Materials funded through DonorsChoose generally belong to the public school or Head Start center at which the teacher is employed when resources are shipped. This includes:
We make an exception to this ownership policy for the following projects and scenarios, for which materials are owned by students:
Who gets to use the materials?
Standard Projects: Materials are sent to the school where the teacher is registered on our site when materials are ordered. When they arrive, materials should be given to the teacher who submitted the project request, to be used in his/her classroom. This does not apply to projects where the teacher explicitly describes the intent for materials to be given to the students to use and own, such as projects for take-home books, or Warmth, Care & Hunger projects.
Distance Learning Projects: Teachers designate whether their project is for student-use or teacher-use materials in the first step of project creation. Once the project is fully-funded, DonorsChoose ships the materials to an address designated by the teacher during confirmation.
Who owns the materials?
Standard Projects: Unless the project essay clearly indicates that materials are meant to be given to students to use and own, materials are the property of the public school or Head Start center at which the teacher is employed when resources are ordered. The teacher who created the project is the sole steward of the donation while employed at the school, carrying out the project for which the materials were donated.
Distance Learning Projects: Materials for student-use projects belong to the student. Materials for teacher-use projects belong to the school, and should be returned to the teacher’s school once schools re-open.
If the teacher moves schools after posting a project (but before materials arrive in the classroom):
As long as the new school is public, the teacher remains eligible, and the project can be carried out with the same anticipated outcomes in the new school, teachers can update the school information in their account and continue with the project. This also applies to projects that are fully funded during the summer break, when teachers are most likely to move schools. At any point before project implementation, the teacher can have their materials shipped to the school at which they work. (Note: teachers are required to keep their school information up-to-date in their account, and should never post a project for a school at which they are no longer teaching.)
If the teacher moves within the school:
Standard project materials should remain at the school and continue to be used by the teacher’s current and future students, even if the teacher moves grade levels or subject areas. (This does not apply to consumables or other single-use items.) If the materials are no longer of use to the teacher who requested them, they can be given to another teacher in the school to use with his/her students, and that teacher becomes the steward.
If the teacher moves schools after their project is implemented:
Standard project materials and teacher-use materials should remain at the teacher’s original school if a teacher leaves after receiving the materials, unless both of these criteria are met:
- The teacher will continue to teach in an eligible public school and in a position that meets our eligibility criteria.
- The principal gives consent for the teacher to take funded materials to use in his/her new classroom.
Working within school policy:
Schools and districts often have their own policies for documenting or tracking donated items, and we encourage teachers to learn about these policies before submitting requests for funding on our site. In moments when a school’s policy may make it challenging for a teacher to have regular access to funded materials, our team is happy to provide support in seeking a solution.