One way for teachers to obtain no-cost classroom supplies is to post a request to DonorsChoose.org. The site allows public school teachers to request anything from pencils to iPads, and donors can decide which project to fund.
As of January 2016, DonorsChoose.org is open to K-12 schools in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia. When a project meets its goal, the supplies are shipped directly to the school through the website. Donors are able to search for an individual school, subject or teacher and can donate as little as $1 toward any project. The website is free to use, and more than 270,000 teachers have had projects funded, totalling almost $390 million.
In addition to books, technology items and general classroom supplies, DonorsChoose.org users can request funds for field trips and classroom speakers. Funding requests can appear on the site for up to four months. The average time for a project to become fully funded is 27 days. AdoptAClassroom.org is another resource for teachers looking for donated school supplies.
The National Education Association suggests educators build strong relationships with local merchants and community groups. Teachers can also reach out to area churches to help purchase supplies. Restaurants often donate food to be used for school fundraisers. The NEA also advises teachers to reach out to corporations by describing the school, explaining what is needed and why, and then requesting a discount or donation.