My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for DonorsChoose.org, New York, NY, USA
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.
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
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
Was your donation impactful?
How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?
How likely are you to donate to this group again?
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?