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Tales from Donor Appreciation Land


We recently interviewed our colleague Christina Gillim, who works on the Donor Appreciation Team. As a member of the Donor Appreciation Team, Christina is responsible for making sure every DonorsChoose.org supporter is thanked by the teachers and students they helped.What does the Donor Appreciation Team do? The Donor Appreciation Team helps all of our teachers’ projects come full circle for donors. Through the Thank-You Package that the teacher and students create for every project, donors get to see how the materials they helped support are being used in the classroom. Donors who qualify to receive student thank-you letters also get to hear first hand from individual students regarding the impact of the materials they received.Donors have expressed time and time again how much they love this type of connection back to the classroom and how it inspires them to return to our site and support more classrooms. Our teachers have also told us that they love the opportunity to create these Thank-You Packages - that this aspect of the process allows their students to say thank-you in their own individual ways. We know how special and meaningful these Thank-You Packages are to both donors and teachers. The Donor Appreciation Team works to make sure these packages are created and delivered to donors to ensure the best possible experience and a genuine thank-you. What does a donor receive from the classroom when they make a donation? Every donor who donates to a project that gets fully funded, no matter the size of the donation, will have access to project photos showing the materials in action in the classroom. In addition, these donors will have access to a teacher impact letter. This letter is written by the teacher and describes how the project went, how the materials were used in the classroom and the impact these materials had on the students.Donors who donate $50 or more qualify to receive student thank-you letters. These are tangible thank-yous created by the students themselves for the donors. These thank-you can vary depending on grade level and type of classroom and can be anything from a macaroni collage covered in glitter, paintings from an art classes, or heartfelt essays from older students.What is your favorite part about working on the Donor Appreciation team?I love seeing all the many wonderful Thank-You Packages that come into the office each day. On average we receive 400-600 packages a day from students in grades and classrooms all over the country. Each Thank-You Package is unique to the project and materials received and it is so much fun to see how students chose to express their thanks. In one handful of Thank-You packages you could see finger paintings from a kindergarten class or wonderful compositions or poems from a high school English class. I love seeing all the imaginative and inventive ideas teachers and students use to create their thank-yous for their donors.Even after 3 years on the Donor Appreciation Team I still find that I am wow-ed on a regular basis by the unique and creative Thank-You Packages that come through our doors!

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