We’re unable to have a policy of proactively refunding donations when a project expires without full funding. We issue a tax-deductible receipt to each donor at the time of their gift. If we then proactively issued refunds at a later date, the receipt would give credit for a donation that was not made, and facilitating that would jeopardize our 501c3 status.
The great news is, when projects expire without full funding, every donor and gift card redeemer still gets to decide how their donation is used. If a project you support does not proceed to completion, we'll email you with the following options that allow you to ensure that your donation still ends up in a public school classroom! You can either:
1) Choose another project that inspires you, or
2) Send the teacher you supported a DonorsChoose.org gift card, which he or she can use toward their next project.
We send these emails the day after a project expires, and donors have 30 days to choose an option. If no action is taken in that time we'll apply the funds to an urgent project in need, or we'll send the original teacher you supported a DonorsChoose.org gift card. Either way, we use those donations to support classroom projects in need!
If you sent a gift card, the redeemer of that gift card is given the option of deciding how they’d like to reallocate their donation. If you’ve made a Friends & Family Pre-funding donation, the teacher you supported is able to reallocate the donation to their next classroom project.