Update 7/21/20 - You can no longer create a Distance Learning Project on our site. Instead, you can create a standard project, and may have the ability to ship your materials to a custom address.
If you currently have a live Distance Learning Project, your project will continue to be live on our site, and you can keep fundraising! Once your project is fully funded, you’ll be able to choose a custom address you would like to send your materials to.
Distance Learning Projects allow teachers to send materials funded through a DonorsChoose project to an address other than your school - such as your home address or a student home address.
Note: Distance Learning Projects were created as a response to the current coronavirus pandemic that has shifted most classrooms to distance learning. This project type will only be available while schools are closed.
There are two types of Distance Learning Projects:
- Student-use Distance Learning Projects allow you to fundraise for resources that your students need ASAP, whether it’s workbooks to keep them learning, puzzles and games to keep them entertained, or snacks to get through the virtual school day.
- Teacher-use Distance Learning Projects allow you to request resources you need as an educator to better facilitate and lead distance learning from your home.
Important things to know before creating a Distance Learning Project:
Who is eligible to create a Distance Learning Project?
- Current DonorsChoose teachers — If you’ve had a project fully funded in the past school year, you can create a Distance Learning Project.
- Inactive DonorsChoose teachers — If you have a DonorsChoose account, but haven’t posted a project in the last school year, you’ll need to verify that you are currently teaching at a U.S. public school before you can create a Distance Learning Project.
- New DonorsChoose teachers — If you’re new to DonorsChoose, you can create an account if you are an eligible educator (see full eligibility requirements). Once you’ve created your new account, you’ll need to verify that you are currently teaching at a U.S. public school to start creating Distance Learning Projects.
What materials can I request?
You can request materials that either provide a direct student benefit or that help you deliver a great distance learning experience for your students.
- Student-use Distance Learning Projects can request resources that directly support distance learning. This includes books, puzzles and games, food, personal care items, technology, and clothing to keep your students safe, comfortable, and engaged.
- Teacher-use Distance Learning Projects can request resources that help you deliver a great distance learning experience to your students. This includes items like whiteboards, basic classroom supplies, or a document camera. Home furniture (desks, chairs, sofas etc.) is not eligible for teacher-use projects.
For this project type, you cannot create Special Requests (i.e., request resources from non-integrated vendors), or Professional Development projects.
Where can I shop for my Distance Learning Project?
For either your student-use or teacher-use Distance Learning Project, you can shop at any of our available integrated vendors.
Some vendors and some 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.
Where can I send materials?
You can ship materials to one address per project. This is an address you choose and may include:
- Your home address — you'll likely ship to your home for teacher-use Distance Learning Projects. You can also ship to your home for student-use distance learning projects if you can safely distribute materials to your students.
- A student’s home address — you can ship to one student address and may want to do this for specific student-use Distance Learning Projects. Note: you may need to check with your administration to make sure this is allowed. And you should let the parents of your students know to expect a package.
- Another address — if you are currently staying someplace other than your home and need materials for a teacher-use Distance Learning Project, you can input any other valid address.
- Your school address — if your school is accessible by the time your project is fully funded, you will have the opportunity to select your school address as the shipping address.
You’ll have the option to input your chosen address when confirming funding for your project.
Who owns the materials delivered through Distance Learning Projects?
Because materials funded through Distance Learning Projects are sent directly to teachers or students instead of schools, our materials ownership policy looks a little different.
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.
Creating a Distance Learning Project
Log in to your account to create a new project.
- Select the Distance Learning project type on the first screen.Note: if you don’t see the Distance Learning project type available, it means you are not currently eligible to post a Distance Learning Project, and you'll need to verify that you are a public school teacher.
- Once you’ve selected the Distance Learning Project type, you’ll be asked to choose if you’re creating a project with resources for your students or for yourself.
From here, follow the prompts to write about your students, shop for the materials you want, and describe your project needs.
Sending resources to a home address
Once your project is fully funded, you’ll be asked to confirm funding for your project. When you confirm funding, you’ll be able to choose to have your project materials sent to your school, or a new address. You’ll be able to enter one address for all the resources from your project to be sent to.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I verify that I am currently teaching at a U.S. public school?
To verify that you are teaching at a U.S. public school, you'll need to create a new project:
- Log in to your account to create a new project
- If you haven't had a project fully funded in the past school year, you will not be able to click on the Distance Learning Project type. Instead, you'll see a banner that says "First you'll need to verify your school email address"
- Click on the link in the banner, and you'll be brought to our verification page
If you're having trouble verifying your account or want more details, you can head to Verifying your teacher account. Please note that you must have a DonorsChoose account before you verify. If you haven't yet created an account on our site, you can create an account now.
Why can’t I click on the Distance Learning Project type?
If the distance learning option is greyed out (you cannot click it), that means that you are not yet eligible to create a Distance Learning Project. You can verify that you are currently teaching at a U.S. public school to post a Distance Learning Project.
Where can I request Chromebooks?
Chromebooks are only available from select vendors for this project type.
- Student-use Distance Learning Projects — shop only on Amazon Business.
- Teacher-use Distance Learning Projects — shop only on CDW-G or Best Buy Education.
When will I or my students receive materials?
All materials from fully funded Distance Learning Projects will ship as quickly as vendors can process the orders and you cannot pick an order date manually. Please also note that many of our vendors are experiencing delays in shipping right now and some orders could take as long as three weeks to process. You can always see the expected shipping and delivery date by logging in to your account and looking at your “Order Status”.
Can I only send materials to one student?
You can choose one address to send resources to for a fully funded Distance Learning Project. If you wish to send materials to multiple students, you can post one project per student you wish to send resources to! Or if you can safely distribute materials in your area, you may choose to have the materials sent directly to you and then distribute them to students.
Can I send materials to my home address?
Yes! You can choose to send resources from your fully funded student or teacher-use Distance Learning Project to your home address. You’ll have the option to input your address when confirming funding for your project.
How many Distance Learning Projects can I post?
Student-use Distance Learning Projects do not count towards the eight project per teacher limit on DonorsChoose once you create them, but you won't be able to post a new project if you already have eight projects in-progress. Teacher-use projects do count as one of your eight “in progress” projects.
What should I do if I have a current project posted, but really need a Distance Learning Project?
We cannot switch any current projects to Distance Learning Projects, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have any options!
- If you still need the resources you’ve requested in your classroom in the fall, or if your school is accepting deliveries, please continue to fundraise for your standard project! Resources for all non-Distance Learning Projects must be delivered to a school or district address.
- You can archive your current standard project. If you choose to archive your project, any donations you’ve received from friends or family will be returned to you as account credits.
- And you’re always welcome to create a new Distance Learning Project!
My project was fully funded recently, can I have those items delivered to my home?
We cannot switch any current projects to Distance Learning Projects or ship any non-Distance Learning Project materials to locations other than school or district approved addresses. The good news is —
- You’re welcome to create a new Distance Learning Project for materials that you or your students can use at home!
- Materials from project(s) already successfully funded and confirmed will still be delivered to your school or district address when able.
We can still help you get your materials! We’ve recently expanded shipping for standard projects to alternate district-designated addresses. If your school is not receiving mail, you can change the shipping address for your materials to a district-designated address. If your school or district is set up to receive deliveries, you can let us know, and we’ll work on getting your resources to you!
If your school and district are unable to receive deliveries at this time, we can postpone ordering your resources until you’re back in the classroom. Let our team know when you want materials from your fully funded project delivered to your school.
Am I required to complete a thank-you package for my distance learning project?
Yes! You’ll be required to complete both an impact letter and thank-you package photos for fully funded Distance Learning Projects. Student Thank-Yous are not required at this time. You’ll be asked to upload your impact letter and photos a few weeks after you and your students receive your materials. You can check out your thank-you package due date by logging in to your teacher account.
How can I take photos of my students for my thank-you package?
You can get creative about how you collect photos of your students using the materials. You may consider asking parents/guardians to send you photos of students using the materials. If you use video conferencing to facilitate distance learning using your materials, take screenshots!
How should I complete a thank-you package for a project that was for me?
If the materials you received are to help you teach from home, that’s great! You can take photos of yourself using the materials to facilitate distance learning with your students. In your impact letter, describe how these resources have helped you continue to teach and connect with your students.
How do I get permission slips from parents during distance learning?
When you upload thank-you package photos, you’ll be asked to check-off a box that says you’ve gathered permission slips from your student’s parents to upload their photos.
- Ask parents to print, sign, and scan our permission slip
- Or, you can use an electronic document signature service - many are free to use!
If you’re unable to get permission from your students’ parents, you can check out some alternative ideas for showing your donors how resources are being used!