I have one fundamental problem with charities: while from moral standpoint they are great things, they are often unsustainable on long-term and does not create a real symbiosis. On the other hand we live in an age where topics like social entrepreneurship or free products/services became everyday reality. What is great in these that instead of moralizing about capitalism and evil money, one can actually use sustainable businesses for social good. There are a many models of Free, and you can find nice examples in Chris Anderson’s book Free . Be careful, Anderson is a talker (or just a die-hard fan of irony): his book is not free.
So giving education to 640k people, is it necessarily a pure charity act? Can get the educational institute something back? Yes, actually can: valuable behavioral data on 640k students, their learning habits and performance measures that can be tied to their habits. A project that many internet marketer would die for. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you Daphne Koller from Stanford/Coursera: