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: 1 stars  

Inefficient, too expensive, a sham, racket, etc. Donate to another charity that really cares about helping teachers and shows it. These buffoons are milking the system for all its worth while enriching but a few. Just look at how much of each project cost stays in their own pockets.

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

I was asked to support a classroom in my area.

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

Start over from the ground up and forget trying to be a "celebrity" organization wasting money, focus on giving more to teachers not yourselves.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

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

Some

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 1 stars  

Overpriced, over-rated. The prices are more than if you just bought the supplies by yourself at any store. This makes it hard for teachers to raise the money they need to have projects filled. There are a lot of fees on top of the supply charges. DonorsChoose could do a better job of charging teachers less for the supplies they need.

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

Trying to find classroom supplies for students in my district.

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

Stop charging so many fees and make it easier for teachers to raise donations for the supplies.

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 2 stars  

When I first heard of this program I thought it was excellent and was going to give my kids money to pick projects to sponsor. After I looked at a project or two I noticed a patern where they need to pay someone to acquire the goods (I'm assuming they don't just hand cash to the teacher). This came to 10% of the $300 the teacher was looking for. In addition, there is an OPTIONAL checkbox to add 15% as a donation to DonorsChoose. That turned out to be another $50. Thats a total of 25% overhead. This teachers $300 project was now costing $380. Whats worse is it had a couple days left to acquire the money and was sitting at $40 dollars still needed. I would hate to see it not get funded because of the 15% overhead.

BTW, I can appreciate the 10% handling fee. I can even appreciate 5% or less for donation to DonorsChoose. But 15%? You have to be kidding. This is an electronic website, not like there are warehouses to pay for or things like this. 15% of all the money that goes thru this is way too much. Lower the overhead to 10% handling and < 5% 'fee' and I'll be happy to donate.

Great idea, just lower your cut. if you change the policy please let me know... Would love to donate, but won't if less than 85 % goes to the target.

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

n/a

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

lower the 15% extra overhead.

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Review from CharityNavigator
Rating: 1 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

I like the idea of DonorsChoose, but their extremely high administrative ratio puts me off. According to their 2008 990, this organization spends about 37.5 cents out of every dollar on employee salaries and wages -- more than $6 million of the nearly $17 million in cash donations they received that year. Granted, that's just shy of the 35% bar set by the Better Business Bureau, but I bet most donors don't realize how much of their money is NOT going to the classrooms they're trying to support.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

fulfill a lot more classroom needs. In fact, it did spend 10 million bucks on classrooms in 2008. Too bad the other 6 million in donations didn't also go to teachers and students.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

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