5 Awesome Education Fundraising Ideas
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Education Fundraising: 5 Awesome Ways Teachers Can Fundraise

One of the challenges to creating a really engaging learning environment is being able to provide the right supplies. There are so many neat gadgets we want for our students: robotics kits, math manipulatives, science models, funky software, dry erase boards, art materials, and organizers. Unfortunately, according to the U.S. National Center for Educational Statistics, over 90% of American Public School Teachers spend their own money on unreimbursed classroom supplies. Let's explore 5 of the best ideas for effective education fundraising:

Crowdfunding Platforms

Crowdfunding sites involve creating and sharing campaigns to raise money for classroom supplies.

1. DonorsChoose

DonorsChoose is a crowdfunding site for public school teachers. Teachers create a campaign by listing the supplies they need—anything from math manipulatives, literacy software, to science equipment. They share the project with friends and families and when the funding goal is met, the supplies are mailed directly to the school. Also, private donations are matched by corporations, helping teachers make the money go further. To date, over 600,000 classroom projects have been funded and over $680 million has been raised.

In recent, major news, DonorsChoose received a single $29 million dollar donation by Ripple, a virtual currency company. This donation funded over 35,000 projects on Donors Choose. The news went viral on #BestSchoolDay and the staff worked to ship supplies off to classrooms as quickly as possible.

2. PledgeCents

PledgeCents is similar to DonorsChoose, but can be used by anyone to raise funds for K12 education. There are 0% platform fees and teachers get to keep what they raise, even if they don’t meet their original fundraising goal. PledgeCents can also help get premium software products for classrooms for free. With its EdTech Marketplace teachers can post their requests to get paid subscriptions and parents, donors and the software provider can donate the funds.

Communicate With Parents While Earning Donations

Parent communication tools raise funds through collaborating with family-friendly sponsors who want to engage parents.

3. ClassTag

ClassTag is in a different category of online fundraising tools—it raises funds through collaborating with family-friendly sponsors who want to engage parents. ClassTag’s CEO, Vlada Lotkina, left the corporate world to help teachers through its popular and free parent-teacher communication app. The company partners with brands who want to sponsor classrooms and integrate their offers and branding into communication streams on ClassTag. In exchange, ClassTag donates 50% of net proceeds to the classrooms. Teachers using ClassTag can earn hundreds to even thousands of dollars per year. Parents also benefit from special discounts and offers.

One recent success story involves Jessica Horner, a Special Needs teacher in New Jersey, who raised over $100 in one term by using ClassTag. She is now able to better engage with parents on their child’s progress while allowing parents to shop through affiliate links that send cash back to the classroom.

Funding For Tasks Such As Scanning Receipts Or Taking Surveys

Finally, some online tools offer cash for classrooms completing tasks such as scanning receipts, reading articles, and taking surveys.

4. Shoparoo

Shoparoo is a fundraising platform that asks parents and users to snap and upload pictures of their receipts (from stores that primarily sell food, health or beauty items). This information is used to create anonymous market research reports for consumer brands who are wanting to learn more about consumer behavior patterns. Schools are sent a check.

5. Simplefund

Simplefund is fundraising platform used by schools, sports teams, charities, and church groups. The platform raises money when users complete short online tasks like reading articles, installing apps, watching videos, and taking surveys. Teachers are sent a check.

What's Next?

As teachers continue to pay for supplies out of their own pocket, it is clear that a lot needs to be done to enhance school funding. For now, these education fundraising initiatives represent a worthwhile opportunity for teachers.

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