An exploratory study of K-12 music educators’ use of the online crowdfunding platform DonorsChoose.


Music educators contending with resource insufficiency have developed novel ways of acquiring assets. The advent of internet-based crowdfunding, where individual teachers directly solicit contributions from personal and professional associates, now stands as the most frequently employed means of finding external sources of funding for teaching projects. The purpose of this study was to explore K-12 music educators’ use of one such crowdfunding web site, DonorsChoose.org, to obtain resources to support their teaching endeavors. Participants comprised a sample of teachers (n = 102) running campaigns on DonorsChoose.org in January and February of 2019. The majority of participants were females teaching elementary or middle school in underserved communities who turned to crowdfunding out of necessity when traditional resource channels failed. They set out to raise an average of $1,274.81 and strongly endorsed the effectiveness of the DonorsChoose platform. Their self-reported levels of work motivation and entrepreneurial self-efficacy were moderately strong and compared favorably to the same measures reported by members of a control group. Findings of this exploratory study help create a baseline portrait of music educators who turn to crowdfunding to obtain resources for their teaching initiatives.

Publication Title

Visions of Research in Music Education