Organizational Structure and Success of DonorsChoose

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Updated: Apr 30, 2024
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An organization that strives for teamwork over personal gain would be a good setup as an organizational structure.

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Structural similarity to a standard business organization has proven to be useful because you can build up teams made up of consistent board members as well as volunteers. For DonorsChoose specifically, it has been effective through its funding and making a meaningful difference in the effectiveness of public education, especially in schools for children. DonorsChoose’s success has inspired other Internet-based charities to work under the ideas of an organizational structure.

The structure for DonorsChoose has ended up being successful for the organization; however, as is, charities do not give 100% of the money they receive to the cause, so having to pay for unnecessary organizational structures like employee wages only deducts more money from the cause at hand. Charities should not be viewed as jobs. Charities should receive the majority of their help, if not all, voluntarily and transfer 100% of their profits to the cause. If you are unwilling to “work for free” for the charity, then you clearly are worried about the wrong thing and should not be involved in the charity in the first place.

Based upon the organizational structure of DonorsChoose, I believe the organization’s culture is built around a solid society where all individuals share the obligation to improve American education for children. All members share the common bond of a strong interest in and commitment to the effective public education of America’s children.

According to the case, “the greatest challenge for nonprofit leaders in the connected age is adopting a new mindset for social change. Power is shifting from institutions to individuals throughout society. Successful connected-age organizations are those that facilitate broad networks of social activists”. Vinod Khosla suggests DonorsChoose is one of the most innovative for-profit technology companies because it takes advantage of all aspects of internet connectivity. The team-oriented structure and the strong culture of DonorsChoose allow it to capitalize on the social connectedness trend. With its strong culture, DonorsChoose will remain committed to facilitating educational excellence.

In the mid-2000s, DonorsChoose began exploring how it could effectively partner with business leaders and business organizations in order to further fund public school teachers’ educational projects. In one specific case, DonorsChoose used funding from a business to fuel citizen philanthropy. DonorChoose also partnered with other businesses to supply gift certificates to employees and consumers. The partner businesses paid for the gift certificates, and the recipients could use them to make a donation to the educational project of their choice. These collaborative initiatives fit well with the DonorsChoose approach with its culture and structure. DonorsChoose is all about people working together to improve public education in America.

Given the information in the textbook and what I have found online regarding DonorsChoose, I have gained a good amount of insight into the nature of a successful nonprofit business. I think one of the best things about working for a nonprofit is how easy it is to get started, no matter your background, experience, or educational level. It is basically just volunteering. I could definitely envision working for a nonprofit because it would give me a chance to make a difference. If I did decide to do this, I would do something that helps animals like CAPS or ASPCA.

On May 28, 2011, Donors Choose raised almost 84 million dollars which were used to fund over 200,000 projects at over 45,000 schools (helping almost 5 million students). Twenty-five percent of the donations supported the acquisition of books, twenty-five for technology, thirty-eight for classroom supplies, and the remaining ten for field trips, class visitors, and other resources. Also, as of that date, project requests were posted by almost 200,000 teachers, and over half of the projects received their full required funding. Since then, DonorsChoose has funded over a million projects and reached out to over 25 million students. Over 10,000 schools have received funding from DonorsChoose, and teachers have been able to make a significant impact on their student’s education because of it. DonorsChoose is continually making a difference as more and more projects are being completed and more students are benefitting from the organization and improving their education.

Donors Choose has worked very well to meet and maintain its mission statement of “engaging the public in public schools by giving people a simple, accountable and personal way to address educational inequity” and vision statement of “a nation where children in every community have the tools and experiences needed for an excellent education.” They have also inspired other countries to do the same thing to help education. In Hong Kong, entrepreneurs have developed their own version (, whose purpose is to connect Chinese teachers with donors. Public education is still one of America’s biggest concerns and probably will be for a long while. As long as DonorsChoose still remains innovative and creative, they will be able to improve public education, one classroom at a time.

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Organizational Structure and Success of DonorsChoose. (2023, Mar 31). Retrieved from