Through platforms such as and ClassWish, teachers and administrators are taking their fundraising efforts to the masses, explaining what they need and why they need it, and finding that small amounts from a large number of people go a long way.

The rules of each crowdfunding site are different -- some charge no fees but require that teachers make purchases with their newly earned funds only from their partner vendors. So, for example, if you raised funds for school supplies at the Adopt-A-Classroom site, you would buy those supplies from the site’s partner, Office Depot. Other sites charge a percentage -- typically between 2.5 and 5 percent -- of the funds raised.

Crowdfunding veterans recommend that you offer incentives for donating, such as small prizes like mugs, pencils, or even just a personal “thank you” video from the class. 


Below are a few education-focused crowdfunding sites worth checking out:

  • DonorsChoose: A favorite among schools and districts (and Stephen Colbert, who donated $800,000 to fulfill every South Carolina request on the site), DonorsChoose makes it easy to crowdfund for things like school trips and classroom supplies. Unlike other sites, DonorsChoose does not charge teachers commission when they use the site, though they must shop at the site’s vendor partners when using their funds.

  • ClassWish: Another favorite, ClassWish allows donors to contribute to any type of school, public, private or parochial, unlike some (DonorsChoose, for example) that only allow public schools to participate. ClassWish does charge a processing fee of 2.9 percent, plus 30 cents per transaction, and you must buy from the site’s vendor partners.

  • Adopt-A-Classroom: The success stories on this site’s homepage are inspiring, and donors are not forgotten once they’ve contributed; they receive updates on how their money was used. A nice touch. The site charges no fees but does require that all purchases be made with its approved list of vendors.

  • PledgeCents: Commonly referred to as the ‘GoFundMe for teachers,’ PledgeCents has over 1,300 schools in 51 states on their platform. Since their inception, over $600,000 has been raised, impacting 300,000 students nationwide. Once all the funds are raised, PledgeCents will send the check directly to your school/organization. They do charge fees, but educators who use their service get to keep whatever funds they raise, regardless of whether it meets their final goal.