School Program

– Updated December 2019 –

general overview

General Overview

Why is AdoptAClassroom.org well-positioned to support school fundraising?

For more than 20 years, our proven fundraising platform has been helping teachers access the funds they need for classroom supplies. Since 1998, we have raised more than $39 million, and supported more than 200,000 classrooms and 5.4 million students across the nation, making us a trusted partner for both teachers and donors.

Our School Program makes the same tools we provide to teachers available to principals and other school administrators to support larger, school-wide initiatives.

Why Is AdoptAClassroom.org the best fundraising platform available to schools?

Easy-to-Use – Our fundraising platform is designed with busy professionals in mind. We make it easy for principals and school administrators to create an account and set-up a customized profile page for their school. 
Accountability – We verify every school account on our platform, and we work directly with schools and districts to ensure donations made to a school can only be accessed by the school principal or approved account administrator. If a principal or other school administrator intends to crowdfund on AdoptAClassroom.org, we require approval from their district, or the appropriate senior level executive, before any fundraising can begin. Click here to learn more. 
No cash changes hands – Schools will not receive donations as a check or cash. Funds are only accessible online by the school account administrator. All orders are shipped directly to schools. 
Transparency – We hold the highest rating from Charity Navigator, and the Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar. We automatically provide donors with a list of every item purchased with their donation. Upon request, we can provide school districts with itemized reports of every order placed by school administrators in their district.
Flexibility – School administrators are not locked into specific fundraising goals or projects. Donations of any amount are made immediately available in a school’s AdoptAClassroom.org account, and can be used anytime within 12 months of the date of the donation. 
Increased Access to Funding – We work with a diverse group of business donors, corporate sponsors, individual donors, and foundations that support education. Schools that are registered with AdoptAClassroom.org are eligible to receive these funds – money the school would not otherwise have access to.

Unlike for-profit school fundraising sites, every gift is tax-deductible because AdoptAClassroom.org is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

How is the School Program different from the Teacher Program?

The School Program is designed for principals and other school administrators, to help fund school-wide projects and initiatives, such as updating a computer lab, or replacing furniture throughout the building. School Profile Pages are created by a principal or other school administrator. 

Due to the school-wide nature of these projects, and the fact that they frequently include technology or other long-term assets inside a school, if a principal or other school administrator intends to crowdfund on AdoptAClassroom.org, they must create a Public-Facing Profile Page for the school. To do so, we require an approval letter from the district, or the appropriate senior level executive, stating that the principal or other school administrator has permission to use AdoptAClassroom.org to fundraise on behalf of their school. Click here for more information, including a sample letter.

The Teacher Program helps individual teachers get funding for the things they need for their classrooms, such as diverse books, manipulatives, and basic school supplies like paper and pencils. Classroom Pages are created by teachers to support the students in their classrooms.  

We do not require teachers to get permission from their school or district to crowdfund, because most of the items that teachers fundraise for on AdoptAClassroom.org consist of consumables that are used up in the classroom. We do remind teachers that they are responsible for ensuring their fundraising activity complies with school and/or district policies. We also offer reporting to schools and districts upon request regarding items ordered by their teachers through our site.

How do I know if a school is fundraising?

You can search for a school here.

If you don’t see the school you are looking for, please let the principal know about AdoptAClassroom.org! They can register the school here at any time. 

Does AdoptAClassroom.org receive any fees?

Yes. AdoptAClassroom.org retains a 10% fee on every donation made to a school through our platform. As a nonprofit organization, this fee covers the technology and staff time required to support the program, including providing customer support to school account administrators, ongoing maintenance and enhancement of our technology platform, and reporting back to donors about the items purchased with their donations and their impact on student learning.

The 10% fee is deducted from the total of each donation made to a school, before it is deposited into the school’s AdoptAClassroom.org account. For example, if someone donates $100 to a school, the school will receive $90 in their account. The remaining $10 goes to AdoptAClassroom.org to support our organization as described above.

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School Administrators / Principals

How do I register my school?

Click here to get started. It takes less than five minutes. After you register, you’ll receive an email with next steps. 

How do I know if my school is eligible to register with AdoptAClassroom.org?

We serve accredited K-12 public, private, and charter schools in any community across the U.S., including all U.S. territories. We also serve preschool programs that are based in an accredited K-12 school in the U.S.

What is a Public-Facing School Profile Page?

A Public-Facing School Profile Page is only required if a principal or other school administrator intends to crowdfund on AdoptAClassroom.org. Public-Facing School Profile Pages are visible on the AdoptAClassroom.org website, so donors across the country can learn more about the school and its needs. Click here to view the Public-Facing School Profile Pages on our site.

To ensure full compliance with district and/or school fundraising policies, before a School Profile Page can be made public-facing, we require an approval letter from the district, or an appropriate senior level executive, stating that the principal or other school administrator has permission to use AdoptAClassroom.org to fundraise on behalf of their school. Click here for more information, including a sample letter.

Click here to learn more about Public-Facing School Profile Pages. 

What is a Non Public-Facing School Profile Page?

A Non Public-Facing School Profile Page is not searchable online or visible on our website. We understand that your district or school may have concerns about crowdfunding, and may even have a policy in place that restricts, or places specific rules around crowdfunding. If this is the case, a Non Public-Facing School Profile Page is a great option for your school.
Since the page is not public-facing and cannot be used for crowdfunding, we do not require an approval letter.

While Non Public-Facing School Profile Pages cannot be used for crowdfunding, they still give your school access to funding opportunities from our network of business donors, corporate sponsors, and foundation partners. You can also apply for AdoptAClassroom.org Spotlight Fund grants. Sign up for our mailing list to receive updates on these periodic funding opportunities via email.

How can my school receive donations?

There are several ways to receive funds for your school:

Crowdfunding (Public-Facing Profile Pages Only) If you intend to crowdfund on AdoptAClassroom.org, you need to create a Public-Facing Profile Page for your school. To do so, we require an approval letter from your district, or the appropriate senior level executive. Click here for more information, including a sample letter. Once your School Profile Page is public-facing, it will be visible on our website so donors across the country can learn more about your school and fundraising needs. You can also share and promote your page to ask your school’s community of parents, family, friends, local business owners, and others to donate.

Adoption “Match” Programs  Our national network of corporate sponsors and business donors asks us to “match” them with schools that fit their criteria, such as location or Title 1 status. Schools selected to receive funding through an adoption “match” will be notified via email. Keep your School Profile Page up-to-date for the best chance of being selected. 

Apply for a Spotlight Fund Grant Our Spotlight Funds support Title I classrooms, STEM education, disaster relief, and more. Click here to sign up for our e-newsletter to receive updates on Spotlight Funds. Several times each year you will receive an email alerting you to a grant opportunity and request for proposal. 

Sweepstakes and Giveaways Periodically, our corporate sponsors and business donors offer schools the opportunity to enter to win funding, or free school supplies on AdoptAClassroom.org. Sign up for our e-newsletter to receive updates on sweepstakes and giveaways.  

When you receive a donation, we’ll alert you via email. The funds will be immediately available online in your AdoptAClassroom.org account.

Who can access the donations made to my school?

Only one user can access a school’s account and the donations made to that account. Access is tied to their email address. If you need to change the user who has access to your school’s AdoptAClassroom.org account, please contact [email protected].

How do I access and spend the donations made to my school?

When you receive a donation the funds will be immediately available online in your AdoptAClassroom.org account. No cash changes hands. You will not receive a check or cash. Donations can only be accessed online. We’ll alert you via email each time you receive a donation. 

Before you can spend your funds, you need to log in to your account and thank your donor. Don’t worry, we make it easy to say thanks! When you log in, a pop up window will appear asking you to send a brief thank you message to your donor. After you hit “send,” you can click the “Go to Shop” button to access our e-commerce marketplace, where you can find nearly everything your school needs, from basic supplies to technology. 

If you would like to make a purchase outside of our marketplace, please contact us at [email protected]. Click here to learn more about our Out of Network Policy.
Need help with accessing your funds and/or shopping? Click here, or contact us at [email protected]

How long do I have to spend a donation? What happens if I don’t spend it in time?

Donations of any amount can be used anytime within 12 months of the date of the donation, so you can order what your school needs, when you need it. 

As a nonprofit, we have a responsibility to our donors to ensure that funds are spent in a timely manner to further our mission and support students. If you don’t spend your donation within 12 months of the date of the donation, your unused funds will expire and be reallocated to where they’re needed most, at the discretion of AdoptAClassroom.org.

Can I get a list of my donors?

Yes. While our privacy policy prohibits us from sharing donor contact information, we can share donor names with you, unless a donor chooses to remain anonymous.

You can access a list of your donors from your dashboard (the page you see when you log in). Click the “Contact my Donors” button for a list of your donors.  

Will you contact my donors for me?

School account administrators are required to send a thank you message to every donor who contributes to their school. Donated funds may not be used until the thank you message is sent. All thank you messages are sent through AdoptAClassroom.org’s platform.

Who sees what I order for our school?

Donors automatically receive a report of everything you ordered with their donation. School districts can request an itemized report of orders made by school account administrators in their district at any time.

Can I transfer a portion of the funds donated to my school to a teacher?  

Yes. School account administrators can decide to direct their school donations to a teacher (or teachers) at their school. Contact us at [email protected] to request a transfer.

Does my School Profile Page ever expire? When?

Yes. Your School Profile Page may be removed from the AdoptAClassroom.org site if you do not log in for one year. Your AdoptAClassroom.org account may be deleted if you do not log in for two years. 

This helps ensure donors do not contribute to inactive school accounts and feel disappointed when they do not receive a thank you from the school, or further information on how their funds were used.

Can I delegate the responsibility of managing my School Profile Page to someone else? 

Yes. Our School Program is designed to help principals fundraise for their school. Principals may delegate the responsibility to the school board, PTO or PTA, or to another administrator as appropriate, such as a vice principal or administrative assistant. If they are going to use your School Profile Page to crowdfund for your school, that person must have permission from the district, or the appropriate senior level executive. Click here for more information.

school districts anchor

School Districts

Does AdoptAClassroom.org follow crowdfunding best practices? 

Yes. Our platform meets the best practices for crowdfunding established by the AASA and NSBA.

Are there controls in place to ensure schools follow district policies?

Yes. If a principal or other school administrator intends to crowdfund for their school on AdoptAClassroom.org, we require an approval letter from their district, or an appropriate senior level executive, stating they have permission to use AdoptAClassroom.org to fundraise on behalf of their school, before any fundraising can begin. 

Click here for more information, including a sample letter you can use to grant approval to your schools on an individual basis, or district-wide. 

How do schools sign up? 

Principals and/or other school administrators can go here to register, or contact us at [email protected]

Can I receive reporting on what the schools in my district order through AdoptAClassroom.org?

Yes. You may request a report of items ordered by schools in your district at any time. Contact us at [email protected]

How do I treat donations received through the School Program from a bookkeeping perspective?
 

Technically, donors are making their financial contributions to AdoptAClassroom.org. We take care of all of the necessary donor acknowledgements, tax receipts, and reporting of purchases to both donors and school districts, relieving school and district staff of a significant administrative burden related to school fundraising.

All items ordered by school account administrators are purchased by AdoptAClassroom.org and then donated to the school. This means that schools receive in-kind donations, not cash.
 

How can I learn more about the School Program? 

Click here for a helpful guide about AdoptAClassroom.org and our School Program, designed specifically for district administrators. You can also contact us at [email protected]
 

School Board/PTO/PTA Anchor

School Board / PTO / PTA Members

How do schools sign up?

Tell your school principal to go here to register, or contact us at [email protected].

Can I sign up and manage the account on behalf of my school?

Yes. Our School Program is designed to help principals fundraise for their school. Principals may delegate the responsibility to the school board, PTO or PTA, or to another administrator as appropriate, such as a vice principal or administrative assistant. 

To ensure full compliance with district and/or school fundraising policies, if you intend to crowdfund for the school on AdoptAClassroom.org, we require an approval letter from the district, or an appropriate senior level executive, stating that you have permission to use AdoptAClassroom.org to fundraise on behalf of the school, before any fundraising can begin. Click here for more information, including a sample letter.

Can we receive reporting on what the school orders through AdoptAClassroom.org?

Yes. You may request a report of items ordered by your school at any time. Contact us at [email protected]

teachers anchor

Teachers

If my school has an AdoptAClassroom.org account, do I have to share donations made to my classroom with my school?

No. You are under no obligation from AdoptAClassroom.org to give donations made to your Classroom Page to your school. Donors who give to Classroom Pages wish to support teachers individually. If they would like to support the school, they can give to the School Page directly.

Oops! I set up a School Profile Page instead of a Classroom Page. What do I do?

Contact us at [email protected] and we’ll fix it.

Can I donate my unused funds to my school’s account?

Yes. You may share your donation with your school. Email [email protected] from the email address on your classroom account to request a fund transfer to your school. You must make your request before the funds expire. Unused funds expire 12 months after the date of the donation. 
 

donors anchor

Donors

Is my donation tax-deductible?

Yes. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, all donations made through AdoptAClassroom.org are tax-deductible. We will email you a receipt that includes our tax ID number after you make a donation. 

Who do I contact about donation receipts?

If you are having trouble locating your receipt, contact us at [email protected].

How do I know what a school bought with my donation?

After a school account administrator places an order with your donation, our system will automatically email you an itemized list of everything they ordered with your donation.

Why are schools only allowed 12 months to use each donation?

AdoptAClassroom.org has a responsibility to ensure that donated funds do not sit idle for excessive lengths of time, and that they are used to support our stated mission as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

What happens if a school does not use my donation within the 12 month period allowed?

AdoptAClassroom.org sends multiple reminders to schools regarding the funds available in their school account, and when they will expire. If a school does not use their funds by the 12 month deadline, AdoptAClassroom.org will reallocate the funds to where they are needed most.

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