Every year we ask teachers how we can continue making DonorsChoose.org better. We’ve learned that most of you like our website, funding opportunities, and project submission process. But you asked us to take a look at our points system for teachers, and we listened.
Over the past two months, we’ve introduced a series of changes to the points system that we hope will make it easier for teachers to dream big and request the resources and experiences their students most need.
First, a little background: Our points system was introduced in 2007, when we were getting ready to open up DonorsChoose.org to teachers in all 50 states. It was a big undertaking, and the points system helped us ensure we’d be able to serve more and more teachers each year.
The goals of the points system are the same today as they were in 2007:
Help teachers be successful by encouraging projects that are most likely to be funded.
Keep DonorsChoose.org running smoothly by limiting projects that are labor-intensive for our team.
Reward teachers for following up with donors after projects are funded.
While these goals remain the same, our website and marketplace have evolved. We’ve gotten better and faster at processing class trips and visitors and expanded our vendor offerings. We’re seeing more donors who are excited to fund ambitious projects and teachers who wow us by rallying support from their own communities to bring incredible projects to life. Now, our points system has adapted to match these changes.
Try, try again. If a project isn’t funded, you’ll get your points back to try again for the next one!
Go big… or go small. With two points, you can now request up to $2000 in materials from our vendors (up from $800.) Materials that cost up to $400 are still just one point, and lower cost projects are still more likely to get funded quickly.
More trips and visitors. Donors love supporting class trips and helping you bring inspiring visitors to your school. All class visitor projects and class trips that cost up to $1200 can now be requested with three points. More expensive trips still require only four points.
We’re excited to watch our teacher community continue to thrive with these changes. And keep that feedback coming!