There’s no other place where a teacher can experience the magic of writing a few paragraphs that turn into a box of classroom materials. Nothing compares to the feeling of finding out your project is fully funded, except perhaps the day supplies arrive and your students see the results of your hard work for the first time. But what happens in between?
Enter our Project Fulfillment team, known around the office by their acronym, “PF.” This brilliant group of people makes sure that every teacher with a funded project gets the supplies they’ve requested, from a simple box of pencils to a full-day aquarium field trip. You might recognize some of their names from your project timeline:
They work both with the companies that supply all of these resources and directly with teachers, answering questions every step of the way. Over the past year they’ve ensured that every project funded on our site made it to the right classroom.
Molly has been a customer service specialist on our PF team for over a year. She makes sure that the items in a teacher’s delivery are the same ones they requested, and connects with our customer relations team to make sure every teacher has help when they run into trouble. Outside of work, she loves traveling, puzzles, and food, especially if it’s covered in dijon mustard.
She’s worked with thousands of teachers so far, but one experience that stood out in her memory was her part in implementing our “Life Essentials” pilot program last winter. The teachers who participated came from some of our country’s highest poverty schools, where a major impediment to their work was students who came into class hungry, or without proper clothing.
“I’ll always remember working hand-in-hand with a Philadelphia teacher in mid-December to expedite coats so that her students could stay warm over winter break; we worked to make sure that the coats were the right sizes and that the students could be proud of them,” Molly said. “Her dedication to ensuring not only the warmth, but also the dignity of her students was truly inspiring.”
A few seats down from Molly sits Katy, a customer service associate with our PF team who loves rainbow sprinkles, orca whales, and, of course, teachers. A former teacher, Katy is armed with first-hand knowledge of what it’s like to work in a classroom without the tools needed to help each student excel. “When my project materials were delivered it felt similar to opening presents on Christmas morning,” she said. “My students’ excitement over the new resources was palpable.” Now that she’s on the other side of that experience, Katy says she “can sense the excitement through a teacher’s email. Hearing how the new materials will impact their students, is the highlight of my job!”
Katy’s favorite customer service memory perfectly exemplifies the best of the DonorsChoose.org community. Not too long ago, a special needs student in Minnesota was applying to college. He needed a laptop to write essays, research schools, and choose his future home. In his own words,
“I want to go to college, but I don’t feel like I am confident or comfortable using a computer on my own. I want to use the computer in high school while I still have support from my teachers to learn how to do things, so when I go to college, I will feel ready.”
The project was posted and almost immediately inundated with support. His teacher sent a powerful letter to DonorsChoose.org, expressing her joy and gratitude, an amazing reminder for Katy and the rest of the team of the impact their work has on students.
Here at DonorsChoose.org we’re proud that our customer service has been described as friendly, warm, and even fun, a far cry from the stereotypical and faceless “customer service” experience. We know that providing our customers—whether they are donors or educators—with the best possible service makes all the difference. We’re always aiming for shorter response times, easier communication, and a clearer help center, because when we do better, so can donors and teachers!
Radhika Shah is a DonorsChoose.org intern studying at Emory University.
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