Welcome to Charity Navigator's Blog!

The team from Charity Navigator, the nation's largest independent charity evaluator and leading donor advocate, shares their thoughts on emerging nonprofit-sector issues and offers tips to better inform your intelligent giving decisions.

Find a charity to support today

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Top Five Ways To Support Classrooms


Education plays a major role in shaping children’s lives. It provides them with the tools they need to succeed in the career path of their choosing. Classrooms are a place where children can increase their knowledge, engage their curiosity, and expand their horizons. 

Unfortunately, support for many classrooms is limited. According to The Education Market Association, “teachers spend $500 of their own money on classroom supplies each year” as a means to compensate for most school system’s limited budgets. With this in mind, here are the top five ways you can support a classroom and foster a vibrant learning environment in your community and across the country.

1.) Donating supplies- In many classrooms, everyday supplies like pencils, notebooks, and tissues are scarce. Often teachers dig into their own pockets to provide these necessities in their classrooms.  It may not seem like a significant contribution, but a pack of pencils, crayons, a roll of paper towels, or a box of tissues can go a long way in creating a stronger learning environment.

Highly-rated organizations like the Kids In Need Foundation (KINF) and Classroom Central provide donors with different ways to donate to supplies, including remotely or in person. KINF provides a free shipping label if you visit their website, or you can go to their You Give Goods page to make purchases for classrooms through them directly. Classroom Central suggests creating a kit with their top nine most requested school supplies or purchasing from their Amazon Wish List. Donors can send their purchased items and Classroom Central will either utilize them in their “free store,” where teachers and other school personnel are able to grab the supplies they need or through different delivery methods for in need schools that are further away from the store itself.  

2.) Sponsoring a teacher or classroom- If there is a specific subject, topic, or activity that resonates deeply with you, funding a classroom project may be the best way for you to give. Platforms like DonorsChoose.org allows donors to read about different classrooms and specific requests from teachers, choose one to support, and receive updates about what kind of impact that contribution made. You can either fund a portion of a teacher’s proposal or the entire thing! For example, a teacher may request Chromebooks to advance technological learning in their classroom, and a donor could donate any amount towards that goal, seeing the specific breakdown of the budget and how their gift will be spent. 

3.) Starting a school supply drive- A great way to get your community involved is to start a school supply drive. Whether you want to support your local elementary school, collect donations for an educational nonprofit, or sponsor a classroom somewhere on the other side of the country, there is power in numbers.

Read our blog post about it with ideas for getting started today.

4.) Volunteering- A simple yet impactful way to support classrooms is through volunteering. You can contact a local school directly to inquire about ways to get involved or work with a group that offers volunteering opportunities like the Center for Creative Education, a 4-star organization which promotes arts education. Most of these organizations need volunteers to help with everything from assisting in the classroom to aiding in the teachers to working the front desk and beyond.

Don’t forget to check out our Guide to Volunteering before you head out!

5.) Mentoring- Supporting a classroom can go beyond the classroom. Access to a mentor or multiple mentors can broaden a student’s world view. According to a study conducted by North Carolina State University, “youth from disadvantaged backgrounds are twice as likely to attend college when they have a mentor.” Nonprofits like iMentor provide disadvantaged students with a long-term mentor who is personally invested in the relationship, serving as an advisor, confidant, and advocate. The application process may seem daunting but the end result is extremely rewarding! 


Did we miss any ways to support classrooms? Comment below and let us know how you’re creating more vibrant learning environments!


This post was contributed by Jessica Cunha, a Digital Marketing and Fundraising Intern at Charity Navigator. Jessica is currently studying at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts as a Political Communication Major with minors in Nonprofit Communication Management and Public Diplomacy. She believes that nonprofits play a vital role in the world and is passionate about Charity Navigator’s mission to identify charities the public can trust and support.


As a 501 (c) (3) organization itself, Charity Navigator depends on public support to help donors make informed choices. Please consider investing in the future of Charity Navigator by making a donation today.  Donate now >>

2 comments:

dmzemel said...

Vote for legislators and school board members committed to quality public education. Vote those into office and vote to remove those who are not - out.

Steve Rubenstein said...

Donate to the Kids In Need Foundation or one of their local affiliates across the country. Kids In Need is a 4 -Star rated charity whose mission is to provide school supplies at no cost to teachers of students in need - www.kinf.org; www.kinf.org/programs/network.