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DonorsChoose.org-How to Get Funded

Posted by lbbartolomeo on April 24, 2018

donorschoose_org_1200x630DonorsChoose.org is an organization that has changed my life as a teacher.  Teachers post projects of needed resources, DonorsChoose.org helps find corporate and individual donors, and then it’s the teacher’s job to promote their project to find more donors to hopefully eventually fully fund the project.  Here are my tips to getting funded.

How to Get Funded

  1. I’ve had over 125 projects funded and I can tell you that YOU CAN DO IT!  You have to find a way to promote your project that works for your own situation.  Different teachers approach it in different ways.  One thing is clear; the harder you work, the more successful you will be.
  2. Contact your school community through email, Facebook groups, PTA, etc.  Even if your parents/school community can’t afford to donate, ask them to SHARE the information to get the word out.  One large donation or several small ones will be worth it.  One T got her PTA to donate during a matching money opportunity and it helped immensely.
  3. Friends & Family-while some people are hesitant to involve friends and family, I think many teachers are pleasantly surprised at how much people want to help.If I post on Facebook I figure it’s like anything else, if they don’t want to help, they can just scroll right on by.
  4. Twitter helps in a couple of ways. You can follow other DC teachers to get help and great ideas.  If you tweet about your project, other teachers will retweet to reach more people.  When you tweet, add a pertinent hashtag.  e. You want books so you use #HarryPotter or #reading or #literacy.  This helps reach people who are searching those hashtags.
  5. Facebook-get in some of the DonorsChoose teacher pages for updates on great matches, additional funding ideas, and general support.
  6. Thanking Donors-many random donors will follow your teacher page because you have written great thank you notes and they feel connected to your classroom.
  7. Give to your own project-MANY teachers donate to their own projects because it sends a message that they care AND it counts in your donor count. I give to my own projects and many times it’s just $1.
  8. The more unique donors you have the greater chance you have of ending up on the first page of the DC website where projects are posted. Most all projects on the first page get funded by random people who are just dropping by DC to donate.
  9. Classroom photo and title-while it isn’t a hard and fast rule, a GREAT classroom photo and clever/catchy/interesting title can certainly catch the eye of a random donor.
  10. Data proves that projects under $500 have a high chance of getting funded. If you want resources that cost more than that, break it up into 2 or 3 projects.  I got 12 iPads and did it in SIX projects!
  11. If at all possible, use a matching funds opportunity. As a music teacher I’m not going to get a match for instruments necessarily, but I can craft an essay to meet the guidelines of many matches that aren’t musical; science, STEAM, literacy, etc.  Keep a list of items you need and then when a match comes along, go for it. Those matches are listed here.  https://www.donorschoose.org/match-offers
  12. Quite a few teachers are having luck using the Nextdoor app. Be aware that you have the best chance of not being perceived as soliciting if you are asking for these resources for your students, not you personally.
  13. Giving Pages-DonorsChoose allows people to create giving pages. The admin chooses projects to put on that page and helps promote your project.  You can get on a giving page by competing in contests or being a loyal supporter or sometimes just by luck!  You’ll find lots of giving page links on https://www.facebook.com/groups/DCpagesDonationEvents/
  14. I am a volunteer ambassador and would love to help you write your first project.  Reply to this post if you would like help.
  15. This is an article from the DonorsChoose.org BLOG about funding!  Take a look!
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