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Guest Blogger: Stephanie Van Horn, Teacher

It’s no secret that I love DonorsChoose.org. They have been helping my classroom and students for years! I want to share my top tips for getting started with this wonderful organization.
My Top 10 DonorsChoose.org Tips:
Sign-up: Sign up is free, simple, and you can personalize your own website address.
Build Your Points: It’s tempting to want everything in the world, but start small with your first project.
Keep it Kid-Focused & Positive: Keeping it always framed in the positive (while being honest about the needs level of your class and school) will help donors feel they are part of a positive change and that’s the coolest part of the DonorsChoose process!
Write Well: Although they do provide spell check, I recommend having someone else read your proposal before you submit, just for an extra set of eyes.
Get Permission: Before you add any pictures of students, be sure you have their parents sign the DonorsChoose permission slip.
Be Aware of Due Dates:  Very doable, but mark your calendars!
Use Social Media: Getting the word out about a project is key, so be sure to tap into social media whenever you can.
Find Match Codes: These are a lifesaver and help your project get funded in no time!!
Be PATIENT! Patience is KEY with any DonorsChoose project. They stay live on the site for many months, and that’s for a reason.
Repeat and Encourage Others: DonorsChoose is a great resource to pass along to other teacher friends, so be sure to share your know-how with others in your building.
Once you go through your first project, you will realize how easy and positive it is, so don’t hold off any longer!

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