You need a classroom grant. But you barely have time to get to the the bathroom, never mind research and apply for grants. Right?
Well, you are gonna LOVE this, chickpea!
Donors Choose allows hard-working teachers like you to apply for funding. In fact it’s so easy, you’ll be able to do it in one prep period.
What is Donors Choose?
Donors Choose helps teachers fund classroom projects. Friends, family, and strangers donate to your project.
Below is a recent video from Stephen Colbert about his love of the group.
My First Project
I wanted to buy popular book group books for that would make my kids’ jaws drop.
First, I created an account at Donors Choose. (one minute)
Then created a description of my students. (five minutes)
The shopping part took longer than it needed to ’cause — dang — how fun is shopping for books? But if you know what you want? It will take 5 minutes.
This is what the shopping for the classroom grant looked like when complete:
Then I described my project. (Ten minutes.)
I submitted my project to Donors Choose.
Nervously, I posted the link on Facebook and sent out one email to family and friends.
And in eleven days — ELEVEN! — my $748 classroom grant was funded. I even got donations from Ripple and from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
A few weeks later, boxes of gorgeous books arrived.
What a DAY! I mean, look at them!
Shortly after, we started our first book groups! BOY, were the kids excited! (I overheard one boy say to a friend, “I never liked reading before. But The Wild Robot is the best book I’ve ever read.”)
I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. ‘Cause it seemed too easy. And as teachers, we’re not used to that.
But, dang it. It was that simple.
Books I bought for Reading Groups:
I bought 6 books of each of these titles:
- The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Bradley
- The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Bradley
- The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
- The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown
- The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
- 39 Clues: A Maze of Bones
- Bunnicula by James Howe
- Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
- The Candymakers by Wendy Mass
How YOU can apply for a classroom grant RIGHT NOW
First, you go to the Donors Choose homepage. Click on “Learn how to get funded” and create an account.
You’ll share what school you’re from and you’ll upload one photograph of yourself. (Don’t stress over this. Pick one picture, or take a quick selfie, and move on.)
Classroom grant basics
Next, select “Create new project.”
Then, decide if you want a Standard project (supplies, class trip, or bringing a visitor to your school) or Professional Development (training.) Click “Let’s go!”
Next, type in
- ages of your students
- number of students the classroom grant will help
- a couple of paragraphs about what makes your students great (they provide examples if you’ve got writer’s block)
Then upload a photo of your classroom.
What you want
Donors Choose suggests not going over $600. According to them, classroom grant projects below this amount are the most funded. But don’t let that stop you if your amount’s higher.
Project description and title
Name it. Describe it. Pick the subject area. (Reading, PE, etc.)
Finally, once your project goes live — it happens FAST — then share it on social media AND email the link to your peeps. (Donors Choose has scripts you can use.)
When there are matching periods — “The ____ company is doubling all donations for the next 24 hours.” — take advantage and reshare your project. People love seeing their donation multiplied and will jump in.
Once your materials arrive, snap photos. (Check with your school policy’s before posting photos of students or your classroom.)
After a short period, Donors Choose will remind you to send donors thank you cards from the kids. As with the application, it’s quick and simple.
Let us know if you try funding your own project! We’d love to toast to your success!
Now It’s Your Turn!
Tell us in the comments below:
- What do you need for your classroom?
- Or, if you’ve had a project funded, tell us about it!
Know a teacher who works too late? Want to send them time-saving tips? Then share this article with them on social media using the links up top.
Want more good stuff?
Click here and get “8 Ways to Create Lifelong Readers.” Want your kids to love reading? In 8 easy steps, you’ll have a well-loved book haven in your classroom.
Visit my Teachers Pay Teachers Store and click on the green “Follow” star under the store name. You’ll get monthly messages and first dibs on ways to save time in your classroom.
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