Donorschoose Inc

Rating: 3.9 stars   49 reviews

Issues: Education

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.
2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I think Donors Choose is an awesome resource for teachers in a time when school budgets are getting hacked left & right. Teachers have no where to turn to get the materials they so badly need. As a special education teacher, I have often found myself struggling to provide my students with the specialized equipment they require to get their individualized needs met. I can't count on the school district, parents, or the local community to help out because of the terrible financial situation everyone is in. Knowing that I can go to DonorsChoose & post my request & that donors from across the country will see my project & donate as little or as much as they can makes me feel less helpless about the plight of education in this country. Yes, I agree with the statement that some of the operation costs DC adds on to a project are high (for example a technology project I have right now has $2,000 of extra fees tacked on to it & that could in the end prevent my project from getting funded), but a company, even a non-profit, has operating costs & bills to pay. I don't know enough about that topic to say much more. All I know is that DonorsChoose.org helped my students when no one else would. They have made a HUGE impact in my classroom & in my school & in schools around the country. I don't know any teachers who have been affected by, for example, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, but I know plenty of teachers who have been touched by DonorsChoose.org. Even Mr. & Mrs. Gates live in a fancy mansion - I don't know if Charles Best does or not. But I know that he created an organization that HELPS teachers & their students & that is what this country needs. SUPPORT PUBLIC SCHOOLS & PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS! Thank you for all that you do for us out here on the front lines DonorsChoose.org. We love you!!!

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

In 4 years of using DonorsChoose.org to get materials for my classroom, I've had 37 projects funded - that's over $10,000 worth of classroom materials that the school district couldn't provide for my students. Every day I tell other teachers about DonorsChoose.org & every day I try to recruit donors to the website. Something has got to be done to pair people out in the community who want to help (no matter how small) with schools in need. And let's face it, no one else is doing as good a job than DC.

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

I would change the ways some fundraising is done - e.g Limeades for Learning - & not make funding on the number of votes projects receive. Instead, I would keep the fundraising more random like the campaign that Horace Mann has - teachers enter their project number & every week HM chooses projects at random to fund. Funding projects on a voting basis is frustrating for teachers who do not have, for example, high school students with their own email addresses. Randomizing would make things fair.

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Review from CharityNavigator
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 1 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

The concept of Donor's Choose is a great idea which is very poorly implemented. The reality of group funded projects is wonderful, however the price at which these projects need to be funded is wasteful and inefficient. Donor's Choose is taking taking advantage of teachers with real needs by charging exorbitant rates for supplies. Projects needing simple supplies are charged full retail and more while Donor's Choose is purchasing in bulk AND taking huge kickbacks from the suppliers! They have the advantage of making very large bulk purchases at huge cost savings and none of this is being passed on to the community that needs it most. Instead they have board members and executives collecting six figure salaries along with gigantic bonuses from their suppliers which very much makes this a FOR PROFIT business.

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

Talking to teachers which have attempted to use this program yet fall short on funding even though the amount donated would have purchased double the supplies they needed.

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

The organization needs to pass the savings accrued through large group purchases to allow more projects to get funded at a much lower cost. They should not falsify themselves as a non-profit business as they are taking so much off the top of every supply moved through their system.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Somewhat badly

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

No

What is unique about this organization?

It is a great idea, but greed limits it's scope.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Review from CharityNavigator
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

Students at public schools are in need of resources and DonorsChoose.org makes it so easy to provide them. I love the fact that teachers write grants, volunteers evaluate them at DonorsChoose and then they using Social Media extremely well--I can help! Even better is the high quality of stewardship that is included. Yesterday, I received 20 thank you notes written by second graders. How neat to read and learn how our $100 gift is helping them become better readers! Keep it up!

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

their regular on-line communication and very effective stewardship. They make it easy to Tweet about them as well as post to my FaceBook page.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-5-01

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Review from Guidestar