Thursday, September 24, 2015

DonorsChoose (YOU can do it!)


Hey There! 

I am so excited I can hardly contain my teacher self!!! 

I posted a project for 4 mini iPads and protective cases on DonorsChoose and it was funded in 5 days! 5 days!!! I cannot believe it. They are on the way to my school site as I type. 

Do you know about DonorsChoose? If you don't, basically it is a nonprofit website that allows public school teachers to request donations for their classroom. Individuals and business owners come to the site looking for projects to help fund. The donations are tax deductible. #WinWinForEveryone

I have never written any sort of grant before and felt like it might be hard or overwhelming but once I got on the website I found it was so easy! If you have a need in your classroom I would encourage you to go there NOW (after you finish reading this post :) and DO IT! 

From what I have heard raising $1736 in 5 days is not typical. I am going to get right down to it and share with you a few things I did that I believe helped fund my project so quickly.


Use Your Voice
Try to make your request as personal as you can without giving out personal information of your school or students. My classroom theme is "Shining Stars" so I made sure to talk about them as that and how iPads would help them Sparkle! I was as specific as possible as to what we could do with iPads that would enhance my students' learning. 


Get the Word Out! 
Send an email to parents of the kids in your class. If you are like me you might feel strange asking them to donate. I wanted them to know my project was out there without asking them directly and putting pressure on them to give money. Here is how I worded it: 

Dear Parents, 
I am so excited that the DonorsChoose grant I submitted has been approved!!! 
Would you help me spread the word to your friends/family/businesses who are looking to make a donation that really will make a big impact with our students? 

I had several extended family members (Those grandparents wrote such sweet words about their grandchildern) donate and I am pretty sure it is because I simply suggested my parents share with their families. 

Get the Match! 
My project happened to be running when DonorsChoose was offering to match each donation up to $100 if donors used a promo code. 
Many of my donors forgot to use the code when checking out...YIKES! 
I decided to email the website and asked if they would please match the donation. They said YES! If I had never sent the email, 7 donations equaling $475 would not have been matched. Sending the email took me less than 5 minutes :) 



Share on Social Media 
I shared a link to tell my Facebook friends and family I had a project running. I asked them to share on their wall if they were comfortable with that too. Several people shared my post :) 

So the CrAzY thing is, I raised more money than I needed. A friend and a few parents saw that my project was fully funded when they got around to making a donation and "donated" a gift card to be used for future projects I post. Now my wheels are spinning on what my next project will be.... :) 

I am overwhelmed by the generosity of others. When I thanked a parent or friend personally, their response warmed my heart. "We are so happy to help, we are impressed that you would take the time and seek donations." People are awesome.

My firsties are going to be so excited upon the arrival of that special box, that is if I let them open it...

Thanks for reading, now go get what YOU need {HERE} :)


 

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tips for Donors Choose! I have a live project right now and these are fabulous pieces of advice! Never thought to email Donors Choose about matching donations! Thanks!

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  2. Thanks for these tips I myself am seeking 3 ipad minis and I am half way there and this helped encourage me to keep pressing forward!! Thank you!!

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  3. Hi! When you say that you emailed the site about donors forgetting to put in the match code, did you email Donors Choose or the matching company?
    I have the same thing happening right now! :)
    Thanks!

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    1. Hi April, I emailed Donors Choose. Sorry if that was unclear! They were pretty prompt at returning my email and asked if I informed donors of matching code. I copied my original email I sent and they matched all no problem! Good luck to you!

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