Classroom Donations List: Must-Have Items + Best-Practices

Classroom Donation List

Want to create a classroom donations list?

Many public schools in the USA struggle to equip classrooms with necessary supplies due to a shortage of budget. An excellent way to raise funds for teachers and equip classrooms with the necessary school supplies for furthering the best interests of kids is by seeking classroom donations. You could either reach out to one of the many charities that help with school supplies to help you with classroom donations or make donation requests to parents.

No matter which option you choose, you need to put together an exhaustive classroom donations list. In this article, you would find tips on how to create a classroom donation list, what items to include in the list, and a few best practices on fundraising for classrooms.

How to create a classroom donations list?

A classroom supplies list can be created either by the teacher, the school, PTO, a concerned guardian, a school administrator, a student organization, or a community group. No matter who initiates the process, some factors to consider when creating a list of items for classroom donation are:

Classroom Needs

Before you put together a generic list of classroom supply items that you find on the internet, you should sit down with the teachers concerned to specifically understand the needs of the students. Get inputs on the grade level, the subjects to be taught, and how the teacher likes to teach those subjects.

Go deeper into what the teaching style of the teacher is and whether there are any shortcomings that the teacher faces when teaching that class.


Next, sit down with the school’s administrative body to understand how much funding the school has received from state and federal bodies and how much of a deficit the school is facing. Accordingly, a decision can be taken on how to go about raising funds or seeking donations for classroom material.

Storage Space

Many schools do not have adequate storage space and inviting donations in fact results in cluttered spaces and a disorganized environment that may not be conducive to student development. In such cases, before inviting donations of larger classroom materials, it is imperative to create storage solutions or raise a round of funds purely to improve the school’s overall infrastructure.

Student Diversity

A classroom should be reflective and supportive of the diversity of the students. Before putting together a classroom list of supplies, understand whether there are students with disabilities or learning difficulties.

Likewise, look at the cultural diversity of the students to incorporate elements that reflect the cultures and provide an opportunity for students to learn about diverse traditions and customs.


When putting together a classroom donations list, understand which items are needed on a priority basis and which items are non-negotiable. First, create a classroom essentials list of just these items.

If some of the items that are non-negotiable can be easily sourced through charities, fundraisers, or appeals to parents, prioritize the collection of those items.

Once those items are collected, plan a separate donation round for other items that would further enhance the classroom. Create a separate classroom material list of those items.

Classroom Donations List: Typical Must-Have Items

Classroom Donations List

Here’s a list of items that you would typically include in a classroom wish list. Treat these as mere classroom donation ideas and modify the list based on the factors specified above.

School Supplies

  1. Pencils
  2. Pens
  3. Paper
  4. Notebooks
  5. Binders
  6. Folders
  7. Highlighters
  8. Markers
  9. Colored pencils
  10. Crayons
  11. Scissors
  12. Glue sticks
  13. Tape
  14. Rulers
  15. Erasers
  16. Correction fluid/pens
  17. Post-it notes
  18. Index cards
  19. Calculators
  20. Staplers
  21. Staples
  22. Velcro

Classroom Equipment

  1. Whiteboards
  2. Projectors
  3. Speakers
  4. Document cameras
  5. Microphones
  6. Headphones
  7. Charging stations
  8. Laminator
  9. Scanners
  10. Printers
  11. Shredder
  12. Classroom clock
  13. Bulletin board
  14. Desk organizer
  15. Chair cushion
  16. Desk lamp
  17. Curtains/blinds
  18. Cleaning supplies
  19. Trash cans/recycling bins


  1. Fiction books
  2. Non-fiction books
  3. Picture books
  4. Textbooks
  5. Dictionaries
  6. Thesauruses
  7. Encyclopedias
  8. Atlases
  9. Historical books
  10. Biographical books


  1. Laptops
  2. Tablets
  3. Software licenses
  4. Educational apps
  5. Smartboard
  6. Classroom website hosting
  7. Wi-Fi router


  1. Desks
  2. Chairs
  3. Tables
  4. Bookshelves
  5. Floor pillows
  6. Couch

Art Supplies

  1. Paints
  2. Brushes
  3. Canvases
  4. Sketchpads
  5. Clay
  6. Craft Supplies

In addition to the above, you would need to make a separate science classroom supplies list which would include items like

  1. Microscopes
  2. Magnifying glasses
  3. Glass beakers
  4. Test tubes and racks
  5. Graduated cylinders
  6. Pipettes
  7. Thermometers
  8. Bunsen burners
  9. Hot plates
  10. Safety goggles
  11. Lab coats or aprons
  12. Safety gloves
  13. pH paper or probes

How to get donations for classroom supplies?

Donations for classroom supplies could be obtained in a number of ways.

1. Reaching out to charities for school supplies

There are a number of charities that arrange school supplies. You can either register your school with the charity and request for raising the funds required for the necessary school supplies or you could even put out a list of supplies you need and get these directly donated to the charity as part of their school supply provision campaigns.

2. Seeking donations from parents

Seeking donations of school supplies from parents is one of the most common ways of getting classroom supplies without reaching out to charity or carrying out other fundraising events. You need to prepare a list and circulate it amongst parents via emails or letters. The supplies needed could directly be dropped in donation boxes or the necessary funds could be collected.

A draft email template for seeking donations from parents for a school supply drive is as follows:

Subject: School Supply Drive – Help Us Make a Difference!

Dear Parents and Guardians,

As we gear up for the new school year, we want to make sure that all of our students have the supplies they need to succeed. Unfortunately, not all families can afford to purchase school supplies, and we want to ensure that all of our students have the resources they need to learn and grow.

We are writing to you today to ask for your support in our School Supply Drive. We are seeking donations of new school supplies such as pencils, pens, markers, notebooks, binders, backpacks, and other essential items that our students need for school. 

Your donation will help to ensure that all of our students have the tools they need to succeed and that no child is left behind.

If you are able to donate, please bring your new school supplies to the school office or directly to your child’s teacher. 

We will be collecting donations throughout the month of August, and we appreciate any support you can give.

Thank you for your consideration, and we look forward to partnering with you to ensure that all of our students have a successful school year.


[Your Name]

[School Name]

3. Organizing Fundraising events

If you are unsure about the success of making donation requests and appeals, organizing a fundraising event would prove to be more beneficial. Fundraising efforts like a school fundraising fete or a school raffle also provide an excellent opportunity for school children to participate, and learn about teamwork, collaborations, and charity.

Donation of Classroom Supplies: FAQs

Why do schools in the USA need to seek donations of school supplies?

Schools in the USA need to seek donations of school supplies because the funding they receive from the government may not be enough to meet all their needs. Schools often have to make difficult decisions about where to allocate their limited resources, which can result in a lack of essential school supplies and materials.

What school supplies are most needed for donation?

The most important school items to donate are pens, highlighters, crayons, writing papers, notebooks, copy paper, dry-erase markers, binders, folders, science lab material, projectors, headphones, and desks.

How to donate to local schools?

The simplest way to donate to a school is by writing to the school about your intention to donate and dropping off the required materials on the given date. But if you want to make a better impact, you could organize collection drives on behalf of the school or host a fundraiser.

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Classroom donations list pin

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