7 Ways to Make the Most Impact with Your Giving

A teacher and her student using an iPad together on a classroom floor

Every day, DonorsChoose makes it possible for you to look inside a classroom and give a teacher what they need to make their dreams come true. 

When we asked classroom supporters their tips and tricks for giving smarter, a few clear themes emerged. These are just a few tools to inspire your giving, helping you be more strategic about your impact on teachers and how to use our site tools to make it happen.

1. Make your donation go farther with a match

Did you know we often team up with partners to help fund a teacher’s next project? When you donate to a project with a match, you’re stretching your dollar further and helping a teacher get even closer to being fully funded. Whether it’s a one-day match on arts projects or an ongoing match on team sports projects, there are always generous supporters and partners working with DonorsChoose to put more resources in classrooms. Stretch your donation by filtering your search by projects with a match

2. Focus on economic need

We know that access to learning materials can fundamentally change a child’s trajectory. One of the reasons DonorsChoose exists is to level the playing field and increase access to those fundamental learning experiences  — books, field trips, art supplies, and more. You can help by focusing on giving to projects that increase access to those materials for students whose lives might be changed by their first experience with a microscope. Here’s a quick shortcut to checking out these inspiring projects: Next time you’re on DonorsChoose, filter your search to look for those projects from schools where more than half of the students come from low-income households.

3. Use monthly donate to give to your favorite teachers

Have a few favorite teachers who you love to support regularly? There’s a special option you can use to make sure that teacher and their classroom feel your support every month. Click on your favorite teacher’s name from their project page or search for their name. Once you get to their classroom page, you’ll see the “Give Monthly” option.

4. Be an early supporter

Everyone loves to finish a project, but sometimes it actually helps a teacher even more to be the person who donates to a project early on (or even first)! With your early donation, you help a teacher gain crucial momentum. You’re giving a crucial vote of confidence and making it more likely that a teacher will reach full funding; other supporters will be excited to jump on the bandwagon!

5. Use our “heart” feature

When you find a teacher whose story and work inspires you, you’ll want to hold onto that connection. Now, when you see a project you want to keep an eye on, click the heart in the upper left-hand corner of the project. You’ll get email updates about the project until it’s funded — and you’ll never lose track of your favorite projects again.

5. Set reminders to give local

Maybe it’s your hometown high school, the local community school you pass every day on the way to work, or the elementary school your kids went to. How do you make sure you never miss a project in the communities you care most about? You can get project updates from any zip code, or choose whether to get these emails weekly or monthly by editing your preferences

6. Give to never-before-funded teachers

There’s one thing you can do to help a classroom way beyond the scope of one project: Donate to a never-before-funded teacher. These are the dedicated educators who have yet to experience the DonorsChoose magic. By helping them have that first successful project, you’re giving students access to urgently needed resources and instilling the teacher with the confidence that people care about their classroom. And the best part? The teacher you helped fund is more likely to return to the community with even more vibrant and inspiring project ideas. It can make all the difference for years to come. 

7. Use monthly donate to give to your favorite teachers

Have a few favorite teachers who you love to support regularly? There’s a special option you can use to make sure that teacher and their classroom feel your support every month. Click on your favorite teacher’s name from their project page or search for their name. Once you get to their classroom page, you’ll see the “Give Monthly” option.

With these strategies, you can be sure you’re making the biggest impact on the classrooms you care about on DonorsChoose.

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