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K-12 Grant Search and Informal Funding Sites

Green apple with superimposed $100 bill
(Image credit: iStock.com/michaelquirk)

From large, district-wide grants to small, classroom funding, money is out there if you know where to look. The first set of sites below provide information about a wide variety of grants for education. The second set of sites offer fundraising opportunities and/or donation possibilities.

School Grant Search Sites

  • Grants.gov (opens in new tab)
    This federal site allows users to search for federal grants. For example, teachers can look for technology grants by using a key word or clicking on the category. 
  • Grant Gopher (opens in new tab)
    This site offers a free trial of three searches of their database. After that, you can choose a Lite (free) version or subscribe to a Pro account to keep searching for grants. The search looks for grant descriptions that include all the keywords you input. They suggest using only use one or two keywords at a time. 
  • Grants Watch (opens in new tab)
    This site posts federal, state, city, local, and foundation grants that are categorized by type (for example, teacher grants). This site requires a subscription. 
  • The Foundation Center (opens in new tab)
    The Center offers lists of funders in particular areas. A subscription fee is necessary. 

School Fundraising and Donation Sites

  • Adopt-A-Classroom (opens in new tab)
    Donors can target a specific school or the organization will match the donor with a classroom.
  • Class Wish (opens in new tab)
    ClassWish is a nonprofit that lets people contribute to fund any K-12 school or teacher in the country. They help educators and schools get the supplies they need.
  • Classy (opens in new tab)
    Classy fundraising software helps educators raise money online by creating branded fundraising pages to tap into peer-to-peer fundraising, events, direct donation appeals, crowdfunding, and international fundraising. It has reporting and management features.
  • Computers for Learning (opens in new tab)
    Computers For Learning provides computers to classrooms by arranging the transfer of computers from government agencies and the private sector to schools and educational nonprofits. 
  • Computer Recycling Center (opens in new tab)
    The Center collects used computer equipment and reuses and refurbishes them. They then send the computers to Computers and Education so the program can give them to teachers, schools, community programs, foster kids, and disabled elderly through city and county agencies. 
  • Customlink (opens in new tab)
    You can raise money by selling custom t-shirts from this site. They let you take donations with no inventory, hassles or risk. You design your shirt, share why you are raising and then share your campaign. They fill the orders and send along the funds you raise! Custom Ink Fundraising is a great tool for any group, cause or community.
  • Digital Wish (opens in new tab)
    Digital Wish is a non-profit that helps teachers solve technology shortfalls in their classrooms. Teachers can create a wish list of technology and share lesson plans and fundraising ideas with fellow educators across the country.  
  • Donors Choose (opens in new tab)
    Teachers post what they need in particular for classroom projects on the website. A donor can choose to help fund the project and when the project reaches it’s goal, the website send the materials directly to the school. The program supports K-12 classrooms, and public charter schools, in all 50 states across America.
  • FirstGiving (opens in new tab)
    Customize peer-to-peer fundraising pages and host online registration for your events,
  • FirstGiving is now part of Panorama, a paid fundraising platform.
  • Funding Factory (opens in new tab)
    Funding Factory is a free fundraising program for schools, nonprofits, and charities that encourages the donation of empty printer cartridges, cell phones, and various other electronic devices. Once these items are recycled, the organization earns points to exchange for new technology.
  • Fund For Teachers (opens in new tab)
    Fund for Teachers supports educators' efforts to develop skills, knowledge and confidence that impact student achievement. 
  • FundRazr (opens in new tab)
    FundRazr is a multi-purpose crowdfunding site for organizational and individual fundraising.
  • GoFundMe (opens in new tab)
    GoFundMe is fundraising software with no subscription fees for charities with unrestricted access to data and robust tools to reach donors.  
  • IndieGoGo (opens in new tab)
    Indiegogo is a launchpad for entrepreneurial ideas. Their guide walks you through every step of a successful project.
  • Mightycause (opens in new tab)
    Mightycause is an all-in-one platform for nonprofit fundraising, donor management, marketing, and more.  
  • Kickstarter (opens in new tab)
    Kickstarter helps people and organizations to raise money for creative projects in the following categories: Art, Comics, Crafts, Dance, Design, Fashion, Film & Video, Food, Games, Journalism, Music, Photography, Publishing, Technology, and Theater.
  • LivingTree (opens in new tab)
    LivingTree helps you to connect teachers, schools, and district with families in one central platform to improve communication and family engagement. And it is a fundraising management platform built specifically for school districts that maximizes fundraising and provides oversight and coordination.
  • PledgeCents (opens in new tab)
    PledgeCents is a quick and easy solution to community funding. They say that every cent counts, so they do not charge a platform fee on any of their fundraisers.

Gwen Solomon was Founding Director of The School of the Future in New York City, Coordinator of Instructional Technology Planning for New York City Public Schools, and Senior Analyst in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Instructional Technology. She has written and co-authored several books and many magazine articles on educational technology.