Crowdfunding the Right Way: NASSP and DonorsChoose.org release Principal Toolkit

DonorsChoose.org is a nonprofit built exclusively to support K–12 public schools and address educational inequities, and DonorsChoose.org has helped teachers in 4 out of 5 U.S. public schools request items for their classroom. Our founder and CEO Charles Best launched the nonprofit 19 years ago out of his Bronx high school history classroom—since then, DonorsChoose.org has generated $775 million from over 3 million donors of all stripes for public school classrooms. We’ve teamed up with NASSP to create a new Principal Toolkit, and show how you too can help teachers get resources for their classroom that line up with your school priorities.

When Principal Mildred Charley-Greene of Northwood High School heard her physics teacher’s project was fully funded on DonorsChoose.org, she was inspired to encourage others in her school to create their own classroom requests. Because of this encouragement, Northwood High School has raised over $13,000 in materials through projects in line with Principal Charley-Greene’s focus areas of equity, powerful instruction, and shared accountability.

After Hurricane Harvey, Rockport-Fulton High School Principal Scott Rogers says DonorsChoose.org was incredibly helpful in a time of need. Thousands of dollars of resources now go toward supporting programs from the Robotics program to the school’s Student Council Club.

Upon learning that DonorsChoose.org supports teacher professional development, Centennial Middle School Principal Joe Simo was excited. He cares about his teachers being on the cutting edge of their profession, and wants to encourage teachers to request STEM- and literacy-focused professional development experiences.

These are just a few of the principal testimonials about their experience with the crowdfunding platform DonorsChoose.org.

Because we’re solely dedicated to supporting public school teachers, we provide end-to-end safeguards and accountability for school leaders like you. Unlike traditional crowdfunding platforms, DonorsChoose.org fulfills funded classroom projects, sending resources directly to verified school addresses and never sending cash to teachers. We also work hard to inspire funders from outside teachers’ personal networks—in fact, 75 percent of the $775 million we’ve generated for classrooms comes from donors and organizations who don’t know the teacher they’re giving to.

Schools that find the most success and funding on DonorsChoose.org are led by principals who work with teachers to align DonorsChoose.org project requests with the school’s strategic imperatives and goals. NASSP and DonorsChoose.org have teamed up to create a new Principal Toolkit that shares ways to spur innovation and support the unique priorities of your own school.

The toolkit includes strategies for engaging teachers, with tactics on how they can use DonorsChoose.org to reliably get funding for resources that support student learning. Additionally, the toolkit shows you how to receive updates on teacher project creation and case studies of how other principals successfully used DonorsChoose.org. We’ve included project examples and language you can share with your district leaders to ensure they understand what makes DonorsChoose.org the K–12 crowdfunding platform of choice. Whether you are looking to boost STEM learning, build your library with culturally relevant texts, or even host an engaging speaker for students, DonorsChoose.org can help you achieve your goals, as it has done for thousands of schools. We are honored to work with NASSP in supporting secondary principals and their schools across the nation.

Check out the NASSP and DonorsChoose.org webinar recording here.

Download the Principal Toolkit.

How can I leverage DonorsChoose.org to create a culture of innovation in my school community?

Katie Bisbee leads the DonorsChoose.org marketing and partnership team, engaging 3 million citizen donors and 500 corporate and foundation partners in supporting public school classrooms.

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