Over the years, we’ve been excited to expand our platform to more schools and different school types. We’re happy to serve virtual schools, but because not all virtual schools have traditional classrooms, we need extra information and accountability in order to do so successfully.
First, take a look at our article on what schools can use DonorsChoose and make sure your school falls within our eligibility guidelines. Public schools, including charter schools, located within the 50 states and the District of Columbia, are eligible for our site. We do not serve private or non-public schools.
Please also note that homeschools are not eligible for our site. We can never ship to home locations, and only eligible teachers employed by a public school can use our site.
To maintain our high standards of accountability and transparency, we never ship to residential locations, businesses, or anywhere that is not a verified school location.
We understand that not all virtual schools have physical classroom locations and that some virtual school teachers work from home offices. We have been able to ship materials to school administrative offices in the past, as long as there is also a system in place at your school to ship materials to and from students.
While virtual materials, such as subscriptions to online learning courses, may not require physical shipment, we still need a physical address for accountability purposes.
Eligible projects request materials for student use or student benefit. We know that virtual schools have different ways for teachers to interact with students. Some examples of eligible projects that teachers at virtual schools have posted in the past include:
- Alternative Classroom Seating: Flexible seating for learning center classrooms where students periodically meet with teachers face to face.
- Reaching Students Across 84,000 Square Miles: requesting snacks, toys, postcards, and stamps for small care packages to send to students as tokens of appreciation.
- Tablets for students to use from their homes to access different lessons.
- Journals for students to work on writing at home.
- Digital subscriptions for online learning materials.
Projects requesting furnishings for home offices, such as chairs or standing desks, are not eligible.
The Thank-You Package
An important part of our model is the thank-you package. While some aspects of the package are virtual, such as the photographs and impact letter, we still require that thank-you notes be handwritten and physical. This means that there must be a system in place to ship physical materials to and from students. Some virtual schools that conduct some in-person classes use some of this time for the thank-you notes. Other schools with no in-person class time mail their students prepaid envelopes to collect their thank-you notes.
When you request to add a virtual school to our site, we’ll ask to hear from your school’s principal or another administrator. This way, we’ll have the opportunity to talk through our requirements and make sure our requirements and policies are understood. We’ll also reach out to this administrative contact when materials for fully funded projects are shipped.