Free Money For Your Classroom!

When talking with art teachers about their biggest barriers to doing their best work, slim budgets come up every time. There are a ton of ways to look for extra money for your coolest projects, but fewer are easier or more hip than crowd funding.  Crowd funding is just a fancy term for using the web to find people to donate to your cause. One of the best platforms for this type of fundraising is

Donors Choose

Donors Choose is a website that connects donors to classrooms needing money. Teachers can post their project proposals and visitors to the site can donate any amount of money to specific projects. The site was founded by a teacher who saw a need for this kind of networking, so you can bet it is teacher-friendly! One of my favorite things about Donors Choose is that they have an art projects link right on the front page.  The site is easy to navigate for both donors and teachers. You can set up a proposal in ten minutes and be ready to accept donations right away! Consider crowd funding your next project, and share your results and experiences with us.

How do you raise funds for big projects? 

Do you have experience with crowd funding? What advice do you have? 


Sarah Dougherty

My name is Sarah Dougherty, and I teach elementary art in a large urban district in central Iowa. I love working with our diverse population of K-5 students to bring art to their homes, communities, and everyday lives.


  • Robin Webb

    I did my first Donor’s Choose this year. Encouraged and with help from our music teacher (with a whole room of Donor’s Choose instruments!), I received a wonderful slab roller for classroom. I’m lucky there were two organizations that match the grants. My wish was filled in less than two weeks!

    • Incredible, Robin! Those stories of real success are what we like to hear!

  • Sharon Verhoff

    Do you know of a way to get funding for a new private k-12 art program for homeschoolers? The program will be located at a church but it is secular. Technically it is an LLC, also a private unaccredited school.

    • I don’t see anything on the Donors Choose website that would preclude you from using their platform for that purpose. I love the idea of a homeschool arts co-op! You might also check on grant opportunities through your state arts agency.

  • Clare Butler

    I had 2 projects on Donors Choose. Both for visual tech equipment. My first was for an LCD projector and my 2nd for a Digital Doc Camera(Elmo). Both successful……a little bit of work…..but all in all pretty simple.

  • Cynthia Gaub

    About to finish funding a 3-D printer on donors choose! So excited

    • I can’t wait to hear about the things you do with the 3-D printer! Please make sure to share them with us.

  • Support Art

    There is a community for art educators on Donors Choose – and we are also on Facebook –

  • Yes! I second this! When I was in the classroom, I got about 5 projects funded through donor’s choose. We got sharpies, paper marbling supplies, a crafting corner, a ton of books, and a bunch of air-dry clay. All I did was write some snappy text and total strangers donated. It was amazing. I was in a huge urban district in a school with 98% free lunch. I needed all the help I could get.

    • Love to hear the success stories, Cindy! I like that you pointed out the need for some catchy text.