70% of all projects are fully funded. Follow these suggestions to give your project an edge!
Planning your project
- Be specific. Think about what your students need. Can you explain this in a way that's vivid, compelling, and inspiring for potential donors?
- Be strategic. Smaller requests are likely to get funded quickly. In fact, projects under $200 have a 90% chance of being funded, while projects over $1000 are funded only about 43% of the time. Are there some ways to lower your project cost, while still getting everything you need? Check out our tips and tricks for keeping costs low.
- Get inspiration. Use the search filters to find teachers similar to you and see what they're requesting.
- Check out funding opportunities. View available match offers from companies and foundations.
Writing a great essay
- Tell a story. Illustrate why and how the project will help your class. Here's a great example: "Flexible seating allows students to take charge of their learning and make the choices that work best for them. My students are noticeably more engaged in their work and less disruptive of their peers when they are given a choice of where to work."
- Beware of jargon. If you use acronyms like the name of a standardized test or "ELMO," make sure you explain them. (Most donors will picture the Sesame Street character, not a useful document camera!)
- Double check spelling and grammar. Donors love to see that you've put time and care into your project.
- Let your students shine. When writing about your students, focus on their interests, strengths, and aspirations — not just their struggles. Ask yourself if your students and their parents would feel proud of themselves after reading your essay.
Getting the word out
- Use your public profile. It's a one-stop shop to showcase your efforts on DonorsChoose.org. Create a custom URL and share the link so your friends, family, and network can always see what your classroom is up to.
- Email your friends and family. People want to know about the great work you're doing! And many will be happy to spread the word for you. One teacher shared, "I was amazed at how quickly my project was funded, just by sending a few messages. We forget how eager our friends and family are to help out our classrooms. Plus, they love to hear about what we are accomplishing!"
- Tell your community. Organizations like rotary clubs, small businesses, local media, and school PTAs have supported teachers across the country. Ask your PTA if they will include a direct link to your project in their communications!