We have updated our policy, including but not limited to, information on how DonorsChoose or a partner who helps fund your project may use project content,
updated our policy about sharing teachers' full names with funding partners and added details about how we use data to improve your experience and the functionality of our site.
Collection and Use of Your Information
Information We Collect Directly from You
When visiting our Sites, you may opt in to provide us with your email address in order to receive information about projects and classrooms. You may also provide us with your name, email address, and, optionally, a phone number if you choose to contact us with a question or to provide us with feedback through our Sites. If you would like to apply for an open position or volunteer with us, we will ask you to provide us with your first and last name, email address, phone number, and information specific to your application (such as your work history). We will use this information to assess your application, to contact you about your candidacy, and/or for any subsequent work that you may do with us.
If you choose to donate to DonorsChoose or are a teacher who registers for a teacher-specific account, we will collect and use, your information individually or in aggregate to help improve your experience and the functionality of our site. Additionally, we will collect, use, and share your information in the following ways and as otherwise described under "How we share and disclose your information" below.
We collect the following information when you sign up for a donor account on our Sites, donate to a project, donate directly to DonorsChoose, or purchase or redeem a DonorsChoose gift card:
First name, last name, email address, and cell phone number: When you donate, we will create an internal account profile with your name and email address so that we attribute current and future donations properly to you. We use this information to correspond with you regarding transactional activity, which may include confirmation emails, receipts, and updates on projects you have funded. We will also send you recommendations for projects to support according to your indicated interests, from which you can unsubscribe through your account. If you have opted in to receive text messages from our team, you may also receive the above information by SMS (see full SMS terms for details).
Gift codes and Giving pages: When you donate using a DonorsChoose gift code, or in support of a Giving Page, we may share your full name with the entity or individual that funded the gift code, or who administers the Giving Page, respectively.
Promo codes: When you donate using a promo code provided by one of our partners, we may share your full name with the partner who funded the promo code. We will also share your email address if needed to verify your eligibility for a promo code.
If you use PayPal, Amazon, Apple Pay, or a similar service, you will be subject to their terms of service and privacy policies, so we encourage you to review those policies carefully.
If you choose to donate through a Giving Page, the donation amount will be shared with the Giving Page administrator.
The amount of your donation will be shared with the teacher(s) whose project(s) you give to and any funding partners that match your donation. We share donor and donation information with funding partners who commit to matching employee out-of-pocket donations when associated with an employer gift card.
Display name, location, and comments: When you make a donation, you will have the option to choose a name to be displayed next to your donation (unless you choose to make your donation anonymous). Your display name, location, and any comments you include shall be deemed to be public information, which means it is non-confidential and DonorsChoose shall have no obligation of any kind with respect to it. This information will be publicly posted on the project page you have given to.
We collect the following information when you sign up for a teacher account on our Sites and start a project. Teachers who make donations will also be required to share the information listed under the “Donors” section above.
First name, last name, and school information: Publicly, we’ll use the display name you choose to share (for example, “Ms. B”) along with your school name and location. This publicly displayed name will be treated as non-confidential, and be used to identify your projects on DonorsChoose and through any of our social media sharing tools.
We’ll use your full name to deliver resources to your attention when a project is fully funded, and may share your full name with your school administrators and colleagues to confirm that you are eligible to use DonorsChoose. If you indicate that you are a part of any professional affiliations (for example, Teach for America or NEA) or receive funding through a partner company, we may share your full name and donation amount with the professional organization in order to verify your affiliation or with the funding partner to ensure the proper use of their donation, respectively. These partners are only authorized to use this information for the purpose of verification.
Email address: We use your email address to set up your account, through which you can access teacher-specific services such as submitting a project and completing a thank-you package. We also use it to correspond with you regarding your project(s) and use of our Sites, deliver a monthly teacher newsletter, and contact you about special funding opportunities. If you choose to participate in our referral program, your email address will be shared along with other account information with a third-party service to verify that the referral is genuine and to detect fraudulent referrals.
Cell phone number: When we’re not able to reach you by email, we will use your cell phone number to contact you about actions required for your project or funding opportunities in your area. (We may use pre-recorded messages and autodialed calls and/or texts to reach you. If you've opted in to receive text messages from our team, you may also receive information about or funding opportunities in your area, actions for your project, and other promotional messages. (See full SMS terms for details.)
Optional Information for Donors & Teachers
We may also collect the following information from you should you choose to share it with us.
- Classroom and profile photos: Everyone has the option to submit a profile photo. Teachers can also choose to submit a photo to represent their classrooms. These photos are displayed to all visitors to our Sites, and classroom photos will appear beside the project when the project is shared using social media sharing tools. We require that you obtain prior, written permission from the parent or legal guardian of each student for any photos that include images of students, and present those permission slips to DonorsChoose upon request at any time.
- Password: You can always log into your account through a link emailed to the email address we have on file, but you may also opt to set up a password for your account. We will never share your password, and you agree to not share it, too.
- School email address (Teachers only): You may be asked to share your school email address when creating or receiving projects sent to a non-school address or for certain materials or other reasons, in order to verify that you are a current U.S. public school teacher. You must only submit your own school email address, as we may use this email address to confirm personal account details. Your school email address will not be used for marketing purposes.
- Custom shipping address (Teachers only): For certain projects, you can specify a non-school shipping address for the project. This address will be used to ship all purchase orders associated with the project, and removed once all fulfillment requirements are met. We require that you have permission to share this address with DonorsChoose, and the vendor(s) that will fulfill the order(s).
- Mailing address (Donors only): If you opt in to receive thank-you notes from the classroom you supported, we will ask for your mailing address. All thank-you notes are first sent to our office so that we don’t need to share your address with teachers or other users. Our staff may also send you a note to thank you for your support.
- Imported Contacts: If you choose to connect to Gmail, Yahoo, or other email services to share a project and authorize your contacts to be shared with us, we will use CloudSponge (https://www.cloudsponge.com), a third-party address book processing service, to collect the email addresses and names of the contacts you’d like to import. We only use this information to email your contacts a pre-populated message about the project you’re sharing. We'll remove these contacts within 24 hours of a successful email send.
- Demographic, educational, and career information (Teachers only): We may use information such as your race, gender, the year you began teaching and where you went to college to opt you into specific funding opportunities. While this demographic information won’t be publicly listed on your account or projects, people may be able to infer it from the funding opportunities your projects qualify for. We may use this information to generate donations to projects on DonorsChoose, or to invite teachers to participate in particular events. In addition, we may use this information in aggregate for our own research purposes.
- Birthday: We'll wish you a happy birthday! For teachers, we’ll also post a note on your projects to let donors know it’s your birthday.
SMS Terms of Service
- Donors who opt-in for SMS service may receive confirmation emails, receipts, updates on projects you have funded, recommendations for projects to support according to your indicated interests, and information about upcoming promotions. Teachers who opt-in for SMS service will receive information about their projects, funding opportunities, and other promotions and updates.
- You can cancel the SMS service at any time. Just text "STOP" to the short code. After you send the SMS message "STOP" to us, we will send you an SMS message to confirm that you have been unsubscribed. After this, you will no longer receive SMS messages from us. If you want to join again, just sign up as you did the first time and we will start sending SMS messages to you again.
- If you are experiencing issues with the messaging program you can reply with the keyword HELP for more assistance, or reach out to our team via our contact form.
- Carriers are not liable for delayed or undelivered messages.
- As always, message and data rates may apply for any messages sent to you from us and to us from you. You will receive up to 5 messages per month. If you have any questions about your text plan or data plan, it is best to contact your wireless provider.
Information That We Automatically Collect During Your Visit
When you visit our Sites, our web server automatically recognizes and collects your domain name and IP address. This allows us to deliver projects specific to your location, to remember your preferences, or to pre-populate your information during checkout. We also keep track of how users arrive at our Sites (e.g., via a search engine) and the path of users through our Sites. We also collect aggregate information about how our Sites are used, derived mainly from tallying page views throughout our Sites. This information helps us prevent fraud, troubleshoot problems, and gauge how users respond to new features.
By using our Sites, you agree to the use of these tracking technologies.
Do Not Track Signals: Some web browsers may transmit “do not track” signals to the websites and other online services with which the browser communicates. There is no standard that governs what, if anything, websites should do when they receive these signals. We currently do not take action in response to these signals.
Third-Party Website Tracking
How We Share and Disclose Your Information
We do not sell or rent your information. We may use and disclose your personal information and public information available on our site as described above and as follows:
- To operate our Sites and provide our services to you or to fulfill any other purposes for which you provide the information;
- To respond to your requests or questions or notify you about changes to the Sites;
- To allow our third parties to provide Site features and to perform services on our behalf, for example, with our fulfillment and service vendors, referral tracking services, payment processors, and site analytics tools such as Google Analytics and Heap;
- To allow select partner education and policy institutions to conduct research projects designed to improve outcomes for teachers and/or students (this applies to personal information that is anonymized, and public information available on our site);
- As we believe may be required by law or by a court order;
- With any successor to all or part of our business or as part of a transaction in the event of a merger, acquisition, divestiture, change of control, or liquidation of DonorsChoose or part of its business (or in anticipation of such an event);
- With your consent or as we may describe to you when you provide the information; and
- As permissible under applicable laws and regulations.
How We Protect Your Information
Your privacy is important to us, and we use physical, technical, and administrative safeguards designed to preserve the security of your personal information and protect it from unauthorized use or disclosure. When you make a donation on our Sites, information about your donation is transmitted using secure socket layer technology (SSL) and payment information is tokenized so that it’s never stored on our servers. We store data in cloud-based environments that use firewalls and other industry-standard protections in an effort to prevent access from outside intruders. Access to data is limited to those individuals who need it in order to perform their business function and protected wherever possible by two-factor authentication. Although we use appropriate security measures once we have received your personal information, the transmission of data over the internet (including by email) is never completely secure.
How We Protect Children’s Privacy
Our Sites are not intended for children under 13 in any capacity or for children under 18 without the consent of a parent or guardian. We do not knowingly collect or solicit information from anyone under the age of 13. In the event that we learn that we have inadvertently collected personal information from a child under the age of 13, we will delete that information as soon as practicable from our server. If you believe that we may have any information collected from a child under the age of 13, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are the ways in which we work with teachers in an effort to ensure the privacy of student information:
- When teachers submit a project to us, they may choose to include photos of students in their classrooms. Teachers must obtain the prior written consent of the parent or legal guardian for each child who appears in a photo before it is submitted to us, and we provide teachers with a consent form to use for this purpose. We also review project postings for personal student information.
- We do not post photos that contain student names or other identifying information.
- After projects are fully funded, teachers are provided with instructions on how to construct any applicable thank-you materials for qualified donors. We provide teachers with photo safety guidelines, which prohibit student names.
- We review all thank-you notes to ensure any student identifiers that were inadvertently included, such as a full name, email address, or phone number, are removed before being sent to donors, and we do not retain this information.
We will retain user account information for as long as needed to provide our services, comply with our contractual or legal obligations, audit requirements, resolve disputes, and prevent abuse. We also retain deidentified, aggregate information about activity related to projects submitted and funded on our Sites, to understand and gain insights into how schools are being supported through our Sites. We publish this information in reports available at data.donorschoose.org.
Links to Third-Party Websites
How You Can Access and Adjust Your Information
You may correct your account information at any time by logging into your online account and modifying your information on the Private/Public Info pages or, for certain information, by contacting us. You have the right to request access to the personal information that we record about you. You also have the right to request corrections, amendments, and deletions of any of your personal information in our possession, including information you may have provided to us as part of a project submission. To make these changes or cancel your account, please contact us.
Teachers may, at any time, access their project page to review, amend, or correct information provided about their classroom. If a teacher wishes to remove a photo that they have provided, either on their own behalf or at the request of a student’s parent or guardian, they may do so by contacting us at email@example.com.
If you have provided us with your information in order to receive updates about our Sites, you may unsubscribe from those updates at any time through links provided in our emails, or through the email preferences tab in your account. Please allow us up to 30 days to remove your information.