Caring Classrooms Community

How to Get Funding for Classroom Projects with DonorsChoose.org

Established: August 8, 2013

Amount Raised as of August 2018: $460,000

Contributing Donors as of August 2018: 5,500

Are you a fan of DonorsChoose.org? If so, consider becoming a member of the Caring Classrooms Community, a network of teachers who help each other get their DonorsChoose projects funded. This page is a step-by-step guide to learning about DonorsChoose.org and the Caring Classrooms Community.

Step 1: Learn How DonorsChoose Works

DonorsChoose.org is a nonprofit organization that helps public school teachers in the United States obtain funding for their classroom projects. If you don’t know anything about this organization, you need to learn how it works before trying to understand the community concept. I recommend watching the DonorsChoose webinar that I presented with my friend Francie Kugelman, a 3rd grade teacher who has received over $100,000 in funding from this organization!

Step 2: Learn How Communities Work

DonorsChoose.org has made it possible for individuals to support classrooms and promote projects through “communities.” Basically, projects are added to a giving page, and members of the community donate to those projects to help each other out. From time to time, the administrator will add new projects to the page.

Back in August 2013, Francie and I decided to create the Caring Classrooms Giving Page and we also set up the Caring Classrooms Facebook page to communicate with the members of our community. At that time, we decided to limit the number of projects on our page to no more than 10, and we made a commitment to make sure every project added to our page was fully funded. We’ve honored that commitment for over 5 years!

Step 3: Become a Caring Classrooms Community Supporter

Becoming a Caring Classrooms member or supporter is easy! Just donate $1 or more to any project on the Caring Classrooms giving page. Boom! You’re now a member of our community! All donations are tax-deductible, and you’ll get a receipt at the end of the year showing all donations.

Also, like the Caring Classrooms Facebook Page to stay in touch with what’s going on. This is where we’ll post calls for projects to add to the giving page. We welcome messages from members who are supporting each other and offering tips about current matching codes, how to get projects funded, and so on. Francie frequently shares tips and help motivate everyone.

Step 4: Learn How to Submit Your Project Request

How to Submit Project Requests

 Every Sunday at 8:30 a.m. ET, Francie and I post a call for projects on this Caring Classrooms Facebook page. This weekly event is known as Fund-day Sunday, and it’s the time to submit your request. You can read the guidelines at the end of this page, or download the project submission guidelines PDF to learn more about how and when you can make your requests.

Keep in mind that posting your project request is a bit like entering the lottery. Hundreds of people make donations and submit requests, but we only have room for 10 projects. You might become a member of the community and never get a project added to the page, but you will experience the joy of contributing to others’ projects and making a difference in classrooms across the nation. Many people say they’ve become addicted to watching the giving page to see the projects getting funded and “flying off the page”!

Step 5: Participate in Caring Classrooms Contests

Several times a year, we host special contests on the Caring Classrooms giving page. Entering these contests will give you the chance to win a spot on our giving page or a donation to your project. If you want to be notified about our next contest, sign up for our mailing list and we’ll let you know about upcoming contests and other events.

Guidelines for Posting Project Requests

 

  • When to Post Requests – Please post your project requests only during our weekly Fund-day Sunday events on the Caring Classrooms Facebook page in response to our 8:00 am EST call for projects.
  • Donation Requirements – Projects will only be added from teachers who regularly support others’ projects. Every time you post your project link on Facebook for us to consider, you must make at least a $1 donation to any project on the Caring Classrooms giving page.
  • $500 Project Size Limitation – Francie and I recommend keeping your project amounts to under $500, so we don’t add larger projects to our page.We don’t consider matching grants when looking at the project total. Matching grants are when a company funds part of your project if you can raise the rest of the funds through donations. The problem is that funds are limited, and if they are used up before your project is funded, you’ll lose the grant which may make your project amount more than $500. However, if the total project amount is small and losing the grant will not put the total over $500, your project is still eligible.Why don’t we add projects that have need more than $500? Chances are good that these projects will just sit on the page for months taking up one of the ten spots that could be given to another project. If you do have a project that needs more than $500 to complete the funding, please use other strategies for obtaining donations and wait until the amount is less than $500 before asking us to add it to the page.

More Questions?

If you have any other questions that have not been answered here, please post them on the Facebook wall and I’ll update the page with the responses. Thanks! ~ Laura