AASA, DonorsChoose.org Launch Digital Toolkit to Help Teachers, School Leaders Access National Network of Classroom Supporters


James Minichello
703-774-6953 (cell)

Alexandria, Va. – September 4, 2018 – Classrooms are designed to create an oasis of learning for the more than 50 million students heading back to public school buildings. Shrinking budgets, however, are causing more and more teachers to pay for school supplies out of their own pockets. 

In response to the growing need to support classrooms across the country, especially those in low-income areas, AASA, The School Superintendents Association, and DonorsChoose.org are pleased to release today a user-friendly, digital pathway designed to help teachers and school district leaders tap into much-needed funding to enhance their schools, and enhance teaching and learning excellence in their communities.

The Back-to-School Crowdfunding Toolkit provides a guide for school district leaders on how they can support their teachers’ needs, advance their district priorities and access a national network of education philanthropists through DonorsChoose.org.

DonorsChoose.org is a nonprofit crowdfunding platform that has raised more than $725 million for public schools nationwide. Support has come from more than 3 million individual donors, companies and foundations, which has enabled DonorsChoose.org to send classroom materials—not cash—to teachers while, at the same time, providing unparalleled transparency and accountability to donors and administrators.

“District leaders know better than almost anyone that school system budgets rarely cover everything a school needs,” said Charles Best, founder & CEO, DonorsChoose.org. “Our platform is a force for equity, expanding support for district schools beyond the local community. We are excited to partner with AASA to help our nation’s public school systems thrive in the coming year.”

“Superintendents often say they ‘can’t do it alone.’ Nor can school buildings,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “Online crowdfunding makes it possible for teachers to generate donations beyond their local communities. We are encouraged that 75 percent of the funding raised by DonorsChoose.org goes to schools where half or more of the students are from low-income households.”   

How it works:
  • Teachers at verified schools request specific items.
  • DonorsChoose.org vets each project that teachers post.
  • Donors and foundations contribute to these requests.
  • DonorsChoose.org orders the items and ships them to the school.
  • DonorsChoose.org notifies the school in advance of every shipment.

“As a district leader, I want my teachers to be able to innovate,” said William Hite, superintendent, Philadelphia Public Schools. “DonorsChoose.org helps ensure that they have the classroom resources to do so, while making it easy for people across America to support Philadelphia classrooms.”

Through their dedication to efficacy and transparency, DonorsChoose.org has earned the highest possible rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for 13 consecutive years. This achievement is held by fewer than 1 percent of nonprofit organizations.

To find out more, please click here to access The Back-to-School Crowding Toolkit. For additional questions, please contact Katie Bisbee at kbisbee@donorschoose.org.


About DonorsChoose.org
Founded in 2000 by a Bronx history teacher, DonorsChoose.org has raised over $700 million for America's classrooms. Teachers come to DonorsChoose.org to request the materials and experiences they need most for their classrooms, and donors give to the projects that inspire them. To date, 3.3 million people and partners have funded 1.2 million projects on the site, reaching 29 million students and making DonorsChoose.org the leading platform for supporting U.S. public schools. DonorsChoose.org is the only crowdfunding platform that vets each request, delivers materials directly to schools, and captures the impact of every funded project with photos, thank yous, and a cost report showing how each dollar was spent. In 2014, DonorsChoose.org made the top 10 of Fast Company's list of the World's Most Innovative Companies, the first time a charity has received such recognition. For more information, visit www.donorschoose.org.

About The School District of Philadelphia
The School District of Philadelphia is the largest school district in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the eighth-largest public school system in the United States. Enrollment includes more than 200,000 students in public, charter and alternative schools, and more than 17,250 employees. Under the leadership of Superintendent William R. Hite, the vision of the School District is to deliver on the right of every child in Philadelphia to an excellent public school education and ensure all children graduate from high school ready to succeed. The School District's strategic mission, outlined in Action Plan 3.0, focuses on grade-level literacy, quality instruction and leadership, college- and career-readiness and financial stability. For more information about the School District, visit www.philasd.org.

About AASA
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to equitable access for all students to the highest quality public education. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.