The pressure to fundraise is on for most schools – from the yearly benefit dinner to the quarterly candy sale. Parents and educators who are looking for a way to be more efficient, reach more people, raise more money, and frankly, to not have to send out their kids as little marketing minions once again, there is a way – and it’s called ‘crowdfunding.’
You’ve probably heard the term, or maybe you haven’t, but on a gut level, you know you should be doing it. Crowdfunding is the act of using your network to raise money online, typically by leveraging social media to spread the word.
How Can Crowdfunding Help My School?
With the right site, you can take a more personal approach to ongoing donations, and it is especially effective for unique campaigns to rally your supporters around something in particular, like the yearly education fund, classroom supplies or renovations. It also works well as a complement to an offline effort, like a benefit or auction, because you can create an online home to kick off the event weeks in advance and also use it as a follow-up tool, both of which can bring in extra donations, especially from those who cannot attend.
Why Turn To Crowdfunding?
- You want a marketing tool, not just a processor
- Cute kids going door-to-door are typically what compel people to give, so you want to transfer that same effect online by using a site that allows you to showcase your school, the children and the need. This is the type of thing that people forward along and share.
- Pre-launch your event to raise more!
- You can create momentum for offline events weeks in advance to start raising money online before anyone steps foot in the door.
- Keep more than 90% of what you raise and no more schlepping!
- Did you know that when you use 3rd party companies to sell everything from magazines to candy to wrapping paper that the company only cuts a check for 40-60% of what you raise? With a site like Deposit a Gift, you get to keep all the money you raise, whether you hit your goal or not, and the cost is anywhere from 2 to 4 cents on the dollar.
- The upfront commitment is small
- No contracts or setup costs, it’s easy to create the site and get the word out.
- Crowdsourced fundraising initiatives are incremental, not cannibalistic
- If you’re already doing a successful yearly auction and dinner, think how this can make it better. Get people to contribute early, share the site with relatives, neighbors and businesses, and make it easy for them to give! An online extension that supports an offline fundraiser can raise more money than ever before by tapping into the school’s social network.
What Features Do You Need To Crowdfund Successfully?
- A sterile transactional page or PayPal button won’t cut it
- You want something that people want to share, that showcases the school, the kids, and the need. A personal site can explain your fundraising story whereas a donation page is all about the transaction.
- Customization and branding tools
- Look for a site that is easy to customize, has a unique look and a nice design aesthetic – this is like your storefront, so you want it to be inviting. You want to be able to upload pictures, videos, logos and whatever else you need to make it your own and share your story.
- Easy sharing tools will make you a marketing rock star
- The fundraising site for your cause has to be easy to share. A customizable URL sends contributors directly to your site and clearly depicts what your cause is about. Having social media “Like” and “Share” buttons built right into your fundraising page enables supporters to help spread your campaign as well.
Creating a personal fundraising site online empowers supporters to help turn an ordinary campaign into a viral campaign because it’s a naturally social way to communicate your story, engage supporters and compel them to give.
Checkout how these schools have used crowdfunding for three totally different initiatives:
- This Hebrew Academy created an online home to raise money in order to help them embrace the future and continue in their commitment to the future of Jewish education.
- This school in North Carolina, with underpaid teachers, raised almost $12K in under two weeks for gifts to show their appreciation during the holidays.
- A mom in California is on a crusade to save the art program at her daughter’s elementary school for the upcoming academic year.
You use the Internet for everything else, now it’s time to catch your kid’s school up so they can fundraise in a truly modern way! We’d love to help. Please contact us for personal assistance and support.