Donors Choose...And They Chose ME!
I can't think of a better way to start my blog than with some exciting things happening in my classroom! Last week was our spring break and I decided to go out on a whim and write a Donors Choose project in attempts to get a cozy little lounge area for my classroom. And much to my surprise my project was funded. IN. FIVE. DAYS.
My first package (a super adorable IKEA lamp ) was actually delivered to my school today! I can't wait to see the looks on my students' faces when they see our new learning environment come together. By the end of the week I should have two futons, an area rug, and a coffee table! Excited is an understatement!
When I first got involved in writing a Donors Choose project, I of course consulted the internet to get some questions answered. I found several helpful posts from teachers who have had success with getting their projects funded in the past. So now, I decided it was my turn to compile a list of tips for getting your project funded on Donors Choose:
When picking out items for your classroom, don't go overboard. The more your project costs, the less likely you will be to get all the funds in time. My project was just over $600 and was funded in less than a week. Donors will be more likely to help your project out if they feel that their money will make an impact, not just a dent in your project needs.
Post your project all over social media! Sure you may think that people get annoyed by posts begging for money, but I get annoyed with posts about people trying to get you to try the latest supplement. I quickly learned that if it benefits kids, people are much more likely to help out. I posted my project on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram and those proved to be successful. Friends stepped up to donate, family members stepped up to donate, and even a fellow teacher in my building donated. Social media is the best way to get information out to your friends and family fast, so don't be hesitant to use it.
Sometimes Donors Choose runs promotions that will match any donations. I was lucky enough that a fellow teacher in my building told me about a promotional code that was running for a limited time. When my donors made their donation, a simple promotional code they entered at the time of their checkout doubled their donation at no extra cost to them. When my project only had about $260 left to be funded, a movement called "Best School Day Ever" picked up the rest of my bill. I was shocked, because I thought for sure that promotion ended, but with Donors Choose I've learned that you never know what could happen!
When your project gets posted, don't wait around for someone to make the first donation. Put a little of your own money out there. I donated $30 of my own money to my Donors Choose project, but thanks to the LIFTOFF promotion, it was matched and my donation became $60. When donors see that your project has some funds behind it, they may be more likely to add some additional funds. And in the grand scheme of things, 30 bucks is not bad for over $600 worth of furniture in my room, right?!
When donors decide to help fund your project, make sure to log-on to your account and write them each a personal thank you. When your project is fully funded, make another announcement on social media to share the good news. A simple thank you goes a lot farther than you think!
Stay tuned for pictures of my cozy new learning space!