DonorsChoose was founded on the belief that people would donate to public school classrooms if they could see exactly where their money was going. From vetting every project request to sending resources instead of cash, financial transparency and accountability are core to our model.
95% of funding directly supports program costs.
On DonorsChoose, you choose the classroom project request you want to support. Your donation enables us to purchase the requested resources and have them delivered to the classroom, while strengthening the platform which makes that classroom support possible.
Program services: 95%
The overwhelming majority of our expenses are purchases of classroom materials like books, art supplies, field trips, and other resources for students. Program services also include postage for student thank-you letters, teacher outreach, and improving the DonorsChoose experience.
General and administrative: 1%
We’re dedicated to running a lean organization, which is why we keep administration costs at just 1% of our budget.
Unlike other crowdfunding platforms, we generate funding from outside teachers’ personal networks of friends and family, engaging the broader public, foundations, and companies in supporting our public schools. As a result, 75% of donations on DonorsChoose come from donors who've never met the teacher they’re giving to.
When people give to a classroom project, we suggest a 15% optional donation to DonorsChoose. Donors can reduce or remove this donation (although 84% keep it as is), while partners keep it intact.
In addition to supporting our general operations, this 15% optional donation enables us to help teachers succeed.
Our team works hard to introduce DonorsChoose to teachers across the country, so that educators in every classroom in America know where to turn when looking for extra classroom resources.
Funding Projects from First Time Teachers
Your donation to DonorsChoose allows us to set first-time teachers up for success by offering things like the Friends & Family Code, which doubles donations to first-time teacher projects for the first week.
Maintaining Our Site
Our Product and Engineering team works under the hood every day to keep our site best-in-class, giving teachers and donors a great experience.
See Where Every Dollar Goes
Every classroom project request on DonorsChoose features a line item breakdown of each requested resource, necessary processing costs, and the suggested donation to DonorsChoose.
Example Project Request
Wobble Chairs for Wiggle Kids
“Help me give my students wobble chairs that allow them to wiggle and learn at the same time.”
Hover over the
icons to learn more about each line.
CR122BU - Wobble Chair - Blue
• Lakeshore Learning Materials
This is a subtotal of the cost of requested resources listed above.
Every state has different rules regarding the tax-exempt status of nonprofits, so requested resources may still incur a sales tax despite our organization's general IRS tax exempt status.
3rd party payment processing fee
This 1.5% payment processing fee represents the weighted average of fees DonorsChoose incurs across various payment methods through which donations are placed.
Credit cards and PayPal donations incur a charge of about 2.5%, check donations incur nominal handling and processing charges, and large grants to fund classroom projects received via wire transfer typically do not incur fees. Because all transactions in the US must be charged the same fee regardless of payment form, we've set a standard 1.5% processing fee.
Fulfillment labor & materials
DonorsChoose provides end-to-end integrity by vetting each project before posting it, purchasing and coordinating delivery of the materials, and processing thank-you letters and photos from the classroom.
Total project cost
The total project cost is the sum of materials and fees listed above, and must be met to bring this project to life.
Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms
This 15% optional allocation, which donors can opt out of or reduce during checkout, goes towards the work we do to engaging new audiences, maintaining our site, and funding projects from first time teachers and those working in low-income communities, along with supporting our general operations.
Our efficiency and transparency have earned DonorsChoose the top 4-star rating from Charity Navigator.
Total project goal
The total project goal is the amount we hope to reach and includes the 15% donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms. If donors opt out of that 15% donation, the total project goal will recalculate to reflect the reduced donation to DonorsChoose.
How we calculate what's needed
Total project goal
Donations toward project cost
Donations to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms
Target match offer
Match offer toward project cost
Match offer to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms
Our team works hard to negotiate the best pricing and selections available.
We work with more than 20 vendors, who are dedicated to providing teachers best-in-class resources, product discounts, availability, shipping, and exceptional customer service. When teachers request funding for learning experiences, like a field trip or a professional development conference, we vet those experiences to ensure teachers are getting the best value.
All projects are hand-screened before they appear on our site, and once projects are funded, we deliver resources, not cash, directly to teachers. Because of these transparency measures and more, organizations like the AASA and NAESP have named us the PreK-12 crowdfunding platform of choice.
DonorsChoose makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America create classroom project requests, and you can give any amount to the project that inspires you.
Browse bundles of books that prominently feature Black, Arab, Asian, Indigenous, Latinx, and Pacific Islander characters, and the LGBTQ+ community. With each ColorPop book bundle purchased, $5 is donated to our Book Donation Fund, which brings identity-affirming books directly into public school classrooms.