Donors Choose Tips and Tricks

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Hi Everyone!

Now that I've showed you how easy it is to write a DonorsChoose.org project for hand2mind resources, I want to share some simple tips and tricks to help you get your project FULLY funded!

I know I'm not the only teacher who has a list of resources I need for my students that’s a mile long. It’s easy to look at a catalog or website full of math manipulatives and think – MY STUDENTS NEED IT ALL!! Been there, done that! BUT, one of my top tips to getting your DonorsChoose.org project fully funded is to keep the project cost low. I try to keep all my projects under $400. Most of my projects for supplies and books are between $200 to $300 each. A donor is much more likely to donate or fully fund a project if the total cost is a reasonable amount.

How do I keep the costs low? I break my projects up! For example, my class has 15 iPads and every single one is from a fully funded DonorsChoose.org project. I have acquired that many iPads for my students by writing multiple projects.

Match offers are your best friend on DonorsChoose.org! Match offers happen when a company or individual picks a topic, school location, etc., and chooses to match donations given. Most of these offers match any donation dollar for dollar. This means if someone donates $10 to your project and it has a 2X match offer, the match offer donation will be $20! Sometimes I hold off on posting a certain project if a great match offer for something else comes along. You can see a list of current match offers by clicking here I check the list a few times a week. I suggest taking advantage of a posted match ASAP if it would benefit your students because the funds are sometimes used up quickly!

This one seems simple, but it’s so important. If you don't have a project posted, you can't have a project funded. I could go on and on about the importance of having a project posted for resources your students need, but instead I'll share two stories.

1. I had four projects posted earlier this year. I was skeptical that they were going to get funded. One Sunday afternoon I checked my email to see a slew of messages from DonorsChoose.org. I thought it was a glitch in their system, but it wasn't! An incredible woman, whom I don't even know, funded every single one of my projects within minutes. I was overcome with gratitude and so thankful that a stranger wanted to invest so much in the education of my students.

2. Best School Day 2018! Have you heard of the company Ripple? Well one day in March this company fully funded every single project posted on DonorsChoose.org. Every. Single. One. If I didn't have a book project posted when that happened, I wouldn't have had the mentor texts I needed for a new reading unit!

Also...projects get funded in the summer too! Don't stop posting projects just because the school year is technically over.

I used to think all my projects had to be for things like iPads, books, etc. Those are important resources but so are the more common items you would find in a classroom. When I first posted a project for Hokki Stools to support flexible seating, I was skeptical that anyone would fund it, but I was wrong! When I started posting projects for STEM and coding materials, I thought the same thing, but those projects have been fully funded as well. Don't hesitate to post what you need for your students!

If I've learned anything over the past three years using DonorsChoose.org, it’s that people want to help. Sharing your project with friends, family, and local businesses is important! Just asking people to share your project with their friends and family on social media can bring in donations from strangers. Promote your projects on social media to help spread the word digitally. People can't help your students if they don't know about your project!

*This blog post was written as a collaboration with hand2mind. All opinions posted are my own.

Chloe from A Buckeye Teacher

Hi! I am Chloe, a 2nd grade teacher going into my 6th year of teaching. All my years as an educator have been spent in either 2nd or 3rd grade. I love teaching with pictures books and incorporating STEM and coding into lessons! I believe students learn best when they ahve the tools they need to succeed! I am passionate about writing grants that allow me to bring the best resources into my classroom. I love helping other educators learn how to do the same!