Did You Know?
Sponsors make a difference for kids and animals
Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, Kind News is provided to thousands of elementary students across the United States throughout the school year. Those who "adopt" at least 500 classrooms to receive Kind News get to place a banner ad with their logo and a message on every issue in their subscription, and those who "adopt" at least 100 classrooms are listed on our Kind News Sponsors page.
Start a humane education program in your community by sending Kind News, our magazine for K-6 students, into local schools through the Adopt-a-Classroom program.
Kind News encourages good character and the humane treatment of animals. By providing gift subscriptions, you’ll reach entire classrooms with consistent lessons about responsible pet care, the role of animal shelters, the importance of protecting endangered species, and other humane issues.
A classroom subscription is only $30 per year, with special discounts available for animal care and control agencies. When you adopt 100 or more classrooms, we’ll list you on our Sponsors page, and when you adopt 500 or more classrooms, you'll also get to place a custom banner ad in every issue of Kind News in your subscription.
How to start an Adopt-a-Classroom program
1. You can pay for Kind News from your own budget, or you can seek donations from civic groups, businesses, and individuals in your community. If you'll be using your own budget, determine how much money you have available and divide by $30 to figure out how many classrooms you'll be able to adopt. (Don't forget that animal shelters and humane agencies receive discounted pricing, between $20 and $25 per subscription.) Decide whether you want to supplement your existing budget with fundraising efforts.
2. Gather information about the elementary schools in your service area, determining the number of teachers at each of the following levels: grades K-2, grades 3-4, and grades 5-6. Request a directory of school names, addresses, and the number of teachers at each from the school district office or state department of education.
3. Once you know the number of teachers in grades K-6 in your service area, you can set that number as your long-range objective. To start, you may want to set a less daunting goal: for example, adopting all the classes at a particular grade level in your service area or adopting all the classrooms in one school.
Will you need board approval?
If you work for an animal shelter or humane agency, you may want to make a brief presentation to your agency's board of directors or executive director. Show sample copies of Kind News (contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-258-1528 for free samples) and pass out Teach Kids to Care flyers. Your Board members may even choose to adopt classrooms themselves. And it’s likely that many of them will have community connections that can jumpstart your fundraising efforts.
If you don't have room in your budget to sponsor classroom subscriptions (or would like to supplement your budget to adopt even more classrooms), the following tactics have been used by other organizations to support their Adopt-a-Classroom programs.
- Create Partnerships with Local Businesses, Civic Groups, and Individuals
Seek Adopt-a-Classroom funds from small businesses, individuals, and civic groups in your community. Even potential donors who may be uninterested in supporting an animal welfare cause may change their minds when they learn what Kind News can do to enhance the education of children in their community.
Use our Teach Kids to Care flyer and sample issues as your promotional tools to make brief presentations that will attract donations from civic groups, parent-teacher organizations, small businesses, and corporations. Leave behind copies of the flyers, sample issues, and the sample letter, which you can personalize with information about your organization.
- Get the Word Out in Your Community
Let everyone know that your organization is seeking funds to supply schools in your area with materials that help teach children kindness and respect for animals.
Press Releases: Personalize the sample news release with your agency’s contact information and send it to newspapers, magazines, and radio and TV stations. You might also want to invite local media to a press conference that features your donors, teachers, and students they’ve sponsored. Presenting certificates to your adopted teachers provides a perfect photo opportunity.
Announcements: Include an announcement of your program in your organization’s newsletter and on your website. Also consider adding an online Adopt-a-Classroom order form.
Flyers: Post flyers in your agency’s public areas, your local libraries, post offices, or supermarkets (permission may be needed).
- Host a Themed Fundraiser
Consider hosting a special fundraiser to raise Adopt-a-Classroom funds. If you host an event at your shelter, you can use a “school” theme to help attract attention to the Adopt-a-Classroom program. Have Teach Kids to Care flyers and Kind News samples available. Be ready with order forms for anyone who wants to adopt a classroom on the spot. To request materials, email email@example.com.
- Apply for Foundation Grants
There are hundreds of foundations that support education initiatives, and you can apply to more than one. Corporations in your area may even offer grants for education programs. Writing a grant can be a lengthy process, however, so give yourself plenty of time. Keep in mind that grant money is usually awarded to start a program, not keep it going year after year, so your proposal will need to indicate how you intend to get funding in subsequent years. For more information about grant writing, visit the Foundation Center’s website at foundationcenter.org.
What to do once you've received funding
1. After you've obtained funding, do the math to figure out how many classrooms you can adopt. Put together a list of teachers’ names and school addresses. To target teachers who are especially interested in receiving Kind News, send out our sample letters.
2. Once you have a complete list of teachers whose classrooms you want to adopt, contact us to place your order. You'll make one payment to Kind News to cover all your adopted classrooms. In order for subscriptions to start with the August/September issue, we'll need to receive payment and teacher information by July 1.
While a Kind News subscription can start at any time and carry over to the next school year, we recommend timing it so that your subscriptions will begin with the August/September issue at the start of the next school year. That way, students will receive all five issues in the same school year.
3. As a courtesy, think about sending sample copies of Kind News and a letter to the principal at each school where you’re adopting classrooms.
4. In August, we'll send cards to all teachers in your adopted classrooms, notifying them that they will be receiving Kind News as a gift from your organization. You can also send a personal letter as a way of making direct contact with the teachers in your service area. Later in the month, check with the teachers to ensure they've received the August/September issue. If a classroom hasn’t received it yet, verify the teacher’s name and address to be sure the information you submitted is accurate.
5. Once your subscriptions have started, let the community know about your education efforts by sending a news release. You can also present certificates to teachers. (A photo of such a presentation will add a nice touch to your news release.)
6. In the middle of the school year, consider sending a brief survey to participating classrooms, asking teachers, “Are you distributing Kind News to your students? Would you like to receive Kind News at no cost again next year?” Include a blank space for comments. That will help you select teachers in the future.
You now have the tools to begin an effective, low maintenance, humane education program! You can follow the steps above to begin planning from year to year. And don't forget to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-258-1528 if you have any questions or need help along the way.