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Superintendents, DonorsChoose.org Collaborate on Best Practices

The popular nonprofit crowdfunding platform DonorsChoose.org, which helps teachers pay for classroom supplies, worked with the school superintendents group AASA on a new toolkit aimed at getting entire school districts in a position to best utilize the service.

With the growth of platforms like DonorsChoose.org, teachers are increasingly embracing crowdfunding to help cover their costs for supplies and other classroom materials.

Reacting to this shift, the school superintendents group AASA is launching a new initiative to help districts better coordinate crowdfunding campaigns on DonorsChoose.org.

Crowdfunding Best Practices Toolkit for District Leaders, built by AASA with the assistance of the crowdfunding platform, is squarely targeted at district administrators, with the idea of maximizing the impact of the tool throughout the district. The toolkit breaks down how districts can learn more about the program, how they can manage it within their districts, how IT departments can help get everything in check, and how to prioritize it as part of a district’s broader goals. It also features testimonials from administrators who have successfully used the platform in their districts.

AASA Executive Director Daniel Domenech stated that the track record of DonorsChoose.org shows that the change it encourages can happen anywhere—and cited how roughly three-quarters of DonorsChoose.org donations go to school districts where a majority of students are from low-income households.

“Superintendents often say they ‘can’t do it alone.’ Nor can school buildings,” Domenech said in a news release. “Online crowdfunding makes it possible for teachers to generate donations beyond their local communities.”

Meanwhile, DonorsChoose.org founder Charles Best emphasized the nonprofit’s goal to be a partner to school districts around the country.

“Our platform is a force for equity, expanding support for district schools beyond the local community,” he explained in the release. “We are excited to partner with AASA to help our nation’s public school systems thrive in the coming year.”

DonorsChoose.org, one of the internet’s longest-running crowdfunding sites, has been on a bit of an upswing of notice in recent months. In August, major philanthropists such as Bill and Melinda Gates and Craigslist founder Craig Newmark made large donations to the service, and earlier this year, a single $29 million donation from a virtual currency firm led to every project on the service at that time getting funded.

Since its launch, DonorsChoose.org has raised more than $725 million for public schools, from 3 million separate donors.

(jenifoto/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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