DonorsChoose is great and it may be different from a typical "grant" because: You. Will. Work. I am currently working on getting my third project funded and I am super excited. The process to complete a project for approval is simple: describe your students, describe your project, and shop for your materials. Once approved, the real work begins. Getting your project funded. This Blog Is Why I have fallen in love with DonorsChoose.
Over the last few months, I have had the chance to learn a great deal about DonorsChoose. I love sharing those resources with others and connecting with donors who want to help schools, students, and teachers. In this blog, I will share some of those connections. First, one the most beneficial resources for me was the webinar presented by Laura Candler and Francie Kugelman. In this webinar, they give some great tips about presenting a successful project and getting funded. They also discussed giving communities and they have created THE most successful one. You can find them on Facebook during "Fund-day Sunday" when they add new projects that are guaranteed to be funded. Their giving page also hosts a "Rafflecopter" contest. You can participate in either by donating at least $1 to a project sponsored on the "Caring Classrooms" page and then you can post a link to your own project. You can get more information about guidelines in the links below.
Caring Classrooms Facebook Page
Another great resource is Jed Dearybury's page. He is MR. DonorsChoose and has over 100 funded projects on his page. He is also willing to share his expertise with teacher friends who need it. On his page, you will find some tips for a successful project and information about Lily Sarah Grace. This foundation also sponsors a grant that may be an additional source of funding.
Lily Sarah Grace Fund
How Do You Get Funding?
That is the biggest question and task with DonorsChoose. Currently, if you are in South Carolina, there is a match offer by Duke Energy. What is a match offer? That means that they will match donations from your donors and sometimes this is limited by the dollar amount. So, each donation is doubled. There are several businesses that will do this based on the subject or type of project you create. DonorsChoose is great about matching you up with these offers as they are available. DonorsChoose will also offer a match offer for newbies and there is a time limit on it.
Once you have the link for your project, you must SHARE, SHARE, SHARE. Do what works best for you, your community, and potential donors. I like to share in as many ways as possible. That means I email people, tweet it out, and post on Facebook. EVERYDAY! Although I am new to doing this, I am sharing the method that has worked for me.
You can also use these Social Media platforms to find companies who are sponsoring contests or offering match offers specific to DonorsChoose projects. A great example is the one being offered by Sonic. They have www.limeadesforlearning.com. Teachers are awarded for the highest number of votes each week. Sponsors can visit Sonic for additional voting codes.
The final process for completing a DonorsChoose project is to send thank you notes to your donors. Again, another easy process and you are guided through with easy-to-follow steps. I would like to use this section to say thanks and highlight some of my sponsors. First and foremost, my awesome family, friends, coworkers and classmates. My awesome PLN from Twitter and/or Facebook.
My sponsors include the following:
Duke Energy @DukeEnergy
E20 and Jonathan Nalder @jnxyz
Advancement Courses @AdvanceTeaching
The Wright Family
Pam Hubler @specialtechie
Blogger/Educator/Grant Writer/ Future Ready Presenter/Aspiring Administrator