Researchers actually took a look at teacher fundraising via Donors Chose and other micro-philanthropy sites. Some of the patterns that emerged are not exactly surprising--the site is used for "triage and not extras," and more prevalent in states where funding of schools is less than optimal.
As I've said before, Donors Choose shouldn't be a thing. The need it meets shouldn't exist, and stories about how Teacher Pat had a project funded are not feel-good stories--they're a sign that funding for education in this country is a mess.
That said, we can either ignore the problem because it shouldn't exist, or we can try to pitch in. I am not a fan of enabling bad management, but in retirement I keep looking for ways to support not just the profession, but the people working in it. So I continue with this weekly (or bi-weekly or however often I get back to it) choice to find a Donors Chose project and support it, and invite you to join me. If not on the featured project, then on one of your own choice, or a contribution to a local classroom.
This time, I'm contributing to Mrs. Ploss and her first grade classroom at Elk Valley Elementary School in Lake City, PA. Mrs. Ploss is looking for books and Scholastic magazine. I can't think of anything any better than getting reading materials into first graders' hands.
Also, Mrs. Small at Shaver Elementary School in Portland, OR is trying to build a classroom library that reflects the diversity of her students. What can I say? I love the books.
And speaking of books for kids-- I've written about and you've probably heard about the Imagination Library, a project of Dolly Parton. It puts a book a month in the hands of families of littles across the country and internationally as well. It's one of the great modern educational philanthropies, and you can contribute to their work directly--just follow this link.