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I wish I had paid more attention to what this was before giving money to my grandson's science teacher's project. I was so excited to be part of what she was doing I did not do my normal due-diligence when donating to a non-profit. There are a number of fees tacked on to the project by DonorsChoose.org. I especially was put off by the percentage (of the donation) that is requested to go to DC.o. It's too high and too much goes to DC.o. There should be a flat fee. What I most regret was overlooking the expiration date of the fundraiser. What this means is if the date expires, DC.o keeps the money in the form of a "gift card" to the teacher for another project or goes to another project.
The donor chooses which of these things happens. However, you cannot choose to get your money back. Had I understood this, I would have just given the full amount she was requesting so she could get her project done. There is only 8 days left until her campaign expires, so no project and my money is in the vortex of DonorChoose.org. Donors should Choose to give in other ways. This was done by the teacher with great intentions, but it is not working out.
So you donate and they are good about saying here is the cost of items, and they aren’t paying Walmart prices. They are full retail price, then they charge to process the order, and taxes! So these are all their cost then they say “would you like to give an optional 20% to Donors Choose? I choose “no,” because charities don’t make 20%. So I completely funded entire price except the “optional 20” and guess what! They don’t fund the project. They short it the 20% I did not “give them”. So let me get this right. I paid price of everything and this CROOKED company shorts it because I don’t want to pay 20% to make them rich.
They work at their own pace and own rules. I had two things funded... one of which was filled late and incorrectly, the other which they decided that it was too late into the school year and were not going to until the following school year.
I have been emailing customer service for two weeks now and I received a very vague response ONCE and replied with my specific questions and concerns. It has now been over ten days and I need answers quickly as the clock is ticking and we will lose an opportunity to purchase discounted tickets for our students. I have now sent a total of three emails and STILL have not received a response. This is the last time I go through this organization. VERY UNHAPPY WITH THEIR CUSTOMER SERVICE THUS FAR. AND THEY DO CHARGE FEES! 20% in fees, I can understand collecting maybe 3%-5% but 20%??? NEVER AGAIN!
Integration is very simple, DonorsChoose help build classrooms, schools, buses for kids, everything. It's a good program that's been helping students out for a very long time. It's awesome to be helpful to others, helping people is the best anyone can do. I got my work to get in on this to help raise money for the building of classrooms for students. Customer support is actually the people who are donating. The ones who are helping others by putting their money to a good cause, it's good to know people like this exist out in the world. There are no really any fees, a person picks the amount of money they feel like giving out to the needy, and all that money gets put to good use so that's a good thing.
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They started in 2000 by a teacher in New York who wanted to empower public school teachers from across the country to get much needed materials and experiences for their students. They know how effectively donations are being used. That's why they show everyone how every dollar was spent, how we can make a difference, and how grateful the students and teachers are for the support of everyone.
They are always looking for help from anyone in those communities, community leaders, and businesses around. They always have projects that can help community centers and schools alike with help from those around and wanting to be involved. There is no additional fee just want people to not only donate money but time as well. Any money received is used to make a project become a reality or to help start another to help kids get better for school, parents, or themselves.
It allowed me to spread out my wealth amongst many different schools. I was very excited to be able to do that to donate directly to Local Schools. It's a non-for-profit organization and I like it better than donating to Red Cross or FEMA or Salvation Army because I know that the schools are going to get at least 80% of the money. The website and the telephone are very easy to use and out of the gate it wasn't like a robot controlled press 1 for this but usually aggravates everybody, the ease-of-use was awesome. I had no problems at all.
At first I was confused on how it worked and I got somebody from customer service to help me out and after that the website was easy to navigate. I'm glad that I could help with projects at local schools. That was awesome. It made my heart fill up. I don't remember there being any additional fees but if there were I'm okay with it. I got to donate directly to where I want to donate. I didn't have to go through a bunch of red tape so any additional fees were okay with me.
Impersonal only after your money no appreciation, cultivation or interest in who I am. I prefer someone come to me in person, explain the benefits of my gift and who I will be told about the outcomes for my gift.
The website offers an easy search function to enable the donor to find projects in a specific location or within certain areas of interest. The donation was followed up with a thank you email from the organization and details of when the project was fully funded. At certain donation levels the donor has the option to receive thank you notes from the kids (routed through DonorsChoose) which adds fun to the experience. Finally, I received heartfelt emails from the teachers, sometimes with photos of the class, explaining how the donated items were used and the joy they brought to the children. All in all, a truly stellar experience!
The donor selects a specific project to fund from the listings on the site and can choose a specific amount or to fully fund the project. This is a great way to assist teachers, particularly in areas that are socio-economically challenged, to obtain the necessary supplies and tools to effectively educate their students. The ability to fund projects in subjects or locations that are personally relevant to the donor adds an extra special touch to the experience.
They instantly acknowledged and thanked me for my donation via email. I just entered my amount and credit card info and it was done. I got a confirmation and thank you from the site as well as the teachers I chose to give to. I like this site because it helps teachers get what they need for their classrooms. The sponsors also will match your donation when the code word liftoff is included. Their "processing charge" isn't exorbitant and they have to approve the projects, so they are always worthy of support. I choose local teachers usually.
DonorsChoose.org expert review by Rose Spinelli
DonorsChoose is a registered nonprofit organization with offices in New York and San Francisco. It was launched by a Bronx history teacher in 2000 and allows individuals to donate directly to public school classroom projects. DonorsChoose is open to every public school in America. With a team of 80, many of whom are former teachers, the site’s nearly two million supporters have vetted and funded more than 600,000 projects to date.
Built-in audience: The platform is for teachers to run fundraisers to pay for pencils, microscopes or any other classroom supply. Its unique niche within the crowdfunding industry means that people who want to support such causes know exactly where to go.
High success rate: About 70 percent of projects are successfully funded. If donors support a project that doesn't get funded, their money is refunded in the form of account credits, which can be used to fund another project or to send a gift card to the teacher whose project they supported.
Fees: Teachers pay nothing to use the site. DonorsChoose pays for costs through donations. Donations are tax deductible.
Deadline flexibility: Teachers can set up to a four-month deadline for projects, but many have shorter timeframes.
Help with administrative work: In part to ensure project integrity, DonorsChoose uses the money raised to purchase the materials teachers have requested, the items are purchased and fulfilled internally, and they ship them to the school. Letters of thanks, photos and reports about how each dollar was spent is sent to donors by teachers.
Best for: DonorsChoose is tailor-made for teachers who want to improve their classrooms by providing needed supplies.
DonorsChoose.org Company Information
- Company Name:
- Year Founded:
- 134 West 37th Street 11th Floor
- New York
- Postal Code:
- United States
- (212) 239-3615