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Less than two months ago, I applied for a grant at donorschoose.org out of pure desperation. I needed supplies for my classroom and I didn’t see any other way that would happen with the current budget crisis in effect. Where I’m at, the special education budget has hit on all-time low, so our resources are actually lower than those of anyone else in the school system. Technology, learning tools, and anything else I could request, I would have to get from my school, not from my special education department, and the budget only stretches so far when there’s so little money to go around as it is. So, I decided to figure out how to apply for a Donorschoose grant and this is why you should.
Anyone who knows anything about me knows that I’m passionate about what I do. I won’t allow my students to go without. If you’re anything like me, you wouldn’t either. Well, according to the DonorsChoose website, about 70% of the projects on the website get fully funded. If you’re a gambling person, you’d go for that, especially since putting a project on the website doesn’t cost a dime. In other words: You have nothing to lose, but everything to gain!
So how do you start? Go to the website and create an account. You’ll get 3 points for joining, which you can use to create a project. Projects cost a certain number of points depending on the amount of money they cost. Click on “Create a Project” from ‘My Account” to begin. From there, you’ll see a Welcome screen with directions on how to begin your project. This screen will walk you through everything you need to know to create your project, so you just need to follow the directions. I’d never written a grant before in my entire life, and I got funded successfully, so you can do this too! You can even click on examples of what a finished project looks like if you get stuck so you can see sample writings and get some ideas.
When you’re done, hit “submit” and share with everyone you know. See if you can find Partner Funding Opportunities in your area to speed up the funding process. Do everything you can to support your cause. Facebook, Twitter, Google, Email, and call Grandma if you have to, but get the word out until you get the money. I have a link to my project as my email signature in addition to posting now and then on social media to remind people. Keep going back to check on your project. Sometimes opportunities come up with companies that will fund your project that you might miss if you’re not keeping your eye out for them.
If you didn’t notice, I did get a small project funded fully by U.S. Cellular and that made me very happy. Now I’m on a mission to get Chromebooks for my students to replace the old computers that take ten minutes to load or require frequent tech support to work. If you know anyone who wants to help support our cause, feel free to direct them to my page! I’m happy to return the favor.