13 February 2010

Ask and ye shall receive...

Just about two weeks ago I wrote two proposals at DonorsChoose.org. The first was for two HD Flip Video cameras so that my students could participate in the Life 'Round Here 2010 project. The second was for 10 sets of earbuds so we can use audio and video resources at computer stations in the classroom. On Thursday I logged in and saw that both projects had been funded almost all the way. The catch was that the foundation making the donation would only give the money through the President's Day weekend. Uh oh.

I put out a request for help on Facebook and Twitter, just for the heck of it. I thought that if I got just a few more dollars on each project, I'd pitch in the rest. Not an easy task, mind you, but I'd do it. About five hours later I got the email that the Life 'Round Here project had been fully funded. The next morning I woke up to an email that the earbuds had been funded! WooHoo!

The proposal form is NOT that bad. Of course you have to think about how your request fits with your curriculum and you have to show how your request will help your students do better in school. Your first proposal will take the longest because you're getting used to the format. 

So, the point of this is the following:
  1. If you have an equipment need in your classroom, fill out a proposal at DonorsChoose. Of course you want something that is going to move learning forward, but it's pretty open. There are dozens of vendors within the eSchoolMall at DonorsChoose.
  2. If you want to participate in a project or go on a field trip, but don't have the money, fill out a proposal. You never know what might happen!
  3. If your proposal is almost fully funded, go ahead and ask your Facebook friends and Twitter PLN for help. They will. 
Once you're funded make sure you respond in a timely fashion to DonorsChoose. You have thank you letters to write and pictures to take to let your donors know how they helped.

Take a chance on this. In the past four months, we've had at least four projects funded just at my school alone!