The 9 essentials of crowdfunding for the classroom

6. Establish a timeline. This will outline deadlines for final planning phases, length of time the fundraiser will run, how initiatives will be fulfilled, and when the project will be completed. It is best to keep your funding period limited to encourage people to donate.

Elementary school teacher Carrie Maxey has funded more than 22 projects through Donors Choose. She offers several tips:

7. Request less. “I typically find the projects requesting $400 or less will get funded quicker than those requesting a much larger amount.”

8. Slot yourself in. “I work hard to incorporate my project in the Teacher Funding Opportunities available (where companies/individuals have offered certain amounts of funding on projects meeting certain requirements).”

9. Put some heart into it. “Also, the more personable the project profile is, the more likely it will get funded.”

Crowdfunding is a great way to fund exciting classroom projects and field trips, or just to provide resources that you otherwise could not afford. Study successful campaigns to see what works. Use a variety of social and traditional media to promote your project. Utilize vendors and local businesses to donate materials and matching funds. Be as transparent as possible.  Make sure to involve students and their families. Follow through with your incentives and thank yous. Know you can do this.  Use crowdfunding to create the classroom of your dreams today.

Deirdre Sugiuchi is a library media specialist and writer in Athens, GA.

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