Philanthropist-Spearheaded “Flash Fund” Streams Money to 35 Long Beach Classroom Projects

Yesterday, classrooms around the country were hit by a mob—a philanthropic flash mob that sought to fulfill the dreams of students and educators. Long Beach was among the cities targeted by that mob as part of #BestSchoolDay.

pincusesAlison and Mark Pincus, co-founders of Zynga, have “flash funded” all of the 35 classroom projects in Long Beach, according to the website. Through this generous donation, classrooms can now fund various projects, including Speech Therapy iPad, Creativity in Technology, Help Me Read, Music Makes a Difference!, Technology With Students With Disability and Plant a Book, Grow More Knowledge, among others.

High functioning Long Beach classrooms hit close to home for the Pincuses—leading to their motivation for participating in the flash fund effort.

“When I first heard about this opportunity, I dreamed of helping the Long Beach Unified School District,” Alison Pincus said in a statement. “I went to public school in Long Beach for grades one through 12. I couldn’t be more appreciative of the experience, the knowledge, and the friendships. For this, it’s my responsibility to pay it forward. And the LBC is always in my heart!”

William McKinley Elementary, Polytechnic High, Jordan High, Woodrow Wilson High, Jackie Robinson Academy, Burcham K-8 School, Theodore Roosevelt Elementary and Leland Stanford Middle School are among some of the schools whose classrooms were funded by the Pincuses.

Yesterday’s flash fund was attributed to 58 actors, athletes, philanthropists and founders (including Paul Allen and Stephen Colbert, to name a few), who collectively gave over $14 million to support about 12,000 classrooms projects nationwide, providing science equipment, field trips, art supplies and books. Together, they have encouraged the public to join them in donating to classroom projects.

“We all remember special days at school, whether it was going on a field trip, doing a science experiment, or performing in a school play,” Charles Best, founder and CEO of, said in a statement. “Teachers have a hard time providing these experiences when they have to go into their own pockets to buy school supplies. We’re so grateful to the people who have kicked off this philanthropic flashmob, and we hope that everyone—no matter the size of their wallet—will join this act of mass generosity by supporting a classroom project and committing to make every day a #BestSchoolDay.”

Serena Williams funded Compton classrooms and Gwyneth Paltrow funded Santa Monica classrooms.

Teachers, whose projects were funded, were notified today by via social media, email and videos. Today marks the largest “flash funding” effort taken by the organization since founding in 2000.

Individuals interested in supporting a classroom project can do so at

Above left, photos courtesy of and Mark Pincus’ Twitter. 

Support our journalism.

Hyperlocal news is an essential force in our democracy, but it costs money to keep an organization like this one alive, and we can’t rely on advertiser support alone. That’s why we’re asking readers like you to support our independent, fact-based journalism. We know you like it—that’s why you’re here. Help us keep hyperlocal news alive in Long Beach.