Donors Choose - any tips? :)

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Ted, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Jul 16, 2013

    Hi all,

    Well, I just joined the Donors Choose wagon and have my first project up and running! :)

    And it seems that for the first week, Donors Choose will match donations dollar for dollar! :)

    My question is for any Donors Choose veterans - any tips to get the word out?

    I've already placed it on Facebook and I sent out an email to friends and family. I reckon I could place it on my crafting blog, but not sure how much exposure that will get. ;)

    I would welcome any advice...and thank you in advance!
    Ted
     
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  3. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I would go ahead and post it...can't hurt. Do you have a district website with a bulletin board? My district has an announcement page where we can post things like that. What are you asking for?
     
  4. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    My donors posting has been active for about 2 weeks and no donations yet... it's tough! Post it anywhere and everywhere you can!
     
  5. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Thanks for the response and tip, Swansong. :)

    I am unsure if my DO has a website bulletin board where I can post such things. I do have the email addresses of my last year's students, but I don't feel comfortable using school resources (in this case, parent email addresses) to solicit help. If I were doing this THIS year, then I would put a sign up on my class window, and email the current year parents.

    I'm asking for a Mimio Teach device.
     
  6. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Sorry to hear that, HistoryVA! Is this your first one?

    And if the project isn't funded, then I guess the donors get a gift card which they can use for other projects of mine? Is that how it works?
     
  7. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Yes, it's my first try.Fingers crossed! Apparently if a project is only partially funded, the donors can choose to move the donations to another project or give it on the gift card.
     
  8. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Hmm...so would WE get the gift card for future projects? Or would the donors receive it and then could use it to fund our projects?

    And best of luck on your project! :)
     
  9. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    From what I've read, we get it to use on materials from one of their sponsors immediately or we can choose to put it towards a future project.

    Thanks, you too! :)
     
  10. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    I've been very fortunate with DC. (I've had around 12/13 funded). Keep posting on Facebook and anywhere else you can. The DC website has a forum where you can find out about other funding options. I've been lucky. Once some start funding you, I think they keep an eye on future projects. I tend to write in a very animated style to try and grab attention. After you get funded, be very promot with your Thank You packet. That helps, too.
    Are you asking for the bar? I love my Mimio. We have the bar, Mimio View (interactive doc. camera), and Mimio votes.
     
  11. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Hi Christy and thanks very much for all this excellent advice! :)

    I'm asking for the Mimio Teach (it attaches to the white board and makes it interactive). :) I'm hoping for the best!

    I figure I'll also toss in $100 of my own money (to match for $100) but that is just a little bit. ;)
     
  12. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    That's so funny; I just noticed what you were asking for! That's what MY project is too! I guess we're competitors. :lol:
     
  13. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Are you a Horace Mann district? They match funding as well. For one project I was made part of a UPS matching funds program, so it was instantly funded between UPS and Horace Mann. You'll LOVE the Mimios!!
     
  14. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    My experience is that it can be slow on the summer. People start thinking about projects again when school starts. Parents and family funded my first project, most of them donated 10-20 during a match promotion and it added up quickly. Also, when it gets close to your end date it goes on a list of projects about to end and gets more publicity.
     
  15. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Christy, not sure if my district is a Horace Mann district. Is there a way I can check?

    Tasha, thanks for the advice. Yes, something tells me I should have waited until school started. I guess I wanted to get a jump on it! :)

    Do all projects get a week of Donor Chooses matching donations? Or is it just because this is my very first project on the site?
     
  16. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    They have different promotions at different times for the matching codes. They will likely have something when school starts too.
     
  17. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Oh okay...thanks!
     
  18. ChristyF

    ChristyF Moderator

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    Rey sell insurance and such in my parish. You probably have seen them if they were in your district. Also, check on the Donors Choose site for the Sonic promotions (limeades for learning, etc) I've had some luck with them, too.
     
  19. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Thanks! BTW, great avatar! :)
     
  20. MsDeb

    MsDeb Comrade

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    I posted my first project last year and it went for about 4 months with nothing then BAM someone came and funded the whole thing. I was flabbergasted! I posted another one and the same donor came back and did it again! The donor is anonymous but has done the same thing for several teachers in my school. You never know! I know other teachers who've had a lot of success using Facebook with friends and families donating. Just keep putting it out there! And good luck! :)
     
  21. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Thanks much, Deb! I won't give up until the donating lady sings! :)
     
  22. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Jul 16, 2013

    My projects were always very slow in the summer. During the school year, some were funded in a couple of hours! My recommendation is to start small, and build from there.

    Also, ask friends and family if their company does a donor match-my sister works for Oracle, and they match any of her charitable contributions every year, up to a certain amount. I was her personal charity :lol:

    Use social media like crazy. Post about it all the time-people will donate just to get you to stop!

    Pay attention to match times, and encourage friends and family to donate during those time frames.

    I found that if you really want something, you have to get bold and just ask people for money. Don't be afraid to ask businesses too. Is there a grocery store you always shop at? Craft store? Ask the manager, remind him or her that you shop in there a lot, and that you would really appreciate a donation and you will shout their name from the rooftops. Ask them to sponsor your classroom, and you'll recommend to your parents that they shop there. Seriously. They can only say no, right?

    I tried to be firmly aggressive, but not annoying. It worked-all of my projects were funded, to the tune of a few thousand dollars.
     
  23. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Impressive! Thanks for the tips! :)
     
  24. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Jul 16, 2013

    I always look for the corporate matching offers, the ones where they pay for half the project. (They're tricky to find because they are not always on the partner funding page, sometimes I just click "match offers" on the welcome screen and try to figure out the criteria by looking at who has gotten match offers for their projects.)

    The reason this is so helpful is because even before you get the funding from them, it cuts the cost of your project in half. So let's say it's a $300 project. It shows up as if $150 has already been funded and looks like the project only needs $150 more. The less money left on your project, the easier it is for "random" donors to find it. (Especially if your school is high poverty.) I've found when my projects get under $200 either by matching offers or family/friends, that's when random donors seem to come across it. So with the match offer, they find it more easily and quickly fund the $150 you need. Then the corporate sponsor funds the other $150. The majority of my projects have been funded this way. Asking family and friends for my first project was okay but I don't want to be asking over and over all the time. With the matching offers I always manage to have a project up on there waiting to be funded. I have something due to arrive in my classroom the first few weeks of school this year- I'm very excited.
     
  25. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Thanks for pointing out the "match offers" section. :) Hadn't known about that!
     

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