Teaching is so much fun, and as teachers, we get excited about new things for our classroom. Creating a successful classroom can get expensive quickly, which is why I like to use crowdfunding for purchasing a classroom project.
Crowdfunding includes platforms like TpT ClassFund, Amazon Wish List, and Donor’s Choose.
There really is some secret magic when it comes to getting your classroom project funded. Today, I am going to share eight ways that you can get your project funded.
Tip #1 Set an Achievable Budget
Think about it – you’re given two projects that you can donate towards. One project is $4,000 while the other is $200. If you were able to donate $20, which project would your $20 have the greatest impact on?
Psychologically speaking, our donors want to feel as if they are making a difference. They will feel that way if they donate to a smaller budget.
If your project is priced too high, your donor may feel as though their contributions won’t make a difference or that it’s going to take too long to get the materials that you need. They want to see their contributions in action fast.
That is why I suggest breaking these larger projects into smaller pieces. Try to keep your projects around $150. They should be no more than $300 unless you plan on contributing yourself.
For example, if you create a Donor’s Choose Project for my STEM boxes, I recommend having one project for part of the supplies, then a second project for the pencil boxes, and the third project for anything else you may need like shelving or a cart, etc.
Tip #2 Be Crystal Clear
Explain how the classroom project helps your students. This sounds like a no-brainer, but you really have to use your power of persuasion to illustrate to donors why their donation will make a difference. Use basic terms instead of teacher jargon.
Answer these questions when writing about your classroom project. How will it help your students? Why are you struggling to get it now? How will you use it in class? Is it for only one year or for years and years?
Tell your donors about your project in a way where they feel as though their donation will make a difference. Tell them how it will make your life easier, and tell them how it will improve the quality of your teaching.
Make it crystal clear, and if you’re having trouble or are drawing a blank, look at the product descriptions of the items you want. These descriptions will give you some great ideas on how they can help your classroom and make your life easier – especially the descriptions on TpT.
Tip #3 Be Consistent
There is an art to sharing your project. Most times people need to see your project SEVEN times before they will donate. Don’t share it all at once, but be consistent with it. Share this in your weekly or monthly newsletters to your families. Add a QR code and a direct link in your newsletters so that families can easily make donations.
Tip #4 Thank Your Donors
If you have donors who are families from your classroom, consider sending home a thank you note and a treat. It may seem like it’s “extra” work, but your families will appreciate the thoughtfulness and creative thank you. It builds rapport and it lets them know that you really are grateful.
Doing this encourages them to donate to other projects in the future.
Tip #5 Post It On Your Door
Create a flier to hang outside your classroom door. Be sure to include a photo of your class, a QR code, and a physical web address so that anyone walking by or in your classroom can see that your class has a goal.
Not only that, but your students will notice it when they are coming in and possibly ask questions about it. When they see how amazing the project is, they’re more likely to go home and pester their parents about it!
Tip #6 Get Social!
Share your project on social media. Invite your friends and family members to donate to this project. It is a great opportunity for you to make it more personable about how it will directly help you! Your friends and family want to help you and they can do that by sharing your project or donating.
Be enthusiastic about it too! Don’t just share and say, “Help us out!” Share and say, “OMG I hope we get this project funded because it is/will _________________. How amazing is that? Click the link to help my class pretty please!”
Tip #7 Donate to Your Project
This may sound strange because you don’t want to spend money on your classroom, but when people see that someone is donating (whether it be public or anonymous), they’re more likely to donate. I set my donations for $20 per month. They come straight from my account into a project. As soon as I post the project, I’ll add my money to it. This is really helpful if the project has a double-points or dollar for dollar deal.
Tip #8 Remind Donors It’s a Tax Deductible
TpT’s ClassFund and Donor’s Choose include tax deductibles! You don’t need to do a thing. The donations are recorded in the donor’s account. Also, it’s nice that you’ll be able to see who donated so you can easily print the records and submit it to your school’s secretary/treasurer.
Want my free guide on how to get everything you need for your classroom without spending a dime? Check it out here!
For more teaching tips, check out my post on how to align your lessons to standards without the headache here!