Since the year 2000, more than 42,000 school projects have been funded through DonorsChoose.org, an online organization which brings donors from charitable organizations, Fortune 500 companies, and individuals together with teachers to fund their classroom needs.
How does it work? As a public school teacher, you can submit a proposal indicating the student-centered materials you need to support instruction within your classroom and the impact it will serve. You will be able to shop online at one of the 26 affiliated vendors’ websites and DonorsChoose.org will connect you with donors that will fund your cause. Once your project gets funded, DonorsChoose.org will purchase the items and mail them directly to your school.
To get started, simply create a “Teacher Account” and confirm that you are eligible to request funding through the organization by verifying that you are a full-time educator and confirming that your school is eligible to receive funding. Once your account is created, you can begin working on your proposal.
DonorsChoose.org uses a point system through which to request the needed materials and resources. Materials valued at $400 or less are valued at 1 point; materials valued at $401 to $800 have an equivalency of 2 points; materials valued for more than $801 are valued at 4 points. As a new DonorsChoose.org teacher, you will be awarded 3 points in your account with which you could submit up to 3 projects valued at $400 or less, or one BIG project of $800 or less.
Once your account is created, you will be able to start shopping for the needed materials through the DonorsChoose.org eSchoolMall. You will be given the opportunity to share your classroom story with potential donors and quantify the impact that the materials will have should your project get funded. TIP: Be sure to note how many students will benefit from the materials requested — i.e. A carpet for your meeting area, a new writing center, or laptop computers, will benefit not only your current students but the many students that will walk through your classroom door in the years to come.
Once your project receives funding, you must complete thank-you packages by uploading project photos, and a letter indicating the impact the materials have served in your classroom. Some donors also opt-in to receive thank you-letters from students which you are also responsible for sending out.
When you project is funded, you will be awarded 1 point for each of the following: confirming that you still want and need the materials, you return a complete and compelling thank-you package, you return the thank-you package on or before its due date.
Have you had any projects successfully funded through DonorsChoose.org ? Let us know!