We make creating a project on DonorsChoose.org as easy as possible, but we know it takes a motivated teacher to carve out the time. According to our teachers—it's worth it. Here's why.
The opportunity to share what’s happening in your classroom with the world.
Citizens that are not directly involved in public schools don’t often get to experience the accomplishments and challenges that occur within their walls. In the words of teacher Meg Skow, “[I see posting a project] as an opportunity to share events from my classroom, advocate for my program, and gain support for special projects.”As an organization that's been around for awhile (since 2000!), has almost 2 million supporters, and partners with a slew of great companies, DonorsChoose.org reaches people you may not reach on your own. Your projects illuminate for citizens—both those you know and those you don’t—the creativity, passion, and tenacity present every day in our nation’s classrooms.
That priceless package arrival moment.
There’s nothing like receiving a package in the mail, especially when you’re a kid. When a project is funded, we ship items directly to schools, creating special moments for you and your students to share: the arrival of the boxes, opening them together, and—of course—using their contents.“I am always the most excited when I see my kids react to receiving new materials for the first time,” writes Sydney Johnson. “The way their eyes light up—like it’s Christmas—is absolutely amazing.”
Access to funding.
DonorsChoose.org partners with corporations and individuals who want to help students and teachers. Most funding opportunities take the form of match offers, in which qualifying projects are "half-off".Taking advantage of these funds increases your likelihood of success and provides fodder for project inspiration. Debby Guardino shares, “When I recently got an email about a Gates funding opportunity, I wanted to honor Bill Gates with what I decided to do in my classroom, so I asked for a robotics tool.”
Teachers have told us time and again that they’re surprised to find that they enjoy—and learn from—our process.“What inspires me most is the ease of posting a project, the fun I have shopping for my items, and the e-mails I get when someone I do not know donates to my project,” shares Nadine Poper.You know your students' needs better than anyone. Selecting new items and experiences you hope to bring to your classroom can be a blast. And when donations start to come in from people you know, complete strangers, and our partners… well, Debbie daSilva says it best:“This may sound crazy, but it is so exciting to watch something get funded!”Not crazy at all, Debbie. The journey is the destination!
Inspiration from donors.
Teacher Alina Wysocki says, “[I’m inspired by] the goodwill of people who care and want to make a difference.”Because supporters know exactly who they are giving to and what their funds will be used for, a special connection is forged between DonorsChoose.org teachers and the people who contribute to their projects.“What inspires me about posting a project on DonorsChoose.org is to see how compassionate people are and how they reach out to help others,” writes Sherry T. Stitt. “Donors want to see students succeed.”
Materials you’d otherwise have to skip (or pay for out-of-pocket).
“I post…because it helps provide necessary materials that my school may not be able to provide and that may be too expensive for me to purchase.,” Rita Lawrence shared. “Too many teachers at my school are forced to spend their own money.”There is loads of research out there to support stories like this. Posting a DonorsChoose.org project is one way to lighten your load.
Your colleagues. (a.k.a. “Where’d you get that __________ for your classroom?”)
“I have seen my colleagues post on DonorsChoose and they have gotten great results” says Julie Coffinger. “I did my first project this year and had it funded!” Congratulations, Julie!When you post, you are joining a coterie of amazing teachers who inspire not only their students, but each other. Sometimes motivation comes from fellow educators you’ve never even met. The site is packed with creative project ideas from teachers all over the country. Browse through them and get inspired by new classroom activities, exciting field trips, innovative approaches to Common Core standards, and all the teachers who are finding ways to meet their students’ needs.
There is one unifying thread that ties all DonorsChoose.org teachers together: dedication to your students. Your relentless pursuit of the best possible education for every child leaves me at a loss for words. But that’s all right... you tells it best anyway:
“My students inspire me to post projects. Their burning desire to learn is what makes it all worth it. The look on their faces when we get a project funded is priceless.”—Alexander Correll
“I’m inspired to post projects on DonorsChoose by my students. I have students that want to learn and do their best. They inspire me every day I come to school. I want to do whatever I can to help them accomplish their goals in life.”—Beth Ann Jackman