DonorsChoose (www.donorschoose.org) is a nonprofit organization that helps public school teachers in the United States obtain funding for their classroom projects. As of the beginning of 2013, they had helped teachers raise over $168 million dollars which had impacted over 8 million students!
As a classroom teacher, I received thousands of dollars in funding, and I want to help other teachers achieve the same success. I asked 5th grade teacher Francie Kugelman to join me in a webinar and share her tips for writing proposals. Francie has received over $50,000 in funding and she's a volunteer project reader for DonorsChoose, so she's definitely an expert! Below you'll find the link to the webinar and other materials mentioned during the session.
By the way, I recently found out that three of my books are available through DonorsChoose when you add them to a grant proposal. Scroll to the bottom of this page for more info.
Check out my blog post on Corkboard Connections to find out how you can promote your project on my Facebook page and possibly receive some help with funding your project. I'm no longer in the classroom, so I enjoy supporting other teachers who are doing wonderful things for their students! Each Sunday morning, look for my Facebook request for proposals, post them on my Wall, and ask your friends to vote for your project. I'll choose one or more projects to help fund, and even if your project is not selected, you'll be promoting it online to over 69,000 fans! You can read more about my Fund-day Sunday initiative on Corkboard Connections.
Another way to help get your projects funded is to become a part of a giving community on DonorsChoose. I have set up a giving page called Caring Classrooms, and if you become a part of the community, you can request to have your project added to the giving page. To become a part of the community, you have to make a small (or large!) donation to at least one project on the page. To learn more about how to become a part of the community and possibly have your project added to the page, please review the Caring Classroom Commmunity information page.
Do you have news about DonorsChoose that you would like posted here? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and if it's relevant and newsworthy, it will be shared!
DonorsChoose frequently hosts Friends and Family weeks where donations are matched, dollar for dollar, when the donor uses a special matching code. Look for email announcements from DonorsChoose about these special events, and be sure to take advantage of them. I suggest sending home a letter to parents to let them know about the matching code and how it works. I created a DonorsChoose letter that you can customize and send home to let parents know. Be sure to add the relevant dates and details about your projects before sending it home to parents. You can also copy and paste this information into an email to let them know.
The Current Funding Opportunities page is a huge list of ways to get your project funded. The national opportunities are at the top, followed by a list of states with special funding deals.
I'm excited to announce that three of my books are now available through DonorsChoose.org. Because these books are teacher resources and not student materials, there are special considerations to keep in mind when adding them to an order. You can learn more by reading my blog post about this on Corkboard Connections.