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49 Reviews
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November 4, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

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November 4, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

I am very disappointed in the waste of this group. I was looking at one project for classroom books in Houston. The project listed the cost from Amazon at $165 per book. Thinking that sounded excessive, I looked at Amazon and found used prices in the $45 range and new prices in the $85 range. They intentionally choose the highest priced Amazon offering. When I asked about it, they said that they only allow their teachers to fulfil from Amazon Prime. I will not be making any future donations through this group. There are far better ways to put funds to use than by wasting them. I wonder whether the organization gets any money back from Amazon? There seems to be little other reason for requiring that products be purchased from the highest price offered.
December 28, 2012

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Review from CharityNavigator
1 previous review
October 25, 2011

The optional 15% donation is not really optional. All the projects I have donated to, have chosen not to give the extra 15% because DC already takes a "Fulfillment Labor & Materials" fee for each pro... more

December 28, 2012

I wish they would allow me, as a donor, to give directly to the teacher if I trust the person to use it effectively rather than go through their much more expensive vendor system. It is not respectful to force the teacher to ask for so much more money than she needs. I think more and more will start using kickstarter or similar websites instead because of this...

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Unlikely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Unlikely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Unlikely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

October 25, 2011

The optional 15% donation is not really optional. All the projects I have donated to, have chosen not to give the extra 15% because DC already takes a "Fulfillment Labor & Materials" fee for each project. What happens? The project is kept open requesting funds until someone else gives the supposedly "optional" donation I decided not to give. Highly misleading to all involved, bordering on a scam. For this reason alone I will not be donating anything further.

The Great!

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

the teachers reports

Ways to make it better...

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

if someone chooses not to give the 15% extra, respect that and record it transparently in the project totals and reduce the final line accordingly.

More feedback...

What would you tell others about this organization?

Stay away. The admin is misleading, even though the teachers and projects are usually wonderful.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

December 17, 2012

We give to this charity as an avenue for assisting our local school disctrict. My only complaint is that they appear to require teachers to use vendors with substantially higher prices than can be found elsewhere on the web.

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Likely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

August 30, 2012

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August 30, 2012

Having a friend as an elementary school teacher in a disadvantaged area, I was happy to support her cause on DonorsChoose. But after making a donation to her classroom project, I continued browsing the site finding more wonderful projects and couldn't resist helping them out. The thank you cards are a wonderful touch-- I now have wonderful fridge decorations! Plus, the feedback of my friend along with pictures of the class encouraged me that my donation has been well used.

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

August 28, 2012

Made a sizable donation only to learn a couple of days later that a match code had been made available for the project. I used the DC contact form to request that the code be applied to my donation, which I knew could be done because I had several friends who had done it. That was two weeks ago and I have received no reply, nor has the donation been matched. There is no place to input the so-called tracking number I was assigned and the link to check the status of my request is dead. This is shockingly poor service to both the donor and the client, whose project will now have a far more difficult time being funded.

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Unlikely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Unlikely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 19, 2011

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November 19, 2011

Inefficient. The projects I looked at could have happened at about 40% of the total cost. Like others I am dismayed at the over-inflating of the total project costs. Unfortunately, it is in the organization's interest for the costs to be high, since that makes their 17+% larger.

Too bad,
such a good idea, but the inefficiency makes me look elsewhere...

The Great!

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

the multiple projects I've funded

Ways to make it better...

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

let the teachers choose where to buy their materials. Deal with with the criticism mentioned below.

October 9, 2011

As a regular donor to this organization since 2008 I support its goals and have no objection to the executive compensation and the 15% project surcharges criticized by other reviewers. However, I am often dismayed at the sources DonorsChoose and the teachers use for requested items. Technology projects in particular are often overpriced and poorly specified. Flash drives, printers, laptops and projectors are sourced at national retail chains like Best Buy rather than equally legitimate online discount suppliers such as TigerDirect, Dell Outlet and Newegg which have far lower prices and better selections. I wrote to the charity about this and they responded that their stringent vendor requirements miss some discount prices but save money in the long run. When price differences are routinely 30-50% and sometimes up to 70% on packages costing hundreds of dollars, that doesn't make sense.

The Great!

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

the teacher notes, photos and student "thank-you" notes sent by classrooms benefited by projects to which I have donated

Ways to make it better...

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

- have them expand their supplier base - have them negotiate discounts with their current suppliers (and plow back the money into projects, in some fully disclosed manner) - have their staff who check prices and availability of requested items, also work with the teachers to ensure that appropriate equipment is specified and appropriate suppliers chosen to provide it

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Likely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

Availability of projects at schools I personally know to be underserved

Why did you make your donation at this time?

To support improved education for low income children in public schooling

What would you tell others about this organization?

That it does good work and that its increased size and impact have made it more efficient - but that it has unexploited opportunities to use its size, reputation, and purchasing power to become even more effective.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

September 17, 2011

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Review from CharityNavigator
September 17, 2011

Donors Choose is one of my most favorite charities. First, the idea of it really hit home for me ... what better investment is there than investing in children? Second, the passion with which these teachers write their proposals is infectious. And third, the impact of your donation is visceral ... when I read the handwritten thank you letters from the students, explaining in their own words what the gift means to them personally, I feel blessed beyond measure.

Whether I'm helping students in my own neighborhood, or in a school district out of state to which I used to belong, or using the very clever Donors Choose tools to select those projects expriing soon or those who are in the most need, the effect is the same: you feel great because you know you're providing something a teacher and students truly need and will benefit from ... it's a win/win! I've even purchased Donors Choose gift cards and given them away to friends of mine to introduce them to the charity.

I'll be associated with Donors Choose for life!

The Great!

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

n/a

Ways to make it better...

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

None!

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

Investing in a child's future and recognizing a teacher's passion

Why did you make your donation at this time?

See answer above!

What would you tell others about this organization?

Run, don't walk, to Donors Choose.org ... whether you donate a little or a lot, you can see the results.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

September 17, 2011

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Review from CharityNavigator
September 17, 2011

As a teacher, this charity has lit up my classroom with excitement. I've been able to put appealing books in the hands of reluctant readers. As a donor, this charity has allowed me to support learning in classroom across the country. DonorsChoose is a wonderful organization.

The Great!

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

my classroom. I am able to bring my teaching dreams to life without worrying about how to get the resources we need.

Ways to make it better...

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

make sure every new teacher is aware of DonorsChoose.org by providing a DonorsChoose gift card and a phone call to every newly certified graduate.

August 4, 2011

DonorsChoose is one of my favorite charities. I have contributed to 90 projects over the past 4 years. This is up-close-and-personal giving. You pick a classroom based on your subject interest, geographical locale, or grade level. You hear from the teacher twice, once when the project is funded, and again when the project is completed. If you give $100 or are the final person to complete the funding, regardless of what amount you have donated, you get a packet of thank you letters in the mail; the students thank you and draw lovely pictures, and sometimes the teacher adds a letter, too. You can communicate with the teacher on the web site and compliment the students on their good drawings and thank you letters, too! If you want a nice present for someone, make a donation in that person's name. The chosen person will receive the thank you emails and packet of student thank you notes (if you qualify for those). I have had a lot of folks thank me for giving in their name--for birthdays, Christmas, in honor of someone passing, once for a friend about to have a stem cell transplant--whatever the occasion. It is a lot more meaningful than a card or small material present. Many of the projects are from teachers in high poverty schools, and you can make a modest contribution to enhancing the education of those students least likely to have many materials in their classrooms. The photos posted on the web site are great, too; you see the materials and the students enjoying them.

The Great!

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

seeing the positive impact of the classroom projects via teacher thank you emails I receive, thank you packets received in the mail, and seeing the smiles on students' faces who are using the materials donated to their classrooms via the photos posted on the site.

Ways to make it better...

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

make it better known and give it more publicity; it is such a worth-while charity, and ii is a great resource for personal and meaningful giving for oneself or in honor of someone.

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