DonorsChoose

Support a Classroom. Build a Future.

aka DonorsChoose.org   |   New York, NY   |  www.donorschoose.org

Mission

DonorsChoose makes 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.

Ruling year info

2000

Founder & CEO

Charles Best

Main address

134 W. 37th St. Floor 11

New York, NY 10018 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

13-4129457

NTEE code info

Education N.E.C. (B99)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (B01)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (B12)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Teachers spend, on average, over $500 each year out-of-pocket on classroom supplies and basic needs for their students. We connect teachers who need supplies with donors who want to help.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Classroom Project Funding

DonorsChoose is the leading way to give to public schools. As the most trusted crowdfunding platform for teachers, donors, and district administrators alike, DonorsChoose vets each request, ships the funded resources directly to the classroom, and provides thank yous and reporting to donors and school leaders.

Population(s) Served
Students

Where we work

Accreditations

Charity Navigator 4 stars 2013

Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance 2013

Charity Navigator 4 stars 2014

Charity Navigator 4 stars 2015

Charity Navigator 4 stars 2021

Charity Navigator 4 stars 2020

Charity Navigator 4 stars 2019

Charity Navigator 4 stars 2018

Charity Navigator 4 stars 2017

Charity Navigator 4 stars 2016

Awards

Nonprofit Innovation Award 2005

Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and Amazon.com

The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies 2011

Fast Company

Members Project Winner 2010

American Express

Golden Halo Award 2011

Cause Marketing Forum

Directors Award 2011

Committee for Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of overall donors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Classroom Project Funding

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Measured for our fiscal year, which runs July 1 - June 30.

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Classroom Project Funding

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Measured for our fiscal year, which runs July 1 - June 30. "Clients served" refers to teachers who had a classroom project fully funded on our site in each fiscal year.

Number of facilities improved

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Classroom Project Funding

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Measured for our fiscal year, which runs July 1 - June 30. "Facilities improved" refers to schools which had at least one teacher with a fully-funded classroom project on our site in each fiscal year.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

DonorsChoose engages the public in public schools by giving people a simple, accountable and personal way to address educational inequity. We envision a nation where children in every community have the tools and experiences needed for an excellent education.

To achieve our goal, we:

- Recruit individual donors to support classroom projects, using web search tools, email marketing, social and traditional media outreach, and yearly "tentpole" outreach campaigns.

- Partner with corporations and foundations to fund projects on a large scale, match citizen donations, and raise awareness about DonorsChoose.org and education inequity.

- Collaborate with entrepreneurs and inventors to introduce teachers to novel classroom resources such as 3D printers, underwater robots, and coding lessons.

- Elevate teacher requests from Equity Focus Schools — schools where at least 50% of students are Black, Latinx, Native American, Pacific Islander, or multiracial, and at least 50% of students come from low-income households — to address both socioeconomic and racial inequities in education.

The assets we deploy to implement our strategies include:

- Our website: All transactions with donors, teachers and partners take place through our website, www.donorschoose.org. Our goal is to make it easy for donors to find classroom projects to support.

- Our products: We've created tools that make it easy for partners and donors to engage with their communities.

- Our marketing plan: We use a mix of email marketing, digital marketing, personal outreach, and social media to raise awareness of our organization and engage donors and teachers.

- Our thank you packages and reporting: Once a project is funded, teachers share thank you notes, photos and reports with every donor who gave to their projects, describing how each donation has improved their classrooms.

- Our staff: Our team of 100+ full-time employees is organized in teams that focus on each of our capabilities, including Marketing & Partnerships, Product & Engineering, People Operations, Finance, and Operations.

Our total impact to date as of October 2021:
- $1.1 billion raised
- 2 million projects funded
- 85,000 schools participating
- 660,000 teachers with projects funded
- 5 million supporters

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    U.S. public school teachers

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Case management notes, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

DonorsChoose
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

DonorsChoose

Board of directors
as of 10/28/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Theresia Gouw

Acrew Capital

Term: 2021 -

Peter Bloom

General Atlantic, LLC

Stephen Colbert

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Theresia Gouw

Aspect Ventures

Trabian Shorters

BMe

Jeff Weiner

LinkedIn

Desirée Rogers

Johnson Publishing and former White House Social Secretary

Richard Lovett

Creative Artists Agency

Yvette Brown

Mitch Cohen

Retired, PwC

Amanda Calzada

Teacher

Maria Castañón Moats

PwC

Kristie Jones

Teacher

W. Bell

Comedian and Host, CNN's United Shades of America

Donna Ratchford

Teacher

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/22/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/28/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.