Back to school season is here, and this time of year can cause stress for teachers as they look for ways to fund classroom purchases. In need of supplies for their classrooms, many teachers personally take on the cost of restocking. The decision dip into their own pockets to keep their classroom adequately supplied is a tough one. If you find yourself in a similar situation, you may be able to look into online platforms that can help raise money for classroom supplies.
AdoptAClassroom.org has donated $35 million to more than 175,000 classrooms in the United States. Teachers create a profile listing needed items like musical instruments, uniforms or supplies. The profile can be shared to social media accounts.
Donors can give to specific classrooms or donate to themed funds, such as a highest-need fund and an arts fund. These options allow donors to direct their donations to the areas that they feel most passionate about.
Individuals and companies can donate specific technology equipment and software bundles or money to Digital Wish. The website sells the technology to teachers at a discounted price.
“A couple of years back a parent put $300 in my Digital Wish account, and I wasn’t really sure what I needed, so I left it there,” teacher Ellen Goodman told EdSurge. “When my principal asked me to consider doing a digital photography club. I went inside the Digital Wish account and purchased the iPad folio cases using the $300.”
Class Wish allows teachers to post their needs and connect with donors. Class Wish also allows businesses to partner with donors. Employees at daycare centers, after-school programs, community colleges and youth nonprofits can post needs on the site, as well.
One of the unique and exciting parts of the Class Wish program is that the partnerships Class Wish creates allow donors to help classrooms in their personal shopping, as well. Purchases made both online and in brick-and-mortar stores when using a Class Wish card may result in smaller donations being given back to the Class Wish programs.
Freecycle is a network of members who are giving and getting stuff for free. If the item is free, legal and appropriate for all ages, it can be shared through a specific group. The groups are overseen by a moderator. Teachers can use this platform to claim unwanted items in the community for classroom use.
The goal of Freecycle is to help unwanted items find a second life instead of being discarded and ending up in landfills. As a result, the items found on Freecycle may be more diverse and not necessarily useful to a classroom but the possibility to finding furniture, electronics, or other useful donations is there.
The Simple Dollar calls DonorsChoose.org “the quintessential platform for teachers who need a little help providing their students with an enriching experience.” Seventy percent of all projects on DonorsChoose.org are fully funded, and the platform has helped raise more than $700 million for classrooms.