Nichol Regalado, a 7th grade ELA/History Academy teacher at Magnolia Student Center, has had great success using DonorsChoose to fundraise for things she needs in the classroom. Magnolia Principal Beverly Voechting said, “Nichol is very creative and has taught many of our staff how to optimize to get what they want for their students and class. She is an expert in fundraising!”
Ms. Regalado began using DonorsChoose last year while she was teaching 8th grade. Her classroom was in need of a library. She said, “I am a huge advocate of reading and my students just didn’t have access to books. I started researching ideas to fund my classroom library and came across DonorsChoose.” She was able to secure the funding she needed and built “an amazing library full of diverse titles. I love how excited the kids get when they get their hands on new books! It really gets them excited about books and reading.”
Other materials she has funded include athletic equipment and basic supplies such as pencils and paper; once students return to the classroom she hopes to create a space where students can create podcasts and visual projects “and have all of the tools they need at their fingertips.” She is currently seeking donations for additional books, headphones, and GimKit, a classroom game show platform she wants to use for distance learning. She noted, “I am currently using the free 30-day trial and the kids love it!”
When she fundraises, she relies on Twitter and Facebook pages dedicated to DonorsChoose. She selects a “catchy title” for her projects and has a variety of projects which people can fund. Donors often have pet projects they like to fund, she noted, such as books or art supplies. She continued, “Although I have many different projects up at one time, some of them will not be funded. Getting funded is a little strategy, a little luck, and sometimes just good timing. Don’t get discouraged if you have a project that does not get funded.”
She likes DonorsChoose, she said, because it allows her to “dream big. I think that is what I love so much about creating projects. It allows me to personalize my classroom for my students without worrying about how I will get the funding. It makes the impossible possible!”
She is pleased to help other Springs teachers fund their wish list projects. She welcomes email inquiries at Nichol.firstname.lastname@example.org, or encourages the use of her referral link to start a project: http://share.donorschoose.org/zL6Vr.
Ms. Regalado’s DonorsChoose Tips
#1 Have your students create great thank you notes.
#2 Write a sincere, heartfelt thank you to your donors.
#3 Look for match offers and write projects for those offers.
#4 Thank every donor as they donate to your project.
#5 Look for opportunities to earn gift codes.
#6 Save your gift codes to use when there is a match. You are basically doubling your gift code if you do this. I have funded many of my own projects with gift codes.
#7 Keep your project under $300 to increase the chances that it will be funded. I like to keep mine under $200. So break up those big projects into smaller ones.