Who Needs To Win The Powerball, When You Have Donors Choose?18 January 2016
For the last year or so I had been hearing all about people's grants they were getting through Donors Choose. The word grant made me cringe because being a teacher I had done plenty of grant writing and the thought of doing one more, I couldn't stomach. Well it wasn't until this year when Arizona hosted the National Championship of College Football and the NCAA was granting many Arizona grants since the beginning of the year. My principal kept telling us to write these grants and see if we could get technology, books, flexible seating, etc into our classrooms. Again, the grant writing process was one I didn't want to do.
During Christmas break while I had time to research and look into Donors Choose, I realized that it wasn't that hard and time consuming as some grants are. Once I started back to school with my kids for 2nd semester and after doing the research of exactly what I wanted for my 2nd grade classroom, I pulled the trigger. I wrote the grant, submitted it, and just like that it was approved. I was so surprised how easy it was! From there I knew that I would wait to get this $500 funded. My grant was open until May and in my mind it was probably going to take that long. So this was last Monday when my project was approved and live. And believe it or not my grant of $500 for 5 Kindle Fires and protective cases was fully funded in 3 DAYS! Let me repeat myself FULLY FUNDED IN 3 DAYS! I'm seriously still speechless (even if I'm writing this blog post about it - HA!) So, since this was my first project and definitely not my last, I wanted to give my readers some suggestions when writing your Donors Choose projects whether its your first or 100th project!
Tip #1 - Don't think it can't happen because IT CAN and most likely WILL - There are so many companies out there ready to donate and they want to support schools, children, and teachers. I promise if you put in the time, it will pay off!
Tip #2 - Start small - When doing a Donors Choose project choose something that you can utilize in your classroom and will make an impact on student learning. For example if you want flexible seating for your classroom do a project for 10 different seating choices. Don't go crazy in making your project for 25 different seating options for each of your kids. This is what I did with my Kindle Fires. Yes, I would LOVE to have a tablet for each of my students but I wanted to be realistic and knew that I could get more later. I went with 5 and I believe that's why it was funded so quickly.
Tip #3 - Write from the Heart - When writing your project describe in detail how this will change and impact your students. Make the readers/donors feel like they are making a HUGE difference by donating to your classroom. Make it heart felt and from the teacher's heart. Let them know it's you and your voice. Make it real!
Tip #4 - Get it Out There - Flood your social media friends on Facebook, email your student's parents, advertise your project to your faculty, and get the project out to companies that you associate with. There are many teacher bloggers and TPT sellers that also want to donate and help classrooms, so put it out there for those people too. You can never put it out there too much in my opinion!
Don't be afraid. Take some time to decide what you want. Submit your grant and wait for the magic to happen. It really is better than winning the Powerball lottery. You have better chances and it directly impacts your students in your classroom. Visit Donors Choose today and get started!