Established: August 8, 2013
Amount Raised as of 9/4/2016: $224,000
Contributing Donors as of 9/4/2016: 3,352
Are you a fan of DonorsChoose? If so, consider joining the Caring Classrooms Giving Community, a network of teachers who help each other get their DonorsChoose projects funded. If you are interested in sponsoring the Caring Classrooms Community with a donation, click here for details.
This page is a step-by-step guide to learning about DonorsChoose and our community including how to make a request to get your project added to the page. If you are already familiar with the Caring Classrooms Community and how it works, you can go straight to the guidelines for how projects are selected for the page.
DonorsChoose (www.donorschoose.org) is a nonprofit organization that helps public school teachers in the United States obtain funding for their classroom projects. If you don't know anything about DonorsChoose, you need to learn how it works before trying to understand the community concept. I recommend that you watch the webinar on my DonorsChoose page here on Teaching Resources. It was presented by Francie Kugelman who now has had over $50,000 worth of projects funded!
DonorsChoose has made it possible for individuals to support classrooms and promote projects through "communities." Basically, projects are added to a giving page, and members of the community donate to those projects to help each other out. From time to time, the administrator will add new projects to the page. In our community, we limit the number of projects on the page to no more than 10 at a time, and most of our projects are funded through large numbers of people donating small amounts like $1 or $5.
Many communities also have Facebook pages where the teachers connect and support each other. To learn more, read Francie's guest blog post on Corkboard Connections, Sometimes It Take a Virtual Village.
To get an overview of how and why I set up the Caring Classrooms Community, please read my Corkboard Connections blog post.
Becoming a Caring Classrooms member or supporter is easy. Just donate $1 or more to any project on the Caring Classrooms giving page. Boom! You're now a member of our community! All donations are tax-deductible, and you'll get a receipt at the end of the year showing all donations so you don't have to keep up with it yourself.
Visit the Caring Classrooms Facebook Community and like the page to stay in touch with what's going on. This is where I'll post requests to submit projects to be added to the giving page. We welcome messages from members who are supporting each other and offering tips about current matching codes, how to get projects funded, and so on.
Francie is working with me as administrator on the Caring Classrooms Facebook page to share tips and help motivate everyone. I appreciate her help and support!
Note: Please don't post messages updating the group about your project's status and requesting donations. Repeatedly letting everyone know how many days you have left to fund it and how much money is needed quickly becomes annoying to the other members in the group. Thanks for understanding!
The Caring Classroom giving page has a maximum of 10 projects on it at any time. We will let everyone know via the Facebook group when a project is funded and there's room for another one. This is the time to post your project request on the Caring Classrooms Facebook page, and your link needs to be posted under the status update where I made the request.
Read the guidelines below to get a more complete understanding of how and when you can make your requests. Most of the time these requests go out on Sunday at 8 am. You can also click the image on the right to download a summary of the guidelines.
Remember that posting your project link is sort of like entering the lottery. There are hundreds of people in the giving community who are making regular donations, and only 10 projects at a time can be added to the page. You might become a member of the community and never get a project added to the page, but you WILL experience the joy of contributing to others' projects and making a difference in classrooms across the nation. Many people have told me that they've become addicted to watching the giving page to see the projects getting funded and "flying off the page"!
From time to time, we'll host a special contest on the Caring Classrooms giving page. Entering the contest will give you the chance to win a $50 DC gift card and a chance to have your project added to the page. Visit our Caring Classrooms Contest page for details about our contests.
Be sure to SIGN UP for emails that will alert you about upcoming contests and events on Caring Classrooms!
If you have any other questions that have not been answered here, please post them on the Facebook wall and I'll update the page with the responses. Thanks! ~ Laura