DonorsChoose was created by Charles Best, who was a history teacher at a Bronx Public High School in 2000. He realized how much money teachers were using to purchase school supplies for their students and decided to create a website where teachers couldprojects and people could choose the ones they wanted to support.
Thankfully, I have had several projects funded by generous people who wanted to help me support my students. The process of completing your project is very simple. The key to having your project fully funded is spreading the word. Inform your students’ family and your colleagues, post on all your social media pages several times daily, add your project link to your email signature, etc.
Create an account if you don’t already have one. You will have to complete information about yourself and your school. I suggest posting a photo of yourself so potential donors will get a visual of who you are.
When it comes to creating a project, you have two options: standard or professional development. Choose standard. I have not created a professional development project…YET. You will then put information about your students. You will also be advised to post a class photo. Choose a good one, but be sure you have each parent signature of your students stating that they give you permission to post photos of their child. Below is how I described my students.
Although I teach at a Title I school in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where 100 percent of our students receive free breakfast and lunch, my students AND their families are full of life and energy about their capabilities. My students ARE “the change you want to see in the world.” They are also passionate, smart, and capable. My students are eager about learning and accomplishing the goals they have set for themselves. It is an honor to witness them grow and prosper everyday and an even more amazing thing to be a part of. They exceed my expectations for them daily and give me such joy about what I do every day.
After describing your students with very detailed information, comes the fun part… SHOPPING! They have a long list of vendors. Keep in mind that you will have a budget limit, which increases with every thank-you package you send (this is only required when a project is fully funded and at the request of donors). I am now at $2,000! After you fill your cart, you will summarize what it entails (basically tell potential donors why your students need the items in your cart). You will then name your project (make it catchy and fun) and give more details about it.
This may seem like a lot of work, but it is not. I found it to be exciting and a way for me to express my love and passion for my students. If you have any tips or projects you’d like to share, post it in the comment section.
Happy Project Writing!