#PackYourBag: How to Set Realistic and Exciting Goals to Fund your Classroom

You didn’t become a teacher to fundraise. But you also didn’t become a teacher to spend $500, or even $1000 on school supplies each year.

At AdoptAClassroom.org, fundraising is one of our favorite subjects. So we had an idea. We’ll teach you what we’ve learned so you can get back to teaching the next generation.

We’ve put together a virtual backpack full of six essential tools to fund your classroom. We know that your students learn better when they have the supplies they need. But we think you need some extra supplies too. With the help of the backpack, we hope that you’ll be more successful in finding and retaining donors for your classroom.

Sound good? Then let’s get started.


Our first tool is the calculator. Before you start asking for donations, you have to calculate what you need. Every teacher’s list will be different. Whether your goals are big or small, it’s important to tell donors specifics, as vague statements won’t motivate them to give.

1. Set a concrete goal

To borrow from CauseVox, you need a “SMART Goal,” a goal that’s Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Make a list of what you need in your classroom, including a column for cost.

2. Provide an impact breakdown

Donors want to see their impact. So once you figure out what you need, find a way to present it to potential donors in a way that makes it perfectly clear what their money would mean. For example,

“$100 would buy snacks for my students for two months. This would make a big difference, since many of my students come to class without having eaten, making it very hard for them to learn.”

3. Create Urgency 

Sometimes, your goals have a natural timeline (such as when you need coats before winter) and others are more ongoing (such as needing snacks year round). Either way, you need to find ways to show donors why you need their help right now. 

4. Be proud 

Many teachers have expressed that they’re embarrassed to ask for funds. In the words of Kindergarten teacher Jolie B,

“Don’t be afraid to be loud. And by loud I mean put yourself out there. Let’s be honest, we’re teachers and teaching is our life.”

You’re educating the next generation of doctors, scientists, philosophers, and writers. That’s something to be proud of. Being timid or apologetic isn’t going to help you get donations, so be LOUD. You’re an education superhero.

 Want more examples, statistics, and motivation? Check out our Teacher Fundraising 101 guide.