Use Crowdfunding to Your Advantage

Topics: School Management

Crowdfunding websites can help schools fund much-needed classroom projects, filling financial gaps that exist with state and local budget constraints.
December 2019, Volume 43, Issue 4

What Is Crowdfunding?

You might have heard of GoFundMe. Well, this is just like that—except it specifically funds projects in schools. Teachers who need anything from an area rug for reading time or flexible seating options to laptops and basic classroom supplies can post their projects on a crowdfunding site. Donations from the community—and often nationwide—will pour in to help these teachers fund projects that improve the educational experience for students.

Many sites exist, but not all of them are trustworthy. When picking a crowdfunding site, look for the following features:

  • Materials donation, not cash.
  • Transparency at every step.
  • Impact capture to prove schools used the funds as intended.
  • School ownership of funded materials.
  • District visibility and reporting.
  • Student protection.

Encourage teachers to take advantage of these opportunities by celebrating wins, big and small; supporting collaboration across grade levels, and spreading the word about open projects in your school.

A Partner in DonorsChoose

NAESP has partnered with crowdfunding site DonorsChoose to fund school projects. Through that partnership, we’re giving away two $500 gift cards to DonorsChoose every month through the end of the school year.

So far, we’ve handed out six DonorsChoose gift cards to NAESP members to help fund their teachers’ projects. Congratulations to the following winners! We can’t wait to see what you accomplish with the funds.

  • Principal Josie Floyd of Sutherland Elementary School in Sutherland, Nebraska.
  • Principal Vince Ross of Flambeau Elementary School in Tony, Wisconsin.
  • Principal Robin Gebhardt of Salisbury Elementary School in Salisbury, Missouri.
  • Principal Tammy Stellmach of Baxter Elementary School in Baxter, Minnesota.
  • Principal Stacey Green of Stockton Grade School in Stockton, Kansas.
  • Principal Julie Bloss of Grove Early Childhood Center in Grove, Oklahoma.

What could your school do with $500? Here’s how to qualify.

For additional tips on crowdfunding, read the article “Putting the ‘Fun’ in Fundraising,” by Kirk Smiley, managing director of Advocacy and Public Partnerships at DonorsChoose.

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