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Just for Teachers

How Our Teachers and Partners Get It Done Together

Who are the five people who have most influenced your life?  A college professor of mine asked our class to write down our answers to this question on the first day of the semester a few years back.  When we were done, he asked those whose lists included at least one teacher to raise their hands. Everyone in the class put a hand up. In about a month, the corporate and foundation partners who contribute many millions of dollars to classrooms on DonorsChoose.org will be gathering in San Francisco for our annual Partner Summit.  I’ve been nagging Charles, our CEO and
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How I Got My Project Funded: 6 Teachers Share Their Secrets

There are as many ways to get your DonorsChoose.org request funded as there are teachers using the site. We asked six superstar educators in a diverse set of circumstances to share their best advice. Find a technique that’s a good fit for you… or try them all! Ask Parents to Spread the WordMichelle Ramos Looking for a good tip to help get your project funded? Let me share with you what I do. As soon as my request is live on the site, I send out an email letting my parents know there is a new project posted. I include the link to
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5 Reasons Teachers Should Get in on This Computer Science Offering ASAP

If you want to take your teaching game to the next level, this new campaign from Infosys Foundation USA can help. With students taking a break from school in the summer, now’s the perfect time for teachers to learn and grow outside of the classroom. Teachers can now receive funding for professional development in computer science through DonorsChoose.org — all thanks to the support of Infosys Foundation USA. Through this campaign, Infosys Foundation USA is half-funding projects for teachers to attend qualifying computer science courses so they can bring new STEM opportunities to their schools. Learn more and sign up here!
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Shopping for Your Students: 3 Questions Every Teacher Should Ask

It’s been more than six years since I first stepped into a DonorsChoose.org office as a young associate on our Partnerships team. (For a trip down memory lane, here’s the blog post I put up in 2010 celebrating our 10 year anniversary.)  We’ve grown a lot since then, but funding your first (or twenty-first) project can still feel daunting. I’m here to offer three ways you can optimize your request and increase your project’s likelihood of success. First, let’s back up. My experience comes from wearing several hats: Partnership Manager, kickball team captain, babysitter, exterminator, moving service, and serial runner-up
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Your Best Summer Ever: 4 Projects to Inspire the Vacation of Your (Teacher) Dreams

“Being a teacher is easy. I mean, you get the whole summer off!” I know, I know. Try not to throw things. No matter how you spend your summer—working a second job, attending workshops, teaching summer school, getting healthy for fall, bingeing on best-practice blogs, lesson planning, or designing a new classroom layout—rarely does a teacher truly have summer “off”. Below are four teachers in the summer who are setting themselves up for a fantastic “vacation” by enriching their lives and those of their students. Whether your own best summer ever involves family, rest, travel, study, sport, work, or a little bit of everything,
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4 Project Creation Habits of Highly Effective Teachers

Between them, these amazing educators have posted 298 fully-funded projects. Now, they’re giving you the inside scoop on the best way to set your project up for success.  All four of the teachers below began their DonorsChoose.org journey as novices, unsure how to bring resources to their students through the site. We wanted to know how they got from there to here, so we asked them: What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before creating your first request?  Here’s what they had to say. Break It UpMr. Stuart  I wish I’d known that smaller projects are easier to get funded than larger projects. At first, I was asking
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Inspiration for Your Next Project (or 10)

You’ve been lurking on the site for awhile, and today is the day you’re finally going to give this crazy DonorsChoose.org thing a try. Or maybe you’re a DonorsChoose.org veteran, and this is the moment you’ll shake things up and ask for one of those wacky dream items. Or perhaps you’re somewhere in between, keeping an eye out for new project inspiration. If you’re not sure what to ask for or how to prioritize items for your next request, here are three places to get awesome suggestions and crucial guidance. The best part? All three of these spots are at your disposal every day. Your classroom—and
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Funding Opportunities 101: How to Land Resources for Your Classroom

DonorsChoose.org is one of the only crowdfunding platforms where you don’t have to exclusively fundraise from your own network.  On our site, perfect strangers who have never met you or your students but care deeply about education line up to contribute to the work you do.   Some of the most generous of these strangers are our corporate and foundation partners. Last school year alone, these folks collectively contributed more than $50 million to classroom projects.  You can use these funding opportunities whether or not you know exactly what you want to request for your classroom. Here’s how. Don’t know what you’re
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How to Capture Compelling Classroom Photos

Mary works with our incredible DonorsChoose.org volunteers and our Screening team to ensure all projects meet eligibility guidelines. It may sound cliché, but a photo really is worth a thousand words—especially when it comes to your classroom. A distinct photo for your DonorsChoose.org teacher page and projects helps donors connect with your classroom and are a powerful tool for creating long-term connections. Check out these tips for creating a dynamite photo and some examples of classroom photos we love: Tip 1: Take a photo! A classroom photo should ideally be just that—a photo! Although it can be tempting to use colorful clipart, taking
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Classroom Recipes: Back to School for Under $500

If you follow DonorsChoose.org on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you already know about our #BestSchoolYear celebration. We love the back-to-school season: It’s a time for fresh starts, new beginnings, and, of course, much-needed classroom supplies. We’ve been excited about a new series here on the blog: classroom recipes. We’ll share “ingredient lists” of supplies you can order through DonorsChoose.org, inspired by real classrooms. Let’s see what you can cook up! Inspired by anything you see? Create a new project! A few quick notes: All of the prices below are approximate and subject to change, depending on vendors and availability. Most
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