourth grade teacher. When he flash funded the classroom projects in South Carolina last spring, he discovered two of them were in his elementary school.

"So I went back to my original classroom from fourth grade and talked to my fourth grade teacher," Colbert recalled.

To inspire citizen donors to support classroom projects, Google co-founder Sergey Brin and WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton have together pledged $3.2 million to match donations on beginning March 10th.

You can visit to see what classroom projects are being funded and donate to one of your choice.

Revealed for the first time only on "CBS This Morning," here are the list of donors who are making this possible:

Alexis Ohanian

Co-founder of Reddit, and best-selling author, supporting Fort Greene, Brooklyn, NY

Alison and Mark Pincus

Supporting Long Beach, CA

Alys and Brad Smith

Chairman and CEO of Intuit, supporting West Virginia

Angela and David Filo

Yellow Chair Foundation, supporting Kansas, Louisiana, Solano, Santa Cruz, San Benito, Stanislaus, Yolo, and Fresno Counties, CA and northern Alameda County, CA

Anna Kendrick

Actress, supporting Maine with an anonymous donor

Ashton Kutcher

Actor and entrepreneur, supporting Iowa

Barbara Dalio

Public school advocate, supporting Connecticut

Bezos Family Foundation

Supporting student-led projects from high-need schools

Bill & Melinda Gates

Supporting South Bronx, NY

Blake Mycoskie

Founder and chief shoe giver of TOMS, supporting Wyoming

Bob Moritz and the PwC Charitable Foundation

PwC U.S. Chairman, supporting Jamaica, Queens, NY and Miami, FL

Carmelo Anthony

New York Knicks, supporting West Baltimore, MD

Chris Sacca

Venture investor of Lowercase Capital, supporting Buffalo, NY

Craig Newmark

Founder of Craigslist and Craigconnects, supporting Detroit, MI and New Jersey

Dan Gilbert

Cleveland Cavaliers, supporting Akron and Canton, OH, and Cuyahoga County, OH

David Sze

Venture capitalist, supporting Monterey County, CA

Perry and Donna Golkin Family Foundation

Supporting Southern Tier, Manhattan and highest-need communities in Brooklyn, NY

Dwight Howard

Starting center of the Houston Rockets, supporting PreK-2 literacy projects in Houston, TX

Elizabeth Simons and Mark Heising

Supporting Mississippi

Elon Musk

Supporting Los Angeles, CA; Washoe, NV; and Coryell and Cameron, TX

Elsa Brule

Philanthropist, supporting Alabama, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, Milwaukee, WI, and Brownsville, Brooklyn, NY

Eron Jokipii

Software author, supporting Western TX

Gwyneth Paltrow

Actress, supporting Santa Monica, CA

Henry and Marie-Josée Kravis

Supporting Tulsa, OK

Herbert Simon Family Foundation and the Pacers Foundation

Supporting Indiana

Howard L. Morgan

Venture capitalist of First Round Capital, supporting West Bronx, NY

Jack Dorsey

Co-founder & CEO of Twitter & Co-founder, CEO, and Chairman of Square, supporting Missouri

James Anderson

NFL player and actor, supporting Chesapeake, VA

Jeff Weiner

CEO of LinkedIn, supporting San Mateo County, CA

Jeremy Stoppelman

CEO and co-founder, Yelp, supporting Oakland, CA

Joanne and Fred Wilson

Supporting Montgomery County, MD and Orange County, NY

Karen Leshner

President of Intrepid Philanthropy Foundation, supporting San Joaquin County, CA

Larry Fitzgerald

Wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals, supporting Minneapolis, MN

Laura and John Overdeck

Overdeck Family Foundation, supporting Washington, DC, and the surrounding metro area

Leslie and Cliff Hudson

CEO of Sonic, supporting Oklahoma City, OK

Livia and Biz Stone

Co-founder of Twitter and co-founder and CEO of, supporting Boston, MA and Contra Costa County, CA

Lynda Resnick

Vice-chair and co-owner of The Wonderful Company, supporting Kern and Kings Counties, CA

Marc Benioff

Chairman & CEO of Salesforce, supporting Hawaii

Mark Ingram

Running back for the New Orleans Saints, supporting Flint, MI

Paul G. Allen

Founder & CEO of Vulcan, Inc., supporting Washington

Ric Elias

On behalf of Red Ventures, supporting Lancaster County, SC and Mecklenberg County, NC

Russell Simmons

Entrepreneur and philanthropist, supporting Hollis, Queens, NY

Samuel L. Jackson

Actor, supporting Chattanooga, TN

Sara and Evan Williams

Founder of Medium and co-founder of Twitter, supporting Nebraska and San Francisco County, CA

Serena Williams

World's #1 women's tennis player, supporting Compton, CA

Seth Rogen and Lauren Miller Rogen

Actor and wife, supporting Sonoma County, CA

Sheryl Sandberg

COO of Facebook, and founder of, supporting Imperial, Modoc, Tehama, Tulare, Trinity, Siskiyou, Merced, Lake, Glenn, and Madera Counties, CA

The Simons Foundation and Math for America

Supporting Bronx, NY

Sobrato Family Foundation

Supporting Santa Clara County, CA and Southern Alameda County, CA

Theresia Gouw

Venture capitalist and co-founder of Aspect Ventures, supporting Northern NY

Tim Ferriss

Author of "The 4-Hour Work Week," supporting Sacramento, CA, Long Island, NY and New Hampshire

Tony Hsieh

On behalf of Zappos, supporting Las Vegas, NV

Torrey Smith

NFL wide receiver, supporting East Baltimore, MD

Yvette Nicole Brown

Actress, supporting Cleveland with an anonymous donor

Anonymous donor

Supporting Alaska, Kentucky, New Mexico, Ohio, and projects from among the 50 highest-need communities in the country

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