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Donations Information for DCPS Schools and Central Services Teams

Before accepting a donation, all donors must obtain a donation agreement. Please confirm with that one is complete before proceeding with accepting the donation.

Any goods or services that would normally come with a price or financial contribution given to DCPS free of charge is considered a donation. All donations must adhere to rules and regulations governing donations to DC government agencies as determined by the DC Mayor's Office.  

What is considered a donation?

  • Physical Goods: School supplies, books, technology, furniture, clothing, food, gift cards, etc.

  • Financial: In the form of a check or electronic transfer. Cash donations are prohibited. 

  • In-Kind Services: Professional development, student programming, subscriptions/software, travel/accommodation, facilities renovations, etc.

What is not considered a donation? 

  • Sponsorships 

  • Scholarships given directly to students

  • Grants

Other Opportunities to Receive Donations:

The following opportunities do not require donors to go through the DCPS donation process outlined below.

  1. DonorsChooseDonorsChoose is a pre-approved online platform where donors can support DCPS classroom projects.

  2. DC Public Education Fund (DCPEF)If there is not a specific project or school to which a donor wishes to donate, they can go through the DC Public Education Fund, DCPS' venture fund. 

  3. Mayor's Fund to Advance DCThis is an online fundraising platform where DC agencies/schools can raise additional money for a specific 
    project or need. See the information sheet on
    DCPS Way for more information on submitting a project.  

Donations Best Practices:

  1. In-Kind Donations > Financial Donations. When possible, request that donors donate in-kind vs financial due to processing times. 

  2. Have donors give financial donations to your parent-teacher association/organization (PTA/O). Ensure your PTO/A has a donation agreement with DCPS. 

  3. Develop a spend plan for how you would like to use the donation.

  4. Utilize the other resources listed above (DonorsChoose, DCPEF, Fund to Advance DC) for collecting donations.

  5. Thank your donors!

  6. Questions about donations? Contact your school's Donations POC or

Asking for Donations

Direct solicitation occurs when an agency employee makes a direct ask to a specific donor (i.e. an individual or corporation)

  • You must receive approval before the ask can be made of the potential donor. Example: A school sends a letter to a specific restaurant seeking a donation of pizzas for a back-to-school event. 


Indirect solicitation occurs when an agency employee asks multiple potential donors for donation support.

  • You are not required to receive prior approval by Serve DC, however once a donation is offered it must go through the donation process. Example: A school sends a letter to multiple restaurants seeking a donation of pizzas for a back-to-school event

  • If you are wanting to ask for donations, you must make the same request to at least 4 organizations using a letter like this one

  • Financial donations must be in the form of a check or electronic transfer. DCPS CANNOT accept cash donations

  • Checks must be made out to "DC Treasurer" and mailed to:​​​

District of Columbia Public Schools

Office of the Chief Financial Officer 

1200 First Street NE

Attention: 11th Floor Accounting Department

Washington, DC  20002​

Loading Funds into Your Budget:

  • Once we have received the check/funds and have a finalized donation agreement, you work with your Budget Specialist in OCFO to load the funds in the appropriate attributes for spending. You will then be able to spend the funds like any other money in your budget.

    • If the donation was made for a specific use, you will be required to spend it accordingly. (Example: donation for technology equipment must be used on technology equipment.)​

  • Unsolicited donations under $500 can be loaded into your school's SAF account. Please see OCFO SAF guidelines for more information. 

  • Donated funds can roll over from one fiscal year to the next!

Financial Donations

Computer donations must meet DCPS’s minimum specification requirements. DCPS-IT is not able to support any devices that do not meet these specs:

  • Max 3 years old

  • Min Processor: i3 or equivalent

  • Min Memory (RAM): 8 GB

  • Min Hard Drive: 128 GB

  • The list of approved devices is updated on a consistent basis. See here for current approved devices.

Computer Donations

Facilities Donations

Any donations that necessitate any form of construction/installation or access to utilities/power must be approved by DCPS's Facilities Team to ensure that the donation meets safety requirements and can be maintained overtime by DC government. 

All DCPS properties are owned by the Department of General Services (DGS) and any modifications to a school must be evaluated by the school, the DCPS Facilities team, and DGS for long-term sustainability, legal sufficiency and need. Please note that in some cases facilities projects may not be deemed feasible and may be declined.

Commission Donations

If you are working with a local business or organization to receive a percentage of the profits for your school, this must be treated as a financial donation

Example: A local pizza parlor agrees to give you 15% of the profits from a local store for a week. They will provide funds in the form of a check. Before you can receive those funds, a donation agreement must be put in place. Those funds must be loaded into your school's budget like a regular donation. 

Saying Thank You

DCPS encourages schools and offices to thank donors for thinking of DCPS. You can do this by an email or letter to the donor.


When thanking a donor, you should not use language like "This donor is the best at what they do!" As a DC Government Agency, we must ensure that we are not endorsing any organization or donor. 


Instead, use language like, "DCPS thanks X donor for the generous donation of laptops to Langely Elementray students. Partners like you are a valued addition to our school community."​

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