In order to remain scalable and available to all public school teachers, we set up the point system to regulate the number of projects (particularly the more labor-intensive projects) that come in at one time. This enables us to process each project and to continue to operate effectively as we grow.
Certain types of projects require much more time and money to fulfill. For example, it takes a DonorsChoose.org staff member only 2 minutes to fulfill a request for materials totaling less than $400, but it can take 30 minutes to fulfill a class trip. If every teacher submitted a field trip at DonorsChoose.org, we would not be able to fulfill projects in a timely manner, resulting in poor service for our teachers and causing us to spend a great deal more money for our operating expenses (money which could otherwise go to teacher projects).
We absolutely DO want you to submit field trips, class visitors, and special requests. We just can’t flood our system with more labor-intensive projects, as it would prevent us from serving you well. By earning and spending points for your project submissions, you enable DonorsChoose.org to be sustainable. In addition, by submitting lower cost projects, you increase your chances of success for each request. And of course, the more points you earn by submitting timely, compelling donor feedback, the more trips, visitors, and special requests you can submit!