As the new school year approaches, teachers are anxiously looking for new materials and lessons for the classroom. But how can you make these ideas into a reality, especially if you struggle with budget and resource limitations?
DonorsChoose.org allows public school teachers to acquire funding for specific classroom projects. Teachers can develop and post campaigns, seeking donations for resources they and their students need. Then, donors, including friends, family, parents, colleagues, and corporate sponsors, can search for and support the initiatives that inspire them.
Here are some tips for a successful campaign:
- Put yourself in donors’ shoes. Donors want to feel inspired and involved in the project. Give details about your students’ interests and needs, and add a class picture. Keep your materials list short, your budget reasonable, and your description free of jargon donors may not understand.
- Be a storyteller. Paint a picture for readers. Who are your students? What are their struggles? High poverty? Limited resources? Think about adding direct quotes or anecdotes from lessons. Add a catchy title to reel readers in.
- Make your page visually appealing. Consider experimenting with your text layout. Try short paragraphs broken up with bold headings and photos. Check and recheck your work for spelling and grammar errors. A clean and fluid description can show you really care about your project!
- Stay engaged. As you receive donations, be sure to post comments thanking your donors for their time and support. Tell your friends, family, coworkers, students' parents, and community. Share your project on Facebook and Twitter. The more people you connect with, the more likely you will reach your funding goals.
Campaigns include everything from incorporating 3-D printers in science class, to innovative seating strategies for distracted learners, to books and other resources to build lesson plans and the classroom library, to professional development materials, to simple art and paper supplies for dynamic notebooks and projects. The possibilities are endless!
To help, we've set up three sample campaigns for you to peruse.