At DonorsChoose.org, our teachers are our content creators. Their requests for classroom resources and experiences, descriptions of their students, and classroom photographs bring our site to life. We’ve done a lot of work to improve the teacher experience, but a redesign of one of the most crucial parts of the teacher funnel—the sign up flow—was long overdue.

DonorsChoose.org teacher funnel with the focus of this redesign highlighted in yellow.

For this redesign, we focused on the highlighted section of the funnel (completing registration > confirming email address > starting first project). …


The DonorsChoose crowdfunding model works by connecting teachers who need funding for their classroom with generous donors who want to help. We’ve already written about how we take great care to give our teachers the tools they need to craft a compelling and successful project and how we’ve worked to make sure that we present those projects in a way that resonates with donors. An important but invisible piece of that whole process is project screening, where projects are checked for eligibility, safety, and quality.

A project on our site generally has a photo of the classroom, a catchy title…


Our humble product team has been rockin’ and rollin’ for about three years now. We’ve been making steady improvements to the teacher and donor experience while moving on-site metrics in all the right directions. When one of our beloved team members decided to move on a while ago, we took some time for self-reflection to make sure that we didn’t lose what was working so well for our team.

We came up with a list of some of the things we believe as a team and wrote down some of the unwritten rules we’d been following.

1. Our work must advance our mission.

“DonorsChoose.org engages the public…


DonorsChoose.org exists to connect donors who want to impact educational outcomes in the US with teachers who need materials or experiences for their students. We’re a two-sided platform, but almost all of the content on our site is created by our amazing teachers. Our model works best when teachers can tell their story in a compelling way that makes donors want to give — offering a glimpse into their classroom and the students they care so much about. As such, we’ve spent a lot of time and energy on the tools that enable this content creation.

Problems with the old design

We were asking a…


Our small but mighty™ product & data team is responsible for implementing and analyzing the features for donors and teachers who visit DonorsChoose.org. Basically, we solve our users’ problems through technology (with tons of help from our colleagues on the engineering team, of course).

Maggie (product management), Josh (UX research), Tea & Dan (design), Barbara & Thomas (data science)

Where ideas come from

The work our team takes on can come from many different places: feedback from our teachers and donors, changes in the competitive landscape, or suggestions from our colleagues around the org. Wherever they come from, we work to make sure that these ideas are framed as problems that need to be solved. …

Dan Betz

Dad. Designer @DonorsChoose.

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