Hacking Education: Data for Developers and Data Crunchers

(If this is the first you’re hearing about Hacking Education contest, you should read this first. :)


To access data about live projects on our site, including their front-end permalinks, photos, and other assets, our JSON API is your best bet. Its data is very fresh and tightly integrated into our front-end website, eg. you can enable end-users to browse classroom projects and click-through to our production front-end to donate. To access every classroom project and donation since the org’s inception in 2000, you’ll want our open data sets below. 

They include lots of data that’s not available via the API, such as every project donation and gift card purchase, as well as all the materials/resources requested by each teacher for each project. As this data has been sanitized for the privacy of our end-users, it’s a bit harder to integrate with our production front-end than the JSON API.

You’re also encouraged to use any additional 3rd party data you can get your hands on! We have assembled an informal list of potentially complementary data sets.

Do join our discussion group for Developers and Data Crunchers, even if you’re not yet certain you’re going to submit an app or analysis into the contest. We’ll be using it to answer any questions, communicate with participants, etc. If you have any questions, you can review our API FAQsearch or ask the discussion group, or get in touch with us directly. Our preference is to answer questions in the discussion group in order to benefit other folks who might have similar question.

Visualize and Analyze our Open Data instantly

Get an invite into our open data exploration and visualization tool, powered by our partners at Looker.com

Or Download Data in CSV


All classroom projects that have been posted to the site, including lots of school info such as its NCES ID (government-issued), lat/long, and city/state/zip.

Projects data documentation

download project data

Stats: ~150MB compressed, ~500MB CSV, ~900K records


All donations, including donor city, state, and partial-zip (when available).

Donations data documentation

download donation data

Stats: ~700MB compressed, ~1.6GB CSV, ~5M records

Gift cards

All website-purchased gift cards, including donor and recipient city, state, and partial-zip (when available).

Giftcard data documentation

download giftcard data

Stats: ~60MB compressed, ~200MB CSV, ~900K records

Project resources

All materials/resources requested for the classroom projects, including vendor name.

Project resources documentation

download resource data

Stats: ~350MB compressed, ~900MB CSV, ~5M records

Project written requests / essays

Full text of the teacher-written requests accompanying all classroom projects.

Project essays documentation

download essay data

Stats: ~1GB compressed, ~3GB CSV,  ~900K records


Schema diagram


We have also published some scripts to help you load the data into your db of choice and into partially normalized tables more suitable for exploration with SQL.


This work by DonorsChoose.org is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License (CC BY-NC 3.0).

Commercial usage guidelines

If you’d like to use this data for commercial purposes, get in touch with us and tell us a bit about your plans. Our strong preference is to greenlight your commercial application with no licensing fees, and we have never charged for access to our API or data. We just need to make sure that the application won’t run contrary to our org’s mission, abuse the rich content that our teachers have created, etc.

Thank you to our generous funders: The Anthony E. Meyer Family Foundation and Michael C. Lewis. Also thank you to our judges, our sponsors, Clay JohnsonFrankie Cheung, and Ben Millard.