That's why I've decided to celebrate DonorsChoose Day every Sunday! I'll post a call on Facebook for proposals around 8 a.m. EST, and on Monday morning, I'll choose at least one to help fund. If you post your proposal link there, be sure to tell me about your project and why it's important to you. If I receive an overwhelming number of proposals, I will skim the entries and select about 10 to examine more closely before I make my decision. Follow me on Facebook to be sure you see my call for proposals.
In case you've tried posting proposals on DonorsChoose and have become discouraged, you should know that there's definitely an art and science to writing a project proposal that appeals to donors. However, if you learn a few tricks, it's amazingly easy to get money for your classroom projects. Last year I invited Francie Kugelman, a veteran DonorsChoose teacher, to share her secrets for how to get projects funded. She's received over $25,000 worth of funding, and she shared her tips in a webinar that you can watch from my DonorsChoose page on Teaching Resources. I highly recommend watching it if you are just starting out on DC. In fact, I was told by one of the customer service reps at DonorsChoose that they recommend this webinar to new users!
Here are a few tips from my own experience about how to get projects funded:
- Try to keep your project proposal under $500 because smaller projects are much more likely to get funded. If you need materials that are worth more than $500, divide up what you need and write several individual proposals. For example, don't ask for three iPads in one proposal. Write three different proposals and you are more likely to get at least one of them funded.
- When you write your proposal, show your passion for your students and your project! Make it clear how much you love teaching and enjoy working with your students, and how deserving they are of receiving these materials.
- As soon as your project goes live on the DC site, send a letter and/or an email to parents explaining your project and asking for donations. They might not be able to help, but they might have family members who can contribute. Any money they spend on your project is a tax-deductible donation.
- Check your email and stay on the lookout for special opportunities from DonorsChoose such as matching codes or additional funding from companies.