Updated 6/14/20 12:00 PM EST
The DonorsChoose team is evaluating the many ways the coronavirus pandemic affects classrooms, teachers, and students across the country. We'll update this page regularly, so please check here if you have questions about projects or donations.
Quick navigation for teachers: Thank-you packages | Distance Learning Projects | Shipping guidelines | Trip projects | Vendors during coronavirus | Free resources for you and your students
Quick navigation for supporters: Helping students in closed schools | Discontinuing student thank-yous | DonorsChoose office closure
Information for teachers
Our community and classroom funding model is built on gratitude and transparency. We still believe in the undeniable power of a simple thank-you — especially in tough times. It keeps classroom supporters coming back again and again, and even helps us find new ones for your future projects! However, you can contact us if you cannot complete your thank-you package and we will waive your requirements.
We have taken the following steps to reduce any barriers to completing thank-you package steps:
- Made thank-yous optional for materials projects that were delivered between 12/1/2019 and 4/28/20. Teachers that are funded after 4/28 will be prompted for thank you package steps (just your impact letter and photos when possible) but we can help with waiving those if needed.
- Suspended the processing of student thank-yous while our offices are closed. If you have remaining student thank-yous, you can send them as normal (using the business reply label in your account) and your notes will not be considered late.
- You will not be required to submit student thank-yous for donations made after 3/20/20 until further notice.
Distance Learning Projects
Starting on April 28, teachers can create a brand new project type called Distance Learning Projects. These projects are separate from any standard project created before 4/28 and will give teachers the option to ship to the address of their choice. Read more about Distance Learning Projects here.
Shipments to school and district addresses on classroom projects
If your standard, non-Distance Learning project is fully funded, here’s how we’ll ensure your materials are safely delivered during school closures:
- Ship to an alternate district-designated address: If your school is not receiving mail, you can change the shipping address for your materials to a district-designated address. While we cannot ship to any non-district location, we can ship to an address other than your school as long as it’s affiliated with your district and is receiving mail right now.
- Delay delivery until your school is open: You can select an order date for your materials anytime between the day you confirm funding for your project and September 15, 2020, which we hope will accommodate your school’s closure. If you’re not sure when your school will open, we recommend selecting an order date in the fall to ensure safe delivery of your materials.
Teachers will no longer have the ability to create a trip or visitor project that involves an in-person component. This includes any project that requires travel on the part of teachers or students. The Class Trip or Class Visitor project type is no longer available when creating a new project. Virtual trip and conference experiences can be submitted as Special Request projects.
Some vendors and items may be unavailable due to coronavirus’ impact on vendors’ inventory, supply chain, and warehouse capabilities. When shopping, you may see that items are out of stock or unable to ship at this time.
Additional free resources while your school is closed
Our vendors, partners, and other friends of DonorsChoose are doing so much to support teachers, students, and parents during school closures. Here's a growing list of additional resources you may find helpful.
Information for classroom supporters
How to help students during school closures
Thank you for your continued support of public schools! Here are a few ways to support teachers and students while schools are closed:
- Donate to a project. Thousands of teachers are still using DonorsChoose to request resources for their students while school doors are closed, and we’re working with them directly to make sure materials are delivered safely. You can also support projects that are intended to ship directly to a teacher or student home.
- Support Keep Kids Learning, our new pilot program that helps selected teachers in high-need schools get resources delivered directly to their students. We’ve waived our 15% optional donation for this fund, so 100% of your gift will go to supplies for teachers and their students. Learn more about the Keep Kids Learning program.
Discontinuing student thank-you notes until further notice
We’re no longer asking teachers to create thank-you notes with their students until schools are able to open their doors again. Donors will not receive student thank-you notes for donations of any amount made after March 20, 2020. While this is a big shift for us, we know it’s the right choice -- we’re glad we can take one thing off teachers’ minds right now. We’re looking forward to bringing back the glittery, magic-markered, sweetly drawn notes we all love to receive as soon as we can.
Keeping our communities healthy and safe
In accordance with local recommendations, DonorsChoose has closed its offices. Our work doesn't stop, however; teachers, many of whom are working remotely for the first time, need our community's help more than ever to keep their students safe and healthy. We're working hard to limit disruptions in our support.