‘Tis the season to share your AdoptAClassroom.org page with your community. Since teachers need school supplies year-round, fundraising during holiday giving events like Giving Tuesday and before the end of the year is a great idea.
Did you know?
- The average donation in 2022 was $121.
- Donors gave $3.1 billion on Giving Tuesday in 2022.
- December is the biggest giving month of the year.
To help you take advantage of giving opportunities during the holiday season, AdoptAClassroom.org wanted to share some of our best classroom crowdfunding tips ahead of our $25,000 donation match on Monday, November 27, 2023, and Giving Tuesday, November 28, 2023. We also are hosting a $5,000 flash fund for teachers who have an active classroom page by December 31, 2023.
Here are a few tips to get you started from teachers who have been successful in fundraising for their classrooms.
Whenever mentioning your classroom page to friends, family, or other potential donors to your classroom it’s important to note:
- Donors can choose for 100% of their gift to go directly to your classroom.
- AdoptAClassroom.org is a nonprofit organization and donations to your classroom are tax deductible.
- Many businesses offer donation matches when their employees give. Those matches can go directly to your classroom if your donor submits them to double or triple their impact.
Tip #1 – Write a strong classroom page (and keep it updated).
Your classroom page helps tell a potential donor who you are and why you need their help. Photos always help you make a stronger case.
Jessica, an elementary teacher in Texas, said she started to write her page by looking at other teacher pages on AdoptAClassroom.org that have already been funded. You can search for teachers here.
“The people that are going to be donating to me are people that are not in the education field and so I try to think from their perspective,” she said. “I let them know who my kids were and where they came from so they understood that not all kids come equipped with what they need ready to learn each day. You have to make sure that students are emotionally and physically sound before you can even start teaching. So, I put that information there to let my donors know hey, my kids are coming from different walks of life and we can give them an even playing field.”
Rather than focus on what her students don’t have or why, Michele, a middle school science teacher in California, focuses on an aspirational message. She shares the opportunities she wants to give her students and the difference she hopes to make.
“I just kind of scribble what I want to say down on a piece of notebook paper first,” she said. “Then I revise it and I look it over probably a couple times a year to make sure it’s relevant.”
Michele has been using AdoptAClassroom.org since around 2006. Since then, she’s had a few transitions in her career and has leaned on support from donors to help her have the tools she needs. For example, she described fundraising for books in the past. Many of her donors gave because they remembered how much they loved reading when they were her students’ ages. Specific asks like that help potential donors see themselves in your students.
Check out more tips in our Fundraising Guide, including writing a strong classroom page.
Tip #2 – Share your classroom page in a way that works for you.
Posting on Facebook, Instagram, and/or X (formerly Twitter) is one way to share your classroom page with your larger community quickly.
If you’re trying to participate in our donation match for Giving Tuesday, use urgent language to remind donors that their opportunity to double their impact only lasts two days (or until we hit our $25,000 goal)! Before you post, check to make sure you’re sharing your classroom link correctly.
In addition to your personal social media accounts, look for other groups on social media to share your page with.
One of AdoptAClassroom.org’s Teacher Leaders, Karen, suggests sharing your classroom page on Facebook neighborhood and alumni pages. “You’d be surprised by how much alumni love to help their former schools,” she said.
Towards the end of the year, Michele will post her page and remind folks that gifts to her classroom page through AdoptAClassroom.org are tax deductible.
When posting on Instagram, Michele also posts photos to her Instagram Stories to ensure more people see her posts. She’s sure to change her link in bio on her Instagram account to her classroom page link. She also posts photos on X (formerly Twitter). Photos include her classroom, items she needs, or photos of her students. When she posts photos of her students, she often avoids showing their faces but includes photos of their hands to protect their privacy.
“I feel like it’s easier than you think it is but it does require some effort on your part,” she said about fundraising on social media. “I think it requires knowing your audience because honestly you never know who’s going to donate. Put out your classroom in a way that donors can see themselves in it. For me, I’m trying to create scientists or the next doctors, so my donors connect with that idea. If you connect with your donors’ feelings then they’re more likely to give and everybody feels good. Win-win for all.”
Finally, Michele says don’t forget to say thank you. If someone you know donated to your classroom, be sure to give them a thank you on social media and tag them. It helps bring you to the top of their friends’ feeds and it also helps them feel acknowledged.
Photos are a great way to help donors understand your classroom, so consider including photos in your post. While donors love to see students engaging with materials that you purchased for your classroom, it’s important to protect student privacy.
If photos aren’t a good option for you, try downloading one of these photos to use for our match. Be sure to include a message that is relevant to your classroom and your page link:
Make Videos for Instagram Reels or TikTok
Social media platforms like Instagram are taking a note from the huge popularity of TikTok and prioritizing video content. In short, that means that videos are more likely to be seen than any other type of post. This is especially true for new potential donors, who may stumble upon your video ask, whereas a standard post is most likely only being seen by people you’re already connected with. Just make sure that your video is public on Instagram or TikTok.
The best fundraising ask videos are simple and authentic. Videos are a great way to invite donors into your classroom and make them feel like part of your community. You can show them supplies that are broken or worn out and share your ideas for the upcoming semester and let them hear your enthusiasm.
Need an example? Watch our video example here:
Email is another good way to spread the word about your classroom needs. Be sure to link to your classroom page in your email signature or on your classroom’s online portal, if your school will allow it. Joanna, one of AdoptAClassroom.org’s crowdfunding Teacher Leaders, told us that email was one of the easiest ways to reach new audiences.
Also, look for ways to regularly share your classroom page throughout the year. Make sure your email signature is clearly asking for funds! Use language like, “I need help funding this new classroom project. Learn more here:” Karen said she includes the link to her page at the top of her classroom newsletter to parents.
Check out our full email guide.
Text or Direct Message
At times, a personal touch is more impactful for fundraising. Teachers shared that a text or direct message to friends and family with your classroom page link can work well. Let them know how they can help you and what it means to have their support.
Jessica said that on days when AdoptAClassroom.org is offering a match, she texted her friends and family individually the morning the match started to let them know. She is sure to let them know they aren’t obligated to give, but it helps her class. She said the first time she tried it, she met her goal of $1,000.
Tip #3: Expand Your Donor Circle
Ask Friends and Family to Share
Whether on social media, in email, by text, or just word-of-mouth, ask your friends and family to talk about your classroom. The general public often does not understand how much of a burden a lack of school supplies can place on teachers and students. When they hear about the amazing work you’re doing, they’ll want to help. Plus, what better advocates for you than those who care about you the most?
Jeff, an elementary teacher from New Mexico, said he was surprised by the participation he had from friends and family.
“Teachers may be a little hesitant, feeling like they’re coming across as a freeloader or something in that regard,” he said. “I think once you can get out of that mentality and just understand there are a lot of people who want to help education when they’re presented with the opportunity. They can really come through and it makes teachers happy, too.”
Reach out to Parent or School-Related Groups
If it feels right for your school, make sure your parents and other groups supporting your school know about your classroom page. They may be looking for ways to make a difference in your local community and this is one way.
Ms. Bellamy, a media studies teacher in Florida, said that she avoids asking all of her parents because she works for a high-needs school. However, she does ask her fellow educators to identify the parents who have offered to help that year. She makes sure those families know about her classroom page.
Ask Local Businesses
From your local Chamber of Commerce to the coffee shop down the street, your community has a vested interest in making sure your students succeed.
Find more tips for expanding your donor circle here.
Looking for more classroom crowdfunding tips?
Whether it’s Giving Tuesday or the middle of summer, AdoptAClassroom.org’s Classroom Fundraising Guide has everything you need to know about fundraising for your classroom.