– Updated May 2019 –
Why is AdoptAClassroom.org well-positioned to support school fundraising?
Our proven fundraising platform has been helping teachers access funds for classroom supplies for more than 20 years. Now, with the launch of our new School Program, principals and school administrators can use our fundraising platform to support larger, school-wide initiatives.
Why we are the best fundraising platform available to schools:
- Credibility – For more than 20 years, AdoptAClassroom.org has offered a proprietary digital platform to help teachers raise funds for their classrooms. More than 200,000 classrooms have been funded through AdoptAClassroom.org, making us a trusted partner for both teachers and donors. Now we have made that same platform available to schools.
- Easy-to-Use Fundraising Platform – Our site makes it easy for principals and school administrators to set up a customized fundraising page to share with their community of supporters, donors, and PTA/PTO’s. Each fundraising page is connected to the school’s AdoptAClassroom.org online account. The authorized administrator for the school can log in to the account to spend available funds on the supplies their school needs from the more than 20 educational product vendors on our private ecommerce marketplace.
- Accountability – Our staff works with school districts to verify every school account on our school fundraising platform, and to ensure the funds can only be accessed by the school principal or chosen administrator. No cash changes hands, and all orders are shipped directly to the school.
- Transparency – AdoptAClassroom.org makes it easy for anyone who donates to a school to see how their donation is spent. We do this automatically without any work on the school’s part. This is increasingly important to donors who want to know their gift was spent appropriately, and that they made a difference. AdoptAClassroom.org holds the highest rating from Charity Navigator, which includes top scores in accountability and transparency. School districts may also request a report from AdoptAClassroom.org at any time to see how funds for schools in their districts are spent.
- Flexibility – Our site does not require schools to fill out a long application to receive funds. We believe that principals and school administrators know best what their schools need. That’s why we give authorized administrators the freedom to spend their funds on the tools and materials their schools need, when they need them. Our private online marketplace carries everything from basic supplies to technology.
- Increased Access to Funding – We work with a diverse group of 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 are school pages different from classroom pages?
School pages are created by a school principal or administrator, generally to benefit all students at a school. For a school page to appear on the AdoptAClassroom.org fundraising site, we require each principal and administrator who registers to use our public fundraising platform to submit a letter from their district office indicating that they are authorized to fundraise on our platform on behalf of their school. The reason for this requirement is that the school-wide nature of these projects, and the fact that they frequently include technology or other long-term school fixtures, means that district approval will be required in most of these fundraising efforts.
Classroom pages are created by teachers to support the students in their classrooms. Teachers have full discretion over how to spend their funds in our online marketplace. As most of the items that teachers fundraise for through classroom pages consist of consumables that are used up by students and teachers in the classroom, we do not require authorization from the school or district for a teacher to create a classroom page. We do remind teachers using our site that they are responsible for ensuring that their fundraising activity complies with any applicable school or district policies, and we offer reporting to schools and districts upon request regarding teacher purchases through our site.
In both cases, supplies are shipped directly to the school’s address, verified by our staff. The address cannot be changed by the user.
How do I know if my school is fundraising?
You can search for your school here.
If you don’t see your school, you can register your school here. Not a principal or school administrator? Please let your principal know about AdoptAClassroom.org! They can sign up 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, these fees cover the technology and staff time required to support the program, including providing customer support to help school account administrators use their funds to get the items their school needs; working with vendors to ship and pay for the items; ongoing maintenance and enhancement of our technology platform; and reporting back to donors and sponsors about the items purchased and their impact on student learning.
The 10% fee is deducted from the total of each donation made to your school, before it is deposited into your school account. For example, if someone donates $100 to your school, you will receive $90 in your school account. The remaining $10 goes to AdoptAClassroom.org to support our organization as described above.
School Districts / Superintendents
How can I sign up my school?
Tell your school principal to go here to register, or contact us at [email protected]. Before we can make your school page public for fundraising purposes, we require an approval letter from your district. See an example letter here.
Can I receive reporting of what our school has purchased?
Yes. You may request a report of purchases made by schools in your district at any time. Just contact [email protected].
How do I treat these donations from a bookkeeping perspective?
Technically, donors are making their financial contributions to AdoptAClassroom.org, and they receive a donation receipt from us at the time of their donation. The items selected by a school account administrator are purchased by AdoptAClassroom.org and then donated to the school. This means that the school receives in-kind donations, not cash.
School Board / PTO / PTA Members
Where do I go for more information on how to sign up?
Can I sign up on behalf of my school?
Yes. However, you may only sign up on behalf of your school with a letter from your district office indicating that you are authorized to do so.
Can we receive reporting of what our school purchased?
Yes. School districts may request a report of purchases made by school account administrators at any time. Just contact [email protected].
School Administrators / Principals
What do I need to do to register my school?
Go here to get started. We require each principal and administrator who registers to use our fundraising platform to submit a letter from their district office indicating that they are authorized to do so. See an example letter here.
How do I know if my school is qualified 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.
How can my school receive donations?
There are three ways to receive funds for your school:
- Share Your School Page with Your Community
- Use your school’s community network to raise funds. Principals, PTO/PTAs, faculty, and parents may share and promote your school page, asking family, friends, and local businesses to donate. In order to launch your school page, we require an approval letter from your district.
- Funds from AdoptAClassroom.org Donors
- Receive funds through our network of individual donors, corporate sponsors, and foundations. These funds are disbursed to schools that are registered with our organization and meet donor criteria. Criteria varies by donor and may include; Title 1 status, geographic location, or specific curriculum or grade level.
- Apply for a Spotlight Fund Grant
- Several times each year you will receive an email alerting you to a grant opportunity and request for proposal. Our Spotlight Funds support High-Needs, STEAM, Inclusive Classrooms, and Disaster Relief.
When you receive a donation, we’ll alert you by email, and the funds will be immediately available in your online account.
Why do I need a letter from my school district?
We require a letter from each school’s district to ensure the correct school contact has access to the donations made in the school’s name.
Who can access the donations in my account?
Only one user can access a school’s 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 can I spend the donations I receive?
School account administrators can find everything from basic supplies to technology through our online marketplace. If you would like to make a purchase outside of our marketplace, you are able to do so by contacting [email protected].
How long do I have to spend a donation? What happens if I don’t spend it in time?
We believe that principals and school administrators know best what their schools need. That’s why we give them the freedom to spend their funds on the tools and materials their schools need, when they need them.
However, we have a responsibility to our donors to ensure that funds are spent in a timely manner to support students. That’s why all school and classroom donations expire within 12 months.
If schools do not use their funds by the 12 month deadline, AdoptAClassroom.org will reallocate the funds to where they are needed most.
Can I move a portion of our school’s donated funds to a classroom page?
Yes. School account administrators can decide to direct their school donations to teachers’ classroom pages. Just contact us at [email protected] to request a transfer.
Who sees what we purchase for our school?
Donors automatically receive a report of everything you purchased with their donation. School districts can request a full report of purchases made by school account administrators and teachers at any time.
Does my school page ever expire? When?
Yes. Your school page may be removed from the AdoptAClassroom.org site if you do not login for one year. Your school page may be deleted if you do not login for two years. The reason for this is to avoid having our donors contribute to inactive school pages and then be disappointed when they do not receive a thank you from the school, or further information on how their funds were used.
Will you contact my donors for me? Can I get a list of my donors?
Through AdoptAClassroom.org’s platform, school account administrators are required to send a thank you email to every donor who contributes to their school’s account. Donated funds may not be used until the thank you message is sent.
Can I donate my leftover funds to my school’s account?
Yes. You may share your donation with your school’s account at any time. Just email [email protected] from the email address on your classroom account.
If my school also sets up an AdoptAClassroom.org account, do I have to share my donations with the school account?
No. You are under no obligation from AdoptAClassroom.org to give donations from 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 page instead of a classroom page. What do I do?
Contact us at [email protected] and we’ll fix it.
Is my donation tax-deductible?
Yes. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, all donations made through AdoptAClassroom.org are tax-deductible. We will automatically email you a receipt that includes our tax ID number after a donation is made.
Who do I contact about donation receipts?
If you are having trouble locating your receipt, contact [email protected].
How do I know what a school bought with my donation?
After a school account administrator makes a purchase, our system will automatically email you an itemized list of everything purchased 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 school account administrators regarding 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.