At DonorsChoose.org, one of the elements of our philosophy is full accountability and transparency. In addition to ensuring that donors are aware of where their money is going, we also want to be as clear and accurate as possible when representing the overall donation dollars we receive and their application to projects in schools across the country.
If you have been keeping track of our impact numbers on the DonorsChoose.org homepage (under “Thanks to your generosity…”) or the DonorsChoose.org Impact page, you may have noticed that there was an approximately $500,000 decrease in the dollars that have been donated to students that occurred between the Monday, September 17 and Tuesday, September 18, 2007.
This was due to the following adjustments to how we calculate our “Impact” numbers, which were made in order to improve the real-time accuracy of the stats we are displaying on our website:
- Excluding quick donations that have not yet been allocated to a project – When you make a donation using the “Quick Donations” feature on our website and designate it for a project, we will no longer count it as a donation until we have applied it to a classroom project.
- Excluding promised check donations that we will never receive – When a donation is made through our website by check, we will wait to receive the check for a specified time period after which we will designate it as an “un-received donation.” We are no longer counting these “un-received donations” in our impact numbers.
- Excluding surplus donations – From the time you donate to a project on our website until the time we are ready to buy materials, the price of the materials may have changed. If the price of the materials decreased due to an unexpected sale or vendor “special offering,” we put the surplus into a separate account. The surplus money is then used to make up for the times when there may be a deficit (for example, when the price of materials may have increased since your donation was made), or to fund additional projects. In the past, we unintentionally considered the surplus money as additional donations, which would mean that we were counting part of your donation twice. This has now been corrected.