This site allows YOU, a teacher, to post the needs of your classroom. You create a project and people can go on to donate to your cause. Right now, I am experimenting with this site. I have heard so many teachers get lucky with anonymous donors fulfilling their whole request, but unfortunately my first request fell through. From scouring other's posts about creating an appealing donors choose project, here's what I've learned:
1. Have a catchy title.
2. Keep the cost under $400.
3. Describe your students and your needs.
4. Share your project via Facebook, Twitter, Newsletters, Email Signature...
5. Donate to your own cause because it shows you believe in your project.
I just started a new project to try and get an iPad to use with my students in intervention. You can find more about it here: iPads for Reading.
Similar sites to Donors Choosewww.adoptaclassroom.org/
Scholastic Book Rewardswww.scholastic.com
I have had so much luck with this program. I send home the order forms with my students and then I get to use the bonus points to order books for our classroom. This works better if you have your own classroom full of students. I can't really take advantage of this anymore now that I see kids in an intervention setting. Don't forget to explain the idea behind this to parents. They are more willing to purchase books when you explain that the whole class reaps the reward!
Whether it's from a retired teacher or a teacher willing to part with materials, RECYCLING can be your friend.
Freecycle is a website that lists people willing to give away (recycle) various items.
Get your students invovled by having them post your classroom needs on your behalf. https://www.dosomething.org/