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Top Rated


CharityWatch report issued
December 2018

Top-Rated Charity
CharityWatch Grade
Our independent grade based
on a number of factors.
Program Percentage
Amount spent on programs
relative to overhead.
Cost to Raise $100
Amount spent to raise
$100 of contributions.

Contact Information

134 W. 37th St.
Floor 11
New York, NY 10018

Other Names


Tax Status


Stated Mission

Engages the public in public schools by giving people a simple, accountable and personal way to address educational inequity; envisions a nation where children in every community have the tools and experiences needed for an excellent education.

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Data based on Fiscal Year Ended 06/30/2018

Program Percentage: 94%

The percentage of DonorsChoose.org's cash budget it spends on programs relative to overhead (fundraising, management, and general expenses).


Calculated Total Expenses



Cost to Raise $100: $5

How many dollars DonorsChoose.org spends on fundraising to raise each $100 of contributions.


Calculated Total Contributions


Government Funding

0% to 24%

Percentage of cash revenue
coming from government sources


Financial Documents

Entity Document Type Tax ID
DonorsChoose.org IRS Form 990 13-4129457
DonorsChoose.org Audited Financial Statements 13-4129457
Entity: DonorsChoose.org
Document Type: IRS Form 990
Tax ID: 13-4129457
Entity: DonorsChoose.org
Document Type: Audited Financial Statements
Tax ID: 13-4129457

Governance & Transparency

CharityWatch evaluates certain criteria related to a charity's Governance and Transparency. Donors may want to consider a charity's willingness to be open and transparent with CharityWatch to be a good litmus test for determining its commitment to public accountability.
This charity is Top-Rated
What does it mean to be Top-Rated?
meets governance benchmarks.
meets transparency benchmarks.
Provides Financial Information
Audit Accessibility
Governance: Policies
Reports regularly & consistently monitoring & enforcing compliance with a written Conflict of Interest Policy
Reports required, annual disclosure by officers, directors, and key staff of interests that could give rise to conflicts
Reports having a written Whistleblower Policy
Reports having a written Document Retention and Destruction Policy
Governance: Financials
Reports providing copy of tax form to all board members prior to filing it with IRS
Reports that financial statements were audited by an independent accountant
Governance: Board of Directors
Reports at least 5 voting board members
51% or more of voting board members reported as independent
Reports documenting minutes of board and board committee meetings
Privacy Policy
Privacy Policy Opt-In Policy  

  Name Title Compensation
1 Charles Best CEO $369,756
2 Oliver Hurst-Hiller CTO $283,009
3 Cesar Bocanegra COO $275,695
Name: Charles Best
Title: CEO
Compensation: $369,756
Name: Oliver Hurst-Hiller
Title: CTO
Compensation: $283,009
Name: Cesar Bocanegra
Title: COO
Compensation: $275,695

CharityWatch Analysts perform an in-depth analysis of charities' audited financial statements and IRS tax filings, and often review other documents such as state filings, annual reports, and fundraising contracts during their evaluations. Below are select notes that CharityWatch believes may be of interest to donors.
According to the DonorsChoose.org audit of June 30, 2018 (Note 2a, Contribution Revenue):

"During the year ended June 30, 2018, DonorsChoose.org received a significant contribution of cryptocurrency. The fair market value of the contribution was $28,721,274. The cryptocurrency was converted to US Dollars over a period of three weeks and used to fulfill classroom projects. DonorsChoose.org was able to convert the contribution to $27,443,498, incurring a $1,277,776 loss on conversion."

[Note: For links to news articles about the above-noted cryptocurrency donation, click on the "Articles & Alerts" Tab (above).]

According to the DonorsChoose.org audit of June 30, 2018 (Note 4b, Concentrations):

"For the year ended June 30, 2018, approximately 19% of total revenue was received from one donor..."
According to the DonorsChoose.org audit of June 30, 2018 (Note 8), DonorsChoose.org received in-kind donated services, property and equipment in fiscal 2018 on which it placed a total value of $935,166. Included in the total is $543,596 in donated legal services.

[Note: CharityWatch generally excludes the value of in-kind (non-cash) donations of goods and services from its calculations of Program % and Cost to Raise $100. More information on how grades are calculated and the treatment of in-kind donations can be found on the Our Process page.]
According to the DonorsChoose.org audit of June 30, 2018 (Note 5b, Conditional Promises to Give):

"During the year ended June 30, 2017, DonorsChoose.org received a $1 million grant, of which $500,000 was recognized as revenue in fiscal year 2017. The remaining $500,000 is subject to the achievement of specific milestones specified in the grant agreement and, accordingly, has not been recognized in the accompanying [audited] financial statements. DonorsChoose.org met the milestones in August 2018 for $480,000 of this grant and will recognize that amount as revenue in fiscal year 2019."
According to the DonorsChoose.org audit of June 30, 2018 (Note 7, Investments):

"DonorsChoose.org has committed to invest a total of $550,000 in a limited partnership which makes periodic capital calls. As of June 30, 2018, $165,000 of this commitment has been invested, leaving an outstanding commitment of $385,000."
According to the DonorsChoose.org audit of June 30, 2018 (Note 11, Related Party Transaction):

"The Chief Executive Officer of DonorsChoose.org has created RedPen, a Benefit Corporation. The purpose of RedPen is to create an online tool to help improve business writing. This free online tool is available at http://irregardless.org.

"RedPen is funded by proceeds earned by the Chief Executive Officer for public speaking engagements. The Chief Executive Officer has contributed to DonorsChoose.org a 20% equity interest in RedPen, which was deemed to have nominal value at the time of donation. Beginning in fiscal year 2014, RedPen began donating at least 30% of its revenue to DonorsChoose.org to fund classroom projects. During the years ended June 30, 2018 and 2017, RedPen donated to DonorsChoose.org $69,350 and $53,215 respectively."

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