Updated November 14th, 2023: This pilot ends November 17th, after which, Lists will no longer be accessible. Teachers will receive any leftover, unapplied funding as account credits.
What are Classroom Essentials Lists?
For our first 22 years, the idea of a “project” has been core to the DonorsChoose model. Projects have sustained 700K+ teachers who created 2.24 million of them to get supplies for their classroom thanks to support from over 5 million donors.
The project model has been flexible enough to accommodate teachers’ endless creativity — but it’s not the ideal structure for all of a teacher’s classroom needs. We want DonorsChoose to help teachers get exactly what they need most, and to do that, we’re exploring complementary ways beyond our project model.
For the next few months and one thousand new teachers, we’re piloting a feature called Classroom Essentials. With Classroom Essentials, we hope to provide teachers with a much simpler way to get supplies for classroom needs.
So what do Classroom Essentials mean for teachers who successfully enter this pilot program?
Classroom Essentials allow eligible new teachers to create Lists of up to $100 from a set of 26 basic items. Once a List has been published, donors can then donate to support a teacher’s List. As teachers receive enough funding for any one item, they can immediately submit an order for that specific item. DonorsChoose sends that order to our vendors, and they’ll prepare your order for shipment.
This pilot is currently only available to new teachers who have never submitted a traditional project on DonorsChoose. Once 1,000 new teachers have entered into the pilot, no more Lists can be created. This allows our team to focus on a smaller set of Lists and understand where we can make improvements on the process.
If you’re a teacher who didn’t make it into the pilot or are not eligible and are interested in this feature, you can fill out this form.
Use of DonorsChoose requires that teachers only use one account. Do not make multiple accounts in order to create more than one Classroom Essentials List or to fake eligibility for the pilot.
Creating your Classroom Essentials List
Your List can go up to $100 of materials. You can select additional materials as you receive funding, so long as you’re under the $100 amount. To make it extra clear what you need, you can indicate your top priority needs.
With a published List, you can keep adjusting it based on what you need, freely adding or removing items and selecting which ones should be ordered. (Click here to see an example of someone adjusting their List.)
Once you’ve received $100 of funding, you won’t be able to put more items into your List. Similarly, after an item has been ordered, you won’t be able to edit that item.
This is the set of 21 items that you can put on your List:
|Bandages||Crackers (Cheddar)||Crayons||Disinfecting wipes|
|Erasers||Erasers (pencil tops)||Fruit snacks||Glue sticks|
|Highlighters||Laminating pouches||Markers||Markers (dry erase)|
|Paper (color)||Paper (white)||Pencils (color)||Pencils|
|Pens (ballpoint)||Pens (felt tip)||Play-doh||Sticky Notes|
To make this set of basic items more consistently available against shifting inventories, we’ve kept the items brandless. This means that if you’re ordering pencils, we’ll pull from the first vendor that can get those pencils to you!
Ordering your items
No longer do you need to wait for your entire project to be funded to request your items be ordered to your school!
Once you have enough funding for any whole line item, then you can order it immediately. After you’ve submitted your order, we’ll get to work processing that for shipment with our vendors.
Let’s say you’ve got enough funding to cover 2 quantities of pencils, you can submit those before anything else. The rest of your items will still be visible on your List as needing funding.
You can adjust your quantities too, so that if you only have enough funding for 1 of those pencils, you can get that ordered faster and wait for more funding to come for that last pencil.
Once any items have been ordered, you won’t be able to edit them and it may take up to 3 weeks for them to arrive. We’ll let your principal know once any items have been shipped and are to be expected at your school. You’ll need to contact our team for tracking information or any other issues with your items.
How do I donate to a teacher’s Classroom Essentials List?
When you find a teacher’s amazing Classroom Essentials List, you can add a donation directly to your cart, much like you would for a traditional project. You’ll head to check-out once you’re ready to donate.
Within check-out, you’ll see the corresponding donation for a teacher’s List. Your donation is to the teacher, and with your donation, they will get to decide which classroom basic items from their List they need most urgently. For this pilot, you can’t specifically fund a certain item from a teacher’s List.
After you’ve completed your donation, you’ll get an email confirmation and donation receipt.