Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tried it Tuesday - Donorschoose.org

This will be my second year hosting a photography club at my elementary school. Last year I had twenty fourth and fifth graders hanging out with me before school started. Every Wednesday for six months I got to share my love of photography with eager young minds. We talked of form, shape, color, and line. We critiqued the effective use of depth of field and focal points. We even got a page in the school's yearbook to show off our work. It was such fun.

Of course, I had to do it again. One of the drawbacks from last year was that the kids were using old equipment, most were hand-me-downs. Their batteries died, or the camera froze up, or the cords didn't work with my computer. Many were disappointed in not being able to try out the cool techniques I was sharing with them each week.

I'd like to keep as many of them as interested in this as possible. So I found a site that allows people to donate money to help out my classroom. It's called DonorsChoose.org. When you set up a new account you are alloted 3 credits in which to begin your project. If you require people to donate below $400 to your classroom, you'll use 1 credit. If you need it to be less than $800, you'll use two credits. You aren't allowed to ask for more than that the first go around.

There are a lot of legal issues about who owns the equipment that is donated (it must stay with the school if you leave it), and strict regulations on what you need to do if your project is fully funded. Just keep in mind that they suggest you send thank you notes from the kids to your donors. You might want to think ahead for that one.

But after your project is approved and put up, donorschoose will send you an email that gives you the good news. AND any and all donations given within the first seven days will be matched dollar for dollar by donorschoose. Here's the note they give you to send out to all your friends.

Hi Friends,

I want to make sure my students have the materials they need to succeed. So I've created a classroom project request at DonorsChoose.org, an award-winning charity.

I'm asking for donations of any size to help my kids. For the next week, any donation you make to my project will be doubled (up to $100). If you know anyone who is passionate about education, please pass this along. Your donation will brighten my students' school year, and you'll get photos and thank yous from our class.

Here's my classroom request:
Elementary Photography Club: The Early Years

To have your donation matched dollar for dollar, enter the match code INSPIRE on the payment screen. This awesome match offer lasts through August 30, 2013.

My students and I greatly appreciate your support.
Gary

If you've even thought how AWESOME it would be to start a new project with your class if only you had (such and such). Then I suggest you check out donorschoose.org.
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