You go above-and-beyond for your students, so posting a DonorsChoose.org project is a natural next step. But how do you make sure your request receives donations? Here are six teacher-tested techniques to advocate for your students, rally supporters, and reach your goal.
Email friends and family. When reaching out for support, there’s no substitute for a personalized request. Email has proven to be the #1 tool teachers use to get their DonorsChoose.org projects fully funded. Explain to those you know why your request is important to you and your students, and don’t forget to include the link to your project. (Get more tips about using email effectively.)
Spruce up your teacher page. Your DonorsChoose.org teacher page is an online representation of your classroom. Make it shine with an engaging classroom image, teacher profile photo, and fantastic blurb about your students. (Here’s a great example.) Then customize your teacher page link and put it everywhere: your email signatures, your blog, your classroom newsletter, your school website… the list goes on!
Use social media to your advantage. T ake it to the next level by taking advantage of key project moments to post on social media. (Click the link for images to make your social media posts pop!) Whether you prefer Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or another channel entirely, there is no shortage of opportunities to encourage supporters.
The new old-fashioned way. Sometimes, there’s nothing like word-of-mouth to garner support. Telling a great student story between sets at the gym? Talking up your classroom with your book club? Chatting with friends over an after-work drink? Let them know about your project and how they can help your students.
The gift that keeps on giving. Every time you thank a donor, you build momentum for your next project and strengthen your connection with your classroom supporters. Responding to each donation on your project page is important, but you can also send an extra thank-you to donors you know personally, or shout-out your newest supporter on social media. We believe so strongly in the power of gratitude that we use it to drive our business model.
Use what you’ve already got. The easiest fundraising technique? Letting us do some if it for you! Throughout the year we partner with corporations and foundations to help fund a wide variety of projects. Before you post your next project, see what opportunities are available in your state.
Don’t just take our word for it. Get advice from teachers who’ve been there.
Nervous about reaching out? Find the perfect fundraising strategy for you.
Have a great strategy for project success? Share in comments!