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Where Great Project Ideas Come From!


In August, we hosted our first-ever #DonorsChooseChat on Twitter. Nicholas Ferroni, a New Jersey history teacher moderated the Twitter chat and asked teachers different questions about their DonorsChoose experience, covering everything from tips and tricks to referrals and project inspiration.

One question that got a lot of you talking: where do you get inspiration for your projects?


Nicholas Ferroni picture in front of his laptop taken during the Twitter Chat session

We pulled together several popular answers from teachers just like you to help bring you some fresh ideas when it’s time to start working on your next project!

1. Ask your students

My inspiration comes from my students! Their interests and capabilities as learners with special needs really drive my instruction. They have to be invested!

 - Ms. Fargnoli

How to bring this to life in your classroom: Lead a brainstorming session with your students, ask for their dreams and big ideas, and get quotes from them to feature in the project description. Later, your students will be excited to see the project come to life, and create thank-you packages, knowing that they were engaged every step of the way. 

2. Take a look at other funded projects

Teachers share so many innovative ways to inspire students around the world. I learn so much from other teachers.

 - Mrs. Coats

I find inspiration from following other teachers on Twitter, attending conferences, and even reading other projects!

 - Mrs. Evans

How to bring this to life in your classroom: When you start thinking of your next project, carve out some time to research projects that other teachers have been creating. Interested in creating a maker space or a school garden, but not sure where to get started or what the best supplies are? Use our funded project filter to take a look at past projects that have been fully funded. Asking teachers on Twitter or in our Facebook community is another great place for advice.  

3. Check for available match offers

Some of my inspiration comes from the matches that DonorsChoose helps to get...

 - Ms. Edwards

How to bring this to life in your classroom: Thanks to our generous corporate and foundation donors, we have match offers running year-round that might be a good fit for your next project. Some of these offers can be thematic, supporting areas like financial literacy, team sports, or the arts, which might inspire a project idea. Here are some of the match offers currently available on our site.

Below are more resources to help you create your project, fund it, and share your gratitude back to with your donors: 

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