Guest Post from The Autism Classroom Project: Donor's Choose

If you have not heard of DonorsChoose, or you are one of the teachers who has checked it out, but has been too intimidated by the proposal writing process, then this post is for you!!!  

In March of this year, I wrote my very first DonorsChoose proposal for a color printer so I could create colorful visual supports in my classroom.  Within 2 hours of my project going live, it had been fully funded.  Within 3 weeks, I received my printer.  Well, that started a whirlwind of ideas for other projects.  I immediately started writing new proposals and since March, I have written 6 more.  Of the 7 proposals I have written these past few months, 5 have been fully funded and the other two have been partially funded! Some of the other items I have gotten from DonorsChoose include over $300 in therapeutic art supplies, math and language arts centers, an X-Box with Kinect, and supplies to support a student led recycling center.   I have done the math, and to date I have had over $1500.00 worth of materials and supplies donated to my classroom!  So, needless to say, I have experienced great success with DonorsChoose and would love to see more teachers utilize this spectacular resource.  

Here’s how to start and if you need a little more in depth help go here

  1.   Go to and create a teacher’s account and upload a classroom profile picture.
  2.   Use your start up points to submit a project that is under $400.  These have the best chances of being fully funded.
  3.    Think of a creative and catchy title that will grab the reader’s attention.
  4.     Go shopping!! DonorsChoose has partnered with School Specialty, Lakeshore, Nasco and several others of our favorite teacher catalogues.  Keep the items student centered!!!
  5.    Summarize your request.  Explain why your students need the items your requesting.
  6.   Tell your story.  This is the part where you describe your students and how these items will help your class.  Remember to write well and from the heart! 
  7.   Lastly, you are going to provide some simple project details and then quantify the impact. 
  8.   Be sure to look for Partner Funding opportunities!  These are companies or other charitable foundations that want to help!  4 of my projects have been helped through Partner Funding!!

From start to finish, creating a project usually takes me 20-30 minutes.  I LOVE DonorsChoose and I know that you will too!!!  Good Luck and let me know how you do!  If you have any questions, please let me know!!

You can follow me at The Autism Classroom Project on Blogger and Facebook!

Leann Sorrell

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