Teachers and librarians are always looking for low or no-cost ways to outfit classrooms and libraries. Thankfully, there are a number of organizations that want to help schools obtain books, supplies, equipment and other materials for free by facilitating donations. Check out the five websites listed below to request donations for your classroom or library.
Swap.com launched Swap4Schools in March of this year with a kick-off celebration at Boston’s own Harbor Pilot Middle School (See Jeff Bennett’s blog entry “Swap.com and Mayor Menino Celebrate Swap4Schools”). Swap4Schools pairs swap.com members willing to donate their books, videos, games and CDs with libraries and classrooms that would benefit from the donation. Teachers/librarians set up an account and create a wish list of titles. When a swap.com member has an item that matches a title on that list a message is sent asking the member if he or she would like to donate the item to the school. If so, the member is able to print a mailing label at home and send the item directly to the teacher or librarian. The recipient then receives an email from swap.com stating the item is on its way. Once the item is received, the recipient lets the donor know by clicking on a link from the swap.com email. It is very easy to sign up and several recipients in the Boston educational community including BPS teachers and librarians, ReadBoston, and WriteBoston have already received many donations through Swap4Schools.
Teachers/librarians post requests for the total dollar amount needed to purchase materials for specific classroom projects. Individuals or companies can then search for projects to support. Donors can decide how much to contribute to each project. Once the project donation goal is reached, Donors Choose delivers the materials to the school. Students describe what they have learned as a result of using the new materials through photos and thank you notes to donors. Donors Choose is a Boston Public Schools partner.
According to their website, “Adopt-A-Classroom partners donors with teachers so you can have funds to purchase critical resources and materials for your classroom. By registering, your classroom will be posted on the Adopt-A-Classroom website available for donors to select. When adopted, you will have full discretion to purchase items that meet your unique classroom needs.” Adopt-A-Classroom is a Boston Public Schools partner. partner.
ClassWish helps teachers and schools attract donations from parents, local businesses, alumni and others in the community. Teachers or librarians create a wish list of what they need and ClassWish helps communicate these needs to parents and supporters. Once donations are received for a particular school, teachers/librarians are able to request specific items using the funds and ClassWish sends donations directly to the school.
Sign up for a School Supply Drive through iLoveSchools.com to request funding for items ordered through their online catalog or use the Custom WishList form for items not listed in the catalog. iLoveSchools also allows you to request DonorOffers, which are gifts of new or used goods, services or volunteer time posted on their site.
Please leave a comment if you know of other sites where teachers and librarians can request donations for classroom or library materials.