Welcome to our new blog | This page is still under construction; check out our most recent posts!

How the DonorsChoose Terms of Use & Privacy Policy Keep Teachers, Students & Districts Safe

As a 501(c)(3) public charity, our top priority is ensuring that the teachers who use our site and the students they serve are protected.


At DonorsChoose, a 501(c)(3) public charity, our top priority is ensuring that the teachers who use our site and the students they serve are protected. Our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy are designed to support the specific compliance and accountability needs of public school teachers and districts and are in line with industry best practices.

These documents govern the ways in which teachers, donors, and the general public are expected to use our platform and the content found on our site. All teachers and donors agree to these terms before creating or giving to a project.

Our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy cover all aspects of site behavior, and here are a few of the key ways we help keep teachers, students, and school districts safe.

Teacher Terms of Use

Our general Terms of Use contains a Teacher Terms of Use section, outlining which public school teachers are eligible to create classroom project requests, the types of requests they are able to create, guidelines for keeping student privacy intact, and what’s expected of teachers should their project request be fully funded.

FERPA & IDEA Compliance

We know how important it is for districts to stay in compliance with federal laws like FERPA and IDEA. While DonorsChoose is not directly governed by these provisions, we take precautionary steps to help schools and districts remain compliant.

We require teachers teachers follow all laws or institutional and school district policies while using our platform, including FERPA and IDEA. Our policies support these practices; for example, teachers are given guidelines on how to ensure no identifying student information is displayed while creating projects or submitting student thank-you letters, and teachers are required to receive and maintain written permission from parents before submitting any photographs of students to our platform. Read the other ways we protect student privacy.

Materials Ownership Policy

By agreeing to our Terms of Use, teachers also agree to our Materials Ownership Policy. This policy explains that materials received through DonorsChoose should stay in the classroom for which they were purchased, unless the project essay clearly states that materials are for student use or ownership outside of the classroom. Our policy also states that, should a teacher leave their school, materials remain property of the school so that students can continue to benefit from them in future years.

501(c)(3) Status

Since our founding in 2000, DonorsChoose has been a 501(c)(3) charity. Our Terms of Use outlines this and highlights that all donations to teachers through our platform are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. Our dedication to efficacy and transparency has earned us the highest possible rating from Charity Navigator, America's largest independent charity evaluator, for 13 consecutive years. This achievement is held by fewer than 1% of nonprofits. We include more information about our nonprofit status and financials on our site’s Financials Page.

We encourage you to read our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy to understand the full scope of DonorsChoose policies that support the needs of school districts and teachers alike.

Browse Popular Topics

Looking for something specific?

Search the Blog

See posts for: