A View from the Classroom: What Teachers Can Tell Philanthropy About the Needs of Schools

Publication date: 
February, 2020
Grantmakers in Education

What can over a million teachers tell funders about the needs of schools? No one has greater insight into the needs of students and schools than teachers. Increasingly, teachers are using their voice in identifying what American classrooms lack via crowdfunding websites like DonorsChoose. These requests uncover interesting patterns among individual classrooms. Viewed in aggregate, they also sharpen the picture of system-level inequity in public schools. The story of the data provides an investment road map for funders seeking to support students directly, but also for funders seeking broader reform of U.S. education policy and systems.

This report, based on 1.8 million teacher requests from the crowdfunding site DonorsChoose, reveals that teachers across the nation are turning to fundraising to meet their basic classroom needs.

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