DONORSCHOOSE INC

Rating: 3.9 stars   49 reviews

Issues:

Location: 347 W 36th St Ste 503 New York NY 10018 USA

Mission: DonorsChoose is dedicated to addressing the scarcity and inequitable distribution of learning materials and experiences in our public schools. We focus on providing an outlet of change in the following areas: 1. Shortages of learning materials prevent thorough, engaging instruction; 2. Top-down distribution of materials stifles our best teachers and discourages them from developing targeted solutions for their students; and 3. Small, directed contributions have gone un-tapped as a source of funding.DonorsChoose will improve public education by engaging citizens in an online marketplace where teachers describe and individuals can fund specific student projects. We envision a nation where students in every community have the resources they need to learn.
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I am a teacher in a high poverty, urban school. My students are amazing. They are devoted to learning and are a joy to teach. However, my school struggles with funding labs for science.

Donors Choose has been a blessing. My students and I have been the happy, grateful recipients of over $5000 in materials and supplies, all of which will be used by future students. The materials that have so generously been provided include equipment that make hands-on inquiry-based labs accessible to my students with physical challenges. Moreover, the materials and supplies have enriched learning for all students, giving us labs and demonstrations throughout the year.

My students and I are so very, very grateful. There simply are no words to say how much Donors Choose, and the wonderfully generous donors that have given through the site, have helped us!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I teach in a new, small rural school and state budget cuts have decimated us. With no major industry in the area, there is little local funding available to assist instruction. DonorsChoose has been a lifesaver for my school and classroom. As I look around my classroom, I see novel sets, cameras, art materials and even an iMac computer, all funded through DonorsChoose. While many of my students live in poverty, their opportunities in school are rich thanks to this organization. I cannot praise it highly enough.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I love Donors Choose! As a teacher in a rural, poverty-stricken area, I've depended on DonorsChoose to bring my students the educational opportunities they deserve. It's always hard to find time for grant-writing, but DonorsChoose makes it user friendly. Submit the project, then, when it's funded, the materials are automatically sent. DC has not only helped us get basics such as books, but also the really "cool" stuff such as a computer, cameras, and clay for making claymation videos. I understand some of the negative comments about the "donation" that DC adds into each project. If you object, you can opt out of that donation without lessening the chances of the project being funded. As I understand it, that money helps cover rising materials costs (it can take 5 months to fund a project and prices do rise), and not just administrative expenses. My classroom would be a bleaker place without DonorsChoose!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

... both giving and receiving. My classroom has received funding 11 times, but I have also donated to dozens of classrooms, a small amount for each, to try to support fellow teachers with great ideas.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make it more clear that the optional donation is indeed optional.

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Rating: 1 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I am a classroom teacher and have to say I am very DISAPPOINTED with this website. I think it had good humble beginnings, but it has warped into a greed machine. I requested a laptop costing $720, with free shipping. Even with sales tax of 8.25% + Donors Choose handling fee of $35, it should be around $820. But no, they tack on a supposedly "optional" donation to themselves of 15%, but when i calculated it was more like 18-20%. My total came to $1000. Teachers are not allowed to take this "optional" donation out of their project, else our projects don't get posted. The unsuspecting donors have to click a small print "edit" at Checkout to opt-out. Plus they gave out these $10 gift cards to Starbucks customers to redeem, saying it expired on 03/16/12, but then printed too many on purpose and it expired in one week! Started program on 01/23/12 and ended on 01/30/12! So parents gave me about $400 worth of giftcards but I couldn't use them, even though it says it expires in March! So frustrated with excessive overhead costs, too much red tape, and the fact that they only give you 5 months to fund your project, or else you get everything taken away.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A little

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Unlikely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Badly

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Thanks to Donors Choose, my students have learned how to paint, become authors and bound their own books, learned to love reading with fantastic chapter books, and received most of the basic supplies they need for their daily learning! Teachers at my school are 100% responsible for providing instructional supplies for our classrooms, and I would never be able to do it without Donors Choose!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my classroom.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Grant more time for projects to be funded.

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

I have both received and given donations to Donors Choose. I feel that this organization provides the materials that teachers know will help their students.

My students have been impacted by the materials provided by Donors Choose.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Yes, my classroom has received thousands of dollars of materials.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

lower the handling costs

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

Donors Choose is an excellent organization! I have been able to enrich my students education through the projects that have been funded by donors that want to help teachers do a better job. My students have had the opportunity to learn to watercolor, use technology and play a fun Alegebra game with the resources that I obtained through Donors Choose. Having watercolor notebooks not only makes it easier to find the time for me to teach water color painting, but at the end of the year the students get to take the notebook home. Our school district has water color paper available for us to order with our funds, but we get it in huge sheets that need to be cut to the right size. This isn't a problem if I only want to do one lesson, but if I want to teach several lessons cutting the paper takes away my time from grading or other lesson preparation.
In addition, I received netbooks that gave me the time to have small group intervention or enrichment going on while I was working with students either one on one or in a small group. Finally, a math game is always a great way to reinforce math lessons taught without always having to assign worksheets. Donors Choose is an excellent teacher resource and the education of so many students have been enriched due to this great organization!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have received several netbooks, a class set of watercolor notebooks and a class set of math games.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I think this organization is doing a fantastic job and I don't currently have any recommendations.

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

I LOVE donors choose-and not only because I am a teacher! I have had several projects funded that have helped me make learning FUN for my students. I have also helped fund projects for other teachers. Teaching can be expensive, as any good teacher knows. This organization helps teachers help students learn and to give students experiences they woudl not experience other wise.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Having projects funded and supplies sent to my classroom!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would make the public relations department bigger so more knew about it!

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

I found DonorsChoose 8 years ago, and have always been impressed with their web site, ease of use and customer service. Anytime I had a question, they got back to me in a matter or days to help resolve it. The team is friendly and always willing to help. They partner with great companies and foundations to help bring the best possible supplies, trip and experiences t opublic school students. My classroom is a very different place thanks to the benefits I have reaped being associated with DonorsChoose.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Receiving many the materials that I have written projects for, receiving feedback from the classrooms I donated to and receiving timely email updates of funding opportunities available to me.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

do nothing!

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

I teach kindergarten in the state with the third highest poverty level in our nation. When I entered my classroom, I was shocked. It was not cheerful. It did not look fun. It was nothing like I wanted my classroom to be. Donorschoose has helped be provide the environment that I wanted for my students. A fifth grader entered my room the other day and said "Your room is so neat!" As a teacher I can plan and try to do interesting and exciting activities in my classroom. I never say "We can't do that because it is too expensive." I might be able to find help with any project we want to experience. Teaching is expensive. Creating a fun learning environment is expensive. Donorschoose helps make my classroom wonderful.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my classroom. We have better technology, active learning activities, projects and books.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make more people aware of it and how it helps our education system.

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 5 stars  

I love Donor's Choose! I am a 5th grade teacher in DE who has had four out of five projects funded by Donor's Choose. Working in a high poverty school makes it difficult to get the things I need or want. I like to enrich my students learning environment with technology, and Donors Choose has allowed me to do that. Recently, I received 25 copies of the book "Tuck Everlasting', along with 5 audiobooks, so that my class could be part of the Global Read Aloud project. We will use the books and tech tools I received through Donors Choose to interact with students all over the world.
Once your project is funded, they are very efficient, and keep you abreast of what's going on from beginning to end.
When I had a problem with a product, I contacted Donors, and I not only received my product, but I got an upgrade. Donors Choose is definitely a teacher's friend!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

My classroom.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Not change anything! I love what they do and how they do it!

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Review from CharityNavigator