Donors Choose.org is a nonprofit organization that has helped me and countless other public school teachers in the United States obtain funding for their classroom projects. We spend thousands of dollars of your own money each year on classroom supplies to make great things happen for our students (and sometimes even just to get basic needs met.)
Donors Choose was created so that teachers could post classroom projects and get them FUNDED!
I highly recommend that you consider crowd-funding platforms as a way to invite parents, members of the community and charitable people beyond your community to share in and enrich the work that you are doing in the classroom. Donors Choose worked for me, and, with these tips, I think that it can work for you!
Teachers post projects every day; some receive funds within days while others may take longer. To help teachers succeed in their project request here are some key factors to keep in mind.
Classroom Picture: Take a picture of your students in school, learning (always get permission to take pictures of students.) As you know, “a picture is worth a thousand words!” Choose a photo that best captures your students. Your classroom picture is a key tool to connect with donors. Pick a picture that tells your story!
Project Title: The title is another significant tool to help donors understand what you want for your classroom. Your title speaks volumes to donors. Make your title stand out! For example, Kids, Cameras, and Writing: This project helped my students build oral language skills, reading and writing skills using cameras. Make sure your title captures the imagination while being clear at the same time.
About your Students: When describing the students that you service you may want to talk about their educational background, school environment, culture, etc. Some donors may want to donate to students living in extreme poverty, students that are learning English as a Second Language, or special needs students. Define your students in a nutshell and capture what makes them unique.
Your Project: In this part of your proposal you want to tell donors what you want and how it will impact your students learning. When writing my projects, I used the 5W1H approach (What, When, Where, Who, Why, and How.) What resources do you need? When will students use the resources? Where will students use them? Who will benefit from these resources? Why do you need these resources for your classroom? How will these resources help your students succeed academically?
Funded Projects: Before you create a project, do some research. Look at similar projects that were already funded Funded projects will give you an idea of what other teachers are requesting, and what projects donors are excited about.
Social Media: Make social media your go-to for promoting your project. Connect with other teachers and teacher community pages. Caring Classroom, was created by Laura Candler and Francie Kugelman, to support the classrooms of caring teachers who take time to seek additional resources for their students. Classroom Angels is another social media community that supports teachers.
Here is how it works: every Saturday there will be a funding day. A total of 10 projects can be selected. If you donate $1 or more, like the Facebook page and comment which projects you donated to, and post your link under Funding Day., then they will put your project into a lottery and post it on the classroom angels page.
Good luck using these tips to help you and your fellow teachers to create projects for their students. Donors Choose is a great organization that helps teachers get funding for classroom projects.
Written by Melanie Tard – 9th Grade Teacher -Trenton Central High School West, Trenton, NJ
Check out my Donors Choose page HERE
Caring Classrooms: https://www.donorschoose.org/caringclassrooms
Classroom Angels: https://www.donorschoose.org/giving/classroom-angels/347624/
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