Though this amount cannot be removed from your project goal, donors can easily exclude it in their donation. Any donor can opt out of including it in the checkout process: if someone selects "give" on your project page, they can click "edit" or "optional donation" in the cart review step of the donation process and opt out, or opt to give less. Each time a donor opts out, we recalculate the amount remaining on your project.
The suggested donation supports the labor performed by DonorsChoose.org to turn your donation into a live project. DonorsChoose.org ensures end-to-end integrity on every project by reviewing project submissions, procuring materials, verifying school shipping addresses, and maintaining contact with the teachers and other school officials throughout the process. It is definitely essential to keep DonorsChoose.org going!