Mission: To give teachers a hand by providing them with the classroom materials and supplies their students need to succeed.
About the Organization: James Rosenberg, a mergers and acquisitions attorney at the time, founded AdoptAClassroom in 1998 while mentoring physically and mentally delayed children and seeing teachers spend their own money on classroom supplies. In the years since, the organization has raised more than $24 million to help teachers purchase school supplies for over five million students, many in low-income high-need schools, while more than 204,000 K-12 teachers, representing 30 percent of all the schools in the United States, have registered on the proprietary AdoptAClassroom platform. Thanks to unrestricted donations from foundations, businesses, and individuals, the organization is able to ensure that 100 percent of donations go directly to the classroom in the form of online credit, while affiliate vendors donate a percentage of their sales back to the organization.
Current Programs: AdoptAClassroom’s program for first-year teachers in the Twin Cities serves one of the ten most challenging districts for new teachers due to a combination of low starting salaries and the relatively high cost of living. The organization’s After Disaster program, which it launched in March 2012, helps teachers get their classrooms back up and running in the wake of a natural disaster. And the organization also operates a corporate sponsorship program that provides cash grants and in-kind donations to teachers, schools, and students around the country.
Website: Prospective donors can use the multi-level search function on the AdoptAClassroom site to search for classrooms by teacher or school name, city, state, and/or greatest funding need. Teachers log in — or can be invited to do so — at the site’s Register a Classroom page. In addition, visitors to the site will find an About page featuring a video message from executive director Bob Thacker, as well as YouTube videos that include a surprise classroom makeover, insights from a first-year teacher, and an explanation of why teachers end up spending so much on classroom needs; a news page and FAQ; and the AdoptAClassroom.org blog.
Funding: AdoptAClassroom receives support from corporate sponsors and individuals.