Sunday, October 30, 2011

Want a treat? Try DonorsChoose!

What treat are you wishing for? More math manipulatives? Leveled readers? Digital cameras?

Today's post is all about DonorsChoose. Don't panic, this is NOT a request for donations, instead I am going to encourage all of you to write up a project for DonorsChoose.

When DonorsChoose first started, I tried it out but wasn't impressed. I wrote up a project, but nobody (and I mean NOBODY) made a donation. After three l.o.n.g months, the project expired and I felt foolish for wasting my time. (I also felt very unloved!) It also bothered me that the fees for shipping, handling and overhead seemed so high. (Later, I came to realize the unbelievable time and effort that goes into running the nonprofit called DonorsChoose. Now I believe that every extra penny they tack on is reasonable and WELL worth it!)

Then ... I ran into some teachers who had their projects fully funded and I decided to give it another go. Brilliant idea! I have now had five projects funded (four of those in the last two months)!!! What types of materials did I receive? So glad you asked!! Digital cameras, a Bamboo tablet, watercolors, and lots and lots of leveled readers.

There are certain stipulations but in general, teachers who teach at a public school in the United States qualify.

I don't like to ask people for things, so I have never posted my projects on Facebook or Twittered about them. (But you could.) I have also never told classroom parents, coworkers or friends about my projects. (I really, really am shy about that type of thing!!) So, just think, if I am getting my projects funded, all of you outgoing bloggets are likely to get your projects funded much, much faster than I do!!!!

My hints:
**Start by looking at projects that are already posted. Get ideas from these about the types of materials you can request.
**Make your projects worth less than $400. People like to donate to projects that look like they may be funded soon.
**Have a catchy title. (Okay, this is hit or miss for me. But it really does help!)
**Take advantage of any special funding. One of my leveled reader projects was 75% funded by a publisher because I followed their rules and mentioned their product in my proposal. (I LOVE their books so it was easy!) Then my second leveled reader project was 75% funded by NEA because they were funding literacy projects. Check the list of special funding available and write your projects accordingly.

Feel free to ask me questions. I HEART DonorsChoose!


  1. Camille, thank you for your sweet comment on my Halloween post. You absolutely made my WEEK!!!! :) THANK YOU!!!!!!!!
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

  2. I am a new follower! Thanks for these tips! Love them! :)