DonorsChoose.org is a site that allows users to donate to classroom projects posted by teachers at public schools throughout the US. The site is open to every public school in the US, and allows teachers to post a classroom project description for which they need donations. The site takes care of collecting the donations and passes them along to the teacher's school. The site is open to everyone for donations, but you must be a public school teacher to post a project. Users can search projects on the site by keyword, or browse by city, state, school, subject, urgency level, poverty level of the school, cost or popularity. Teachers post a project by describing the project they wish to fund, along with a description of the equipment they need for the project as well as the cost of the equipment. Projects range from funding needed to pay for the bus and admission to visit a local museum, to computer equipment needed to do an environmental study. Teachers can post a photo of their class or one that is associated with the project in the project listing. The total amount needed and the amount donated so far is shown on each product listing. The site also sells gift cards, which allow the recipient to donate the amount of the gift card to the project they choose. In addition, Honoree gifts are excepted in honor of an individual or group.Show more screenshots »
DonorsChoose.org was started by Charles Best, a social studies teacher in a Bronx (New York) public school in 2000. The site grew out of a need for the ability of donors to control what projects their donations to public schools went to support. Charles Best is currently CEO of the site, while Andy Kaplan is CFO and Oliver Hurst-Hiller is CTO.
Competition to DonorsChoose.org comes mainly from individual school sites which have a donations page. Most of the sites do not allow donating to a specific project, so DonorsChoose.org offers a unique service both to the classroom teacher and the donor. The classroom teacher can fund a particular project and the donor can choose how their funds are spent.
The DonorsChoose.org site has a clean and uncluttered look and feel. The site is very responsive, and navigation is intuitive, with a convenient top menu bar provided for navigation. The search and browse functions work well, and page loads happen quickly. There is no advertising displayed on the DonorsChoose.org site.
Registration to the DonorsChoose.org site is free and is required for public school teachers to post a project or for donors to make a donation. The registration process asks for fist and last name, email address and password.
Free registration allows access to all features of the site, and there is no premium membership offered, although users can choose to make monthly donations or donations on their birthdays. The site accepts PayPal, Amazon Payments or checks as payment for donations.
DonorsChoose.org is recommended to public school teachers in the US and to people who would like to support public education in the US. The site offers a unique service in connecting donors with specific projects, and is a great place to host the fundraising efforts for a classroom project. While the site has grown to the point of having paid employees, it is a non-profit organization.