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Fundraising for Calculators with Underwood Distributing Co. - Underwood Distributing Co.

Fundraising for Calculators with Underwood Distributing Co.

If you are interested in ordering a Teacher Pack of Ti-84 Plus CE Graphing Calculators, or any other model of calculators, from Underwood Distributing, but don't have sufficient funds, consider purchasing your calculators from us with the help of your community! In this post, we will review a few ways to raise funds for your classroom including DonorsChoose, GoFundMe, the TI-Rewards Program, and more. Our goal is to help your classroom acquire the tools required to better educate your soon-to-be graduates. We understand that having the right amount (and types) of calculators in your classroom can make big improvements on test scores.

Fundraising with DonorsChoose for Math Class Calculators

DonorsChoose.org is a website where teachers can post requests for educational materials and donors are able to fund individual classrooms or donate to the site itself. On this site, teachers post class projects and what supplies are needed to make these projects happen. Once the funds are received, DonorsChoose orders the supplies and delivers them to the teacher. DonorsChoose has been active for 24 years and has overseen nearly 3 million classroom projects. More than 6 million donors nationwide have helped fund over 800 thousand teachers. 

Getting Started as a Teacher 

To get started requesting material for your classroom, you’ll need to first set up an account with DonorsChoose. Ensure that you are eligible to be funded through DonorsChoose by checking the site’s eligibility requirements. Uploading your first project should take less than 30 minutes, but to ensure that all projects posted on DonorsChoose are legitimate, the project will need to be reviewed by their team before it can go live and begin to receive funding. You can expect this process to take about 3 days. To get your first project going, you will be asked to select the materials you need first. You’ll be given a list of pre-selected vendors to choose from. Under the vendor list, there will be an option to “Create a Special Request.” We’ll go more into detail about Special Requests in the next section. Once the materials needed are selected, you’ll be asked a few short essay questions about the project to help Donors and Reviewers understand your classroom needs. Once live, your project will remain on the site for up to 4 months or until it is fully funded. Funds can be redirected to a new project if one project expires on the site without being fully funded. If you’re able to join the 70% of projects that are fully funded, DonorsChoose will order the materials and deliver them to your classroom within 2 weeks. After those materials arrive, you can take photos of students using the new resources and send them, along with notes, to thank the donors that helped your classroom succeed. 

Ordering Calculators from Underwood Distributing 

While Underwood Distributing Co. is not on the vendor directory for DonorsChoose, teachers may submit a Special Request to order directly from us, whether it be Scientific Calculators, Graphing Calculators, or anything else that we sell. When creating a new project, teachers will be greeted with an option labeled “Create a Special Request” under the usual vendor list. To submit a special request project, you’ll need 6 “points” on your account. To view how many points you’ve collected, check the “Private Info” section in your account details. In the next section, we’ll go into detail on how the DonorsChoose point system works. After Special Request projects are fully funded, DonorsChoose can order the requested items for you with an online order, a purchase order payable by check, or may ask you (or your school) to purchase the items and then reimburse you for the costs. You should not purchase any materials before your project is confirmed to be fully funded and the DonorsChoose team reaches out to confirm that reimbursement is the only way to get your items. Underwood Distributing Co. accepts both online order and purchase orders, so ordering from us should not require you to complete the purchase on your own with a promise of reimbursement. We’ll work with DonorsChoose on your behalf, if needed. When you work with Underwood Distributing Co., we're able to provide you with a custom quote, which often makes our pricing much lower than other vendors. When your goal is to purchase a class set of fraction or scientific calculators, a competitive quote can make a big difference. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need any assistance when ordering from our site! 

Receiving and Spending Points 

DonorsChoose uses a point system that rewards active teachers in their community. If your project is fully funded, DonorsChoose states that they will reach out to confirm that the requested materials are still needed. If you confirm within six days, you may receive 1 point. After the materials are received, you’ll be asked to submit an impact letter online. If you submit the impact letter on or before the specified due date, you may receive 1 point. DonorsChoose offer a few tips on how to write your impact letter. Along with an impact letter from you, DonorsChoose will request Thank-You-s from your students. Make sure to follow the Student Thank You Notes Guidelines defined on the site. If you submit these notes on or before the specified due date, you may receive 1 point. These points are accumulated and spent on the site itself. Supplies found on the pre-selected vendor lists will cost 1 point. Special Request projects will cost 6 points. For new teachers, any limitations you encounter while creating a project caused by a lack of points can be addressed by the team at DonorsChoose. You can reach out to DonorsChoose via their contact form on the site to request assistance when creating your project. 

We recommend visiting DonorsChoose’s website for up-to-date and current information. DonorsChoose.org may have additional policies or conditions for their programs that may have been omitted, or explained imperfectly, in this post. 

Fundraising with GoFundMe for Classroom Calculators

GoFundMe.com is an online crowdfunding platform that has raised more than $9 billion in donations. Launched in 2010, the site has been trusted by millions and collected over 120 million donations. GoFundMe has a section that spotlights classrooms in need seeking donations via GoFundMe on their website. Let’s go over how you can join them. 

Creating a Campaign to Fundraise for a Class Set of Calculators  

To create a campaign and get started on GoFundMe, you’ll first need to set up an account by answering a few questions. The initial questions will include basic information such as your zip code, fundraising type, who you are fundraising for, and your starting monetary goal. You will then create your account by providing your email, full name, and creating a password to login. After your account is successfully created, you’ll be asked to go more into detail about your fundraiser. These details will be presented to donors for a better understanding of where the funds will be going and who they will be benefitting. Make sure to introduce yourself and your classroom to donors. Explain why your cause and add some photos! GoFundMe provides Tips for a Successful Fundraiser on their website to help you create the best campaign. Your campaign does not have a time limit on GoFundMe; the campaign can remain active as long as you’d like it to. You have full control of your fundraiser and can choose to change the goal, stop receiving donations, or entirely remove the fundraiser from the site at any point. 

What to Expect from your GoFundMe Calculator Fundraiser 

Once your fundraiser for calculators is live, you should expect to put in some time to get your fundraiser circulated. You’ll want to share the link of your calculator fundraiser to your friends, family, and coworkers. To get your calculator fundraiser out to more people, ask every person to share the link with others who would like to help you! Consider posting your fundraiser to your social media platforms for a larger reach. Once you begin to receive funds, GoFundMe will securely store the donations for you. As donations come in, you can begin receiving the funds to your linked bank account. GoFundMe provides both a video and article to help you learn how to transfer funds from your fundraiser to your bank account. Your goal does not have to be met in full for you to begin accepting funds into your bank account. While there is no time limit on the campaign, there are deadlines related to the donations themselves and how long GoFundMe can store them for you.

If you're only able to partially reach your goal, reach out to us, and we will help you work stretch the funds you do have to purchase that new set of Ti-84 Plus CE's that you've been needing for your math classroom.

Make sure to link and verify your bank account as soon as you begin to receive donations. The funds will take 2 to 5 business days to transfer successfully to your bank account. GoFundMe explains more in their Bank Transfer Deadlines article. If you ever need support, consult the help center, a live chat is available to you if the question on your mind is not listed in the help center’s quick resources. 

We recommend visiting GoFundMe’s website for up-to-date and current information. GoFundMe.com may have additional policies or conditions for their programs that may have been omitted, or explained imperfectly, in this post. 

TI Technology Rewards Program 

Did you know Texas Instruments has a rewards program? If you remember the program that required students (and parents) to cut labels off cereal boxes and soup cans, this section will be easy to understand! Let’s go over how the program works. 

Collecting Points for More Calculators 

Most purchases of educational products (including graphing calculators, elementary calculators, and scientific calculators (excluding the Ti-30XA) from Texas Instruments have a redeemable point value. Calculators in retail packaging have a section on the back of the packaging labeled as “TI Technology Rewards Program” with a respective point value. We've attached an image below of what this certificate may look like. If you are requesting students to purchase their own calculators for the classroom, you can recommend that the students cut out the tab before throwing away the packaging! This is an easy way to have your students and parents support your classroom. If your school or district purchases supplies for your classroom, the Texas Instruments Teacher Packs will include a TI-Rewards Certificate. TI provides a chart that details the point value of each TI product.  

How to Redeem Your Points for more Calculators, Accessories, or Swag 

Each reward option has a fixed value needed to redeem, this chart lists out each available reward and how many points you need to collect to receive it. There are two ways to redeem the points you’ve collected: (1) physically mail them to Texas Instruments or (2) submit a qualifying invoice to Texas Instruments via email. If you are a teacher that has collected points from your students and school purchases alike, you’ll most likely need to mail your points in. Compose a letter with your school letterhead letting TI know how many points have been included and which reward(s) you would like to receive in exchange for your points. Enclose the letter, along with the required points, in an envelope, then mail them to the following address. 

For letters sent through USPS: 

Texas Instruments 
TI Technology Rewards Program 
PO Box 650311 
MS 3817 
Dallas, TX 75265 

Texas Instruments recommends that you send letters to this address via USPS Registered Mail. Please note that this is only a recommendation, and is not a requirement. 

For letters sent through any other carrier (i.e. FedEx, UPS): 

Texas Instruments 
TI Technology Rewards Program 
13532 N. Central Expressway 
MS 3817 
Dallas, TX 75243 

Make sure to note your tracking number for these packages! 

If the points you’ve collected come solely from purchase made by your school or your district, you may be able to submit your request via email. The principal or math/science coordinator of your school will need to write a letter with your school letterhead letting TI know how many points have been collected and which reward(s) you would like to redeem the points for. Instead of including the physical point slips, copies of the Purchase Order or Shipping Invoice must be included to validate the points. Please note when submitting point redemption request this way, each of the Purchase Orders or Shipping Invoices will have to be dated within 1 year of the request. If you are an educator at a college or university, you will need to submit this information alongside this TRP form. 

If you have any questions, you can email ti-cares@ti.com or call 866-848-7722 to reach Texas Instruments' customer support team (TI-CARES). Alternatively, you can reach out to us at hello@underwooddist.com and we will see if we can point you in the right direction. 

We recommend visiting Texas Instruments’ website for up-to-date and current information. Texas Instruments may have additional policies or conditions for their programs that may have been omitted, or explained imperfectly, in this post. 

Using AdoptAClassroom for Math Fundraising

Founded in 1998, AdoptAClassroom.org is a nonprofit organization that has helped fundraise over $57,000,000 for 250,000 classrooms and counting. From their website, it can be concluded that AdoptAClassroom team prioritizes transparency when helping teachers get funded by ensuring teachers funded on the site receive 100% of donations, making purchase lists available to donors, and publishing annual reports. Support is reachable via various methods listed on their Contact page. 

Registering your Classroom 

To get started, you’ll want to register your classroom by providing your full name, phone number, and role. Make sure to let AdoptAClassroom know Underwood Distributing Co. sent you over! Now, you’ll need to create your classroom fundraising page, here you’ll want to introduce yourself and your classroom to donors on the site. Explain which materials you need and how you will use them in your classroom. You can add a profile picture for yourself and include a picture of your classroom for donors to see who they’re helping with their donations. AdoptAClassroom does not ask you to set up a specific project, timeline, or monetary goal for your classroom; they only ask that you update your page every 30 to 90 days and keep donors posted on what their donations have funded, how your classroom is doing, and what they still need. 

Receiving Funds for Your Calculators 

While no timelines are specified for your classroom page, funds received do need to be spent within a year of receiving them. AdoptAClassroom does not offer cash to teachers. Instead, each donation made to your classroom is available to you on the site as a credit. Every time a donation is made, you will receive an email notification of the amount, and the credit available on your account, should be sent to you. You can use these credits to shop on the site’s online marketplace for supplies. When you login, you’ll be prompted to thank your donors and then sent off to shop! The marketplace includes more than 25 school supply vendors. The purchases made on this site will be shipped to your school and reported to your donors for transparency. You can use the credits from donations as soon as they are received. While crowdfunding is the main source of funding for classrooms on the site, AdoptAClassroom will also help you raise funds through grants, giveaways, and donor matching. You’ll receive email notifications every time a new opportunity for funds arises. Spotlight funds are also available for specific subjects in need! 

We recommend visiting AdoptAClassroom’s website for up-to-date and current information. AdoptAClassroom.org may have additional policies or conditions for their programs that may have been omitted, or explained imperfectly, in this post. 

In short, there are so many ways to raise funds for calculators!

At Underwood Distributing Co., we understand that your math classroom means the world to you. Anything that we can do to help your classroom is not only a win for the students, but an investment in our nation’s future. Whether it be a class set of graphing calculators, or new STEM supplies for an engineering club, providing you with resources that can help is our utmost priority. If you have any concerns about stretching your budget, or questions of any kind, we encourage you to reach out to us at hello@underwooddist.com. 

Lost Mountain Commerce, LLC, doing business as (“DBA”) Underwood Distributing Co. is not affiliated with, nor endorsed by DonorsChoose, GoFundMe, or Adopt A Classroom. Lost Mountain Commerce, LLC cannot certify eligibility for any programs mentioned above. Visit DonorsChoose.org, GoFundMe.com, and AdoptAClassroom.org for details. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.  

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