The DonorsChoose.org tech team has been working hard all summer to prepare DonorsChoose.org to open to teachers in all 50 states.
Some of the new and improved functionality is strictly behind-the-scenes, while other updates will change the donor or teacher user experience…all for the better, we hope!
To increase awareness of the changes and explain some of the thinking behind them, we thought it’d be a good idea to talk about some of the changes in our new blog. We’ll kick this off by introducing the new “email address verification” step that we’ve added to teacher registration process.
New DonorsChoose.org teachers now need to verify they can receive email from us before their new account is fully activated. This verification is done the usual way: we send an automatic email to the email address supplied by the teacher who, upon receiving it, clicks a link in the email that notifies us that the email was received.
Teachers that already have DonorsChoose.org accounts will not have to verify the email address that they’re currently using. But they will have to go through the email address verification process if they want to change the email address associated with their account.
Wondering why we added this extra step to the registration process?
No, it’s not just because we like sending email to DonorsChoose.org teachers. 🙂
We added this new functionality because teachers simply cannot successfully use DonorsChoose.org if they’re unable to receive the email notifications we send. For example, we’ll email a teacher if they need to make adjustments to their project essay before we can post it or if a requested resource is no longer available.
Unfortunately, some teachers who have registered with DonorsChoose.org in the past have found themselves unable to receive email from us. Sometimes it’s due to a typo in their email address. Other times it’s the fault of an overly-aggressive anti-spam filter.
The truly worst-case scenario is one in which a classroom project at DonorsChoose.org is generously funded by donors, but we’re unable to notify the teacher via email so they can promptly confirm that they still need the requested resources! When this happens, the teacher doesn’t get the resources they needed and the project’s donors have to pick a different project to support. It stinks for all of us.
So now that we’re verifying teacher email addresses during registration, we can all rest easy knowing that when the time comes for us to contact a teacher with good news, we’ll have no problem getting in touch! A much better situation, we think.
Now if you’re a teacher and you find yourself unable to receive email from us, during registration or otherwise, here’s what you should do:
1. Follow the instructions in this FAQ entry to make sure your spam filter has DonorsChoose.org set as a “safe sender.”
2. If that doesn’t work, try a different email address. For example, try using your Gmail address instead of your school email address.
3. If none of the above help, please contact us so we can help you troubleshoot.