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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

DonorsChoose.org

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education

Mission: We make it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need, moving us closer to a nation where students in every community have the tools and experiences they need for a great education.

Results: Since 2000 we've raised over $572 million to support education across the country. Over 2.7 million donors have supported over 970,000 projects from 372,000 teachers at 75,000+ schools, benefitting over 24 million students.

Target demographics: Public school teachers and students in the United States.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 107,000 teachers and their students.

Geographic areas served: Public schools across the United States.

Programs: Classroom project fulfillment, connecting teachers with donors to support their classroom projects. During the 2017 school year, our donors gave over $114 million to fund over 180,000 projects.

Community Stories

67 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Donorschoose has been a blessing for me and my students. I teach in a low income school and being able to afford materials for my classroom is very difficult. With the help of generous donors through Donorschoose I have been able to not only provide my students with the necessary materials but go above and beyond. I have been able to add extra curricular activities such as readers theater, health awareness activities, cultural studies, music and movement and many other wonderful enrichment activities. Donorschoose has helped me to make learning fun and provide my students with life changing experiences.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Herb Kohl Foundation is a blessing to many teachers in Wisconsin this fall! The retired Senator, Herb Kohl and his foundation "flash funded" projects for all Wisconsin teachers that had projects on DonorsChoose.org on one day. Imagine my surprise when I found out that all five of my projects were fully-funded by his foundation that morning! Education funding has been cut severely and teachers have been vilified in the state of Wisconsin over the past five years by the Governor and it has been really hard to get what we need for our children. Senator Kohl has always been a friend and advocate for public education. I do not think he will ever know how grateful and blessed I felt because of his generous donations. I cry whenever I think about what he has done for the children in Wisconsin and for the teachers who need supplies and materials! Thank you so much Senator Kohl and your foundation! You are generous and caring! My students love the materials you helped us get because of your generous donations! My students are actively engaged and love learning!

1

Donor

Rating: 1

They have hands down the rudest and most unhelpful staff. I've never encountered a charity that treats its donors with such disdain and as utterly replaceable. They are obnoxious and condescending. What's the point of having a Help section on your website or having Contact Us forms if you either ignore questions or are impolite and offensive in your response? The fees they charge are also outrageous. It's bad enough that everything is overpriced as it is and cheaper products can be found online for almost everything listed on the site but on top of that they add on fees that can account for up to 40% of the cost of a project. There a much better charities that support education.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Through Donors Choose, I have been able to fund several items for my class that I could not afford otherwise. The children have benefited immensely and the community loves to see our projects and know they have a direct impact.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

DonorsChoose has been an amazing way to secure resources for my students that I would not have had the opportunity to provide them otherwise. I've been able to enhance my middle school math classroom with technology, books, and manipulatives! It is a great way for parents who want to donate, companies who want to donate and family members of my own who want to donate. It gives them a safe avenue to donate to a specific cause that directly impacts people they know or to support causes they believe in! I'm truly greatful to DonorsChoose for the opportunities it has opened up in my classroom!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

DonorsChoose is a wonderful way to fund projects for all types of classrooms. As a speech and language pathologist I have received 19 grants for my amazing students. I have received grants for professional development, computers, printers, sensory items, alternative seating, puppets, articulation tools, language programs and specific programs for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. These projects are easy to write and have many examples if you are a newcomer to project writing. These funding opportunities opened so many doors for my students with unique needs. DonorsChoose is an Amazing Funding Opportunity!

Donor

Rating: 5

If you want to help kids learn and teachers teach, this is the nonprofit for you! Budgets are tight and teachers are paying for basic supply items that their students need to succeed. Donorschoose helps match donors with classrooms in need. Please consider donating through this helpful nonprofit!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

DonorsChoose.org has been a game changer in the academics of our classroom. With the help of DC my class has added science, technology, engineering, and math into our daily curriculum. DC has made a great impact in our learning!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a teacher of a high poverty school I don't know what I'd do without donors choose. The website is very easy to use and projects are put up very quickly. I have been so lucky to have many generous donors over the years help my students. I've received technology, STEM bundles, art supplies, basics such as white boards and pencil boxes, and physical education equipment. My students love coming to school and I love teaching them. Having donors choose to help me when I need materials has been so important to their learning, self confidence, and their attitude toward school. I am very appreciative there are websites like donors choose to help me get the supplies I need to do my job.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Without donors choose my classroom would be extremely bare. I've been able to reach many different students with each project I post.

1 Cheryl177

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love donorschoose.org!!! I am a teacher in a low income area of Chicago. My students are always in need of equipment for PE class and I've found a lot of success on donorschoose.org in the last few years. Please consider checking out this website and making a donation to a teacher's classroom. It will be very appreciated and go a long way. If you're in the mood I have a current project posted below. Any donation would be appreciated.

https://www.donorschoose.org/project/new-year-new-ideas-in-pe/2219256/?rf=link-siteshare-2016-09-teacher-teacher_1913507&challengeid=305981

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This non profit does an extraordinary job connecting donors directly with classrooms in a way that is highly satisfying for both the donor and the teacher. A teacher can dream an idea for teaching her students, write up an online post, and donors know exactly where the money is going and what it is doing. A donor can dream an idea that it would like to take place in a classroom, and can announce that it will donate to projects that fit that criteria. Former students can support teachers at their former schools. The ideas are endless. This is a superb grassroots style nonprofit that does enormous good!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Donors Choose has been an amazing experience for my students. We've had many projects funded and the supplies have been game changers for our classroom. I've gotten everything from computers to post it notes. I highly recommend this nonprofit!


If you're feeling generous I also have a project up now:
https://www.donorschoose.org/project/2nd-grade-geniuses-every-hour/2188488/?rf=link-siteshare-2016-09-teacher-teacher_997177&challengeid=172320

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization is wonderful. It helps teachers get the necessities we cannot get from our schools and their limited budgets. This organization is a great place to donate money.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a classroom teacher in inner-city St. Louis. We do not get the basics (paper, pencils, books, etc), let alone a special request (sensory seating for kids with Autism, field trips, extracurricular activity materials like book club books). Donorschoose is the only way I have been able to become a good teacher in a district that does not support my students or my professional development as an educator. My favorite part about Donorschoose is that it is a safe way for donors to know exactly where their donation is going - I never see the actual money, the website purchases things for me - and they know exactly how the materials are being used. It is also a safe process for me to send student thank you letters that still protect the privacy of my students.

The organization itself has been an awesome company to work with; they're responsive, they actually care about the people and communities they are serving, and they are always looking for ways to make it easier to get my students the materials they need to be successful.

I cannot recommend this organization enough. They have allowed me to become an effective teacher, and allowed my students to enjoy hundreds of books and countless amounts of materials over the past six years.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a classroom teacher who, for 14 years, has taught in impoverished areas. DonorsChoose has been a lifeline to the resources my students need to be successful. A lot of the items I request through grants at Donors Choose are things that affluent families can easily purchase for their children, but to which my students do not necessarily have access. I have gotten grants funded for just about everything from Post It notes, to copies of novels, from a laptop to project for my classroom, to paper organizers, from field trips to e-readers.

Every time Donors Choose items arrive, I can see a direct correlation between the materials and my students' learning experiences. They help provide the mediums through which my students access the curriculum, thus enriching content-learning, skill-building, and confidence-boosting.

I will forever be grateful to Donors Choose for helping teachers get necessary materials into the hands of their students.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Donorschoose has single-handedly improved the STEM and robotics curriculum in my classroom! My students have reliable technology and are able to work in pairs in the classroom, without having to disrupt our normal schedule to use the computer lab on a limited basis once every three weeks.

2

Client Served

Rating: 1

As a teacher on the receiving end, this organization is BEYOND frustrating. Each project I've done has met with countless unnecessary details they impose to make things more difficult. Not only are things terribly expensive through them, but they've got so many darn rules and hoops to jump through, it is ridiculous.

The latest is their summer shipping schedule. I've got NINE emails going back and forth now about how our school is OPEN and people are there to receive the items, which I want to use for summer school. They're so happy to respond, but never actually listening to the information given. I had to submit a link showing our school's calendar - fine. That wasn't good enough; then, and an administrator had to email them saying yes, people are there - fine. That wasn't good enough either, and they still won't order my PAID FOR items until a month from now. I feel like they're holding my items hostage.

Previously, we went round and round on the spelling and grammar of a project I posted: they kept changing it, and changing it to incorrect spelling and grammar. Their editors are just volunteers, retired teachers, etc., but I was so embarrassed to have that project posted because of all the terrible errors on it. They wouldn't change it because they thought they were right.

Another time, our "thank you" package was late (it was the end of the school year and crazy, so we were pressed for time). They sent emails to everyone in the school who also had accounts on DC, asking them to tell me to get it done. These people were also busy, and were wondering why the heck they had to hear about my late thank yous?? We were sending them, but just not in time for their harassing emails.

I could go on, but suffice it to say: NEVER AGAIN with these people.

3

Client Served

Rating: 1

Donors Choose has been the worst experience I have ever had with such a large company Their customer service is absolutely negligent and absent. You will notice there is no phone number listed and when you finally do find a number, you are sent in circles and eventually disconnected.
While I was THRILLED to raise money for my classroom from the kindness of my friends and family, not only did Donors Choose take their very expensive cut of the money (which they say you have option to opt out of but that never happened) but I had numerous issues with deliveries. Furthermore, I was over funded and very sad to find I could not use the money for the same project, yet had to go through the hassle and wait to post another project to be approved. They consistently send me back errors to fix and when I do so, in a timely matter, their page crashes.
For over three months, my experience with DC has been a nightmare and I have sent messages and left voicemails to no success.
I am appalled by this company and have already been sure to recommend GoFundMe to colleagues and avoid the disaster of DC.
Shame on you Donors Choose.

5

Donor

Rating: 1

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.