Know any teachers? Let help them help their students

David Barrett
David Barrett Expensify Team Posts: 38 Expensify Team
edited October 2023 in Expensify news

tl;dr - Refer a K-12 teacher to so we can reimburse 50% of any purchase they make to help underprivileged students in their classrooms.

As fall begins, countless kids around the world have eagerly (or sullenly) returned to school.  Many of them are very prepared.  But not all are, and nobody is more qualified to know which kids need help than the teachers responsible for their care.  One such teacher is Doug Bird, who thirty years ago (omg, how did I get so old) taught my drama class at Swan Valley High School (Go Vikings!) in Saginaw, Michigan.  

Doug (aka, Mr. Bird) had a huge impact upon my time in school, like countless millions of other teachers around the globe – and thirty years later, is still there, helping kids like me find their place in the world.  But not all kids were as lucky as me, and able to show up to school with a backpack of books, a lunchbox of food, and the basic supplies to learn the basics of growing up in this world.

That's why it is depressingly common for extraordinary teachers like Mr. Bird to dip into their own pockets to help out the students in their classroom who are less fortunate.  This can be as simple as a blank notebook and a handful of markers, as serious as a pair of clean socks and a winter coat that fits, or as sad as paying off a kid's lunch debt so they can have possibly the only hot meal of their day.  

In fact, it's so common for teachers to spend their own money on the kids in their care, that here in the US the IRS has a special tax break just for teachers: the Educator Expense Deduction.  It allows teachers to deduct up to $250 from their income tax as thanks for helping their kids out.

But it's not nearly enough, and wants to help them help their students.

You might have heard of New Expensify, our highly-simplified, chat-centric, from-scratch rewrite of Expensify Classic, that we've been working on for years as the foundation for the next generation of the product going forward.  One feature of New Expensify is what we call, quite modestly, "Save The World".  This isn't us saving the world.  It's you saving the world.  And the latest way you can do it, works like this:

  1. Click and sign in (or if you're already signed into Expensify Classic, click the green chat bubble in the bottom-right). 
  2. Click the big green + button and choose Save The World.
  3. Click I know a teacher.
  4. Think of your favorite teacher.  It could be someone who taught you, or someone who teaches your kids.
  5. Enter their email address or phone number, and we'll take it from there.

Specifically, we will split their classroom bill with them in 3 steps:

  1. They scan the receipt of the next purchase they make on behalf of their kids.
  2. We will confirm with their principal (ie, their boss) that it was in fact for kids in their classroom.
  3. We reimburse them 50% (up to $50) from donations made to

It's really that simple: you invite the teacher, and we'll pay them to help their kids.  There's no catch – it doesn't cost you or them anything.  We've got the money (a slice of every Expensify Card purchase goes to via our Karma Points program, in addition to our Corporate Karma and Personal Karma programs, as well as our network of incredible monthly donors – join today!).  We just need your help deciding who to give it to.

So please take a moment to help us help your favorite teacher, so they can help the students in their classroom who need it the most.  These problems shouldn't exist.  But they do, and kids are suffering as a result.  Let's give them a hand, and bit by bit, let's save this world together.

Check out to learn more! 

Thank you.


Founder and CEO of Expensify

Questions?  Ask me on Twitter X! @dbarrett

PS: In case it wasn't already clear, is reimbursing teachers who are spending their own money, helping someone else's kids.  These are true heroes, in every sense of the word.  Accordingly, we feel very confident that the money is being well spent, because it's their money – we are only reimbursing half.  Furthermore, we ask their principal (ie, their boss) to confirm every receipt is in fact going to help kids in their classroom, increasing our confidence further.  This is the special and unique model of, which uses the power of modern expense management to laser target donor funds precisely to specific individuals in need, verified to the penny by receipt, and multiple layers of human review. 

PPS: To support the launch of Teachers Unite, we are sunsetting our SNAP campaign, which provided over $324,076.66 of groceries for over 6356 families since the onset of the pandemic.  Though food insecurity is hardly a thing of the past, the pandemic thankfully is.  Going forward we are moving away from emergency subsidies from to individual users, and towards campaigns like Teachers Unite that seek out and supercharge existing heroes who help people in need out of their own pockets.’s mission is to "empower individuals and communities to eliminate injustice around the world by making giving and volunteering more convenient, meaningful, and collaborative".  This is an incredibly exciting transition for us, and we've got lots more ideas in store!