What do you think of when someone talks about fundraising? Traditionally, fundraising in schools has involved selling magazines, baked goods, raffle tickets, etc. to finance field trips and classroom supplies. However, crowdfunding for education is continuing to grow in popularity. If you’re not familiar with the term “crowdfunding”, a simple definition would be putting your classroom fundraising project up on an online funding platform for a large number of people to support.

How Does Crowdfunding Work?

Let’s say you want to add flexible seating options in your classroom. To get classroom funding for your flexible seating project, you can choose an online funding platform (learn about three of the top crowdfunding websites below), write an essay or short description of your project, and choose the products that are a part of your project. Once your project is approved by website administrators, people around the county can make donations to support your cause.

The great thing about crowdfunding is that it’s a lot more far reaching than traditional fundraising efforts. If a child has grandparents living in other states, the grandparents wouldn’t be able to buy bake sale items, but they could easily make classroom donations to any projects you list online. Crowdfunding also allows parents who may not be able to volunteer in the classroom due to their busy schedules be more involved by making donations to teachers and their projects.

Online Funding Platforms:

There are a variety of online funding platforms that allow teachers and schools to set up projects for donations. However, teachers looking for fundraising assistance and donors looking to donate to teachers tend to favor these three crowdfunding websites:   

1. DonorsChoose.org 

As one of the best resources for crowdfunding for schools, DonorsChoose has made it possible for millions of citizen donors and dozens of their partners to donate over $526 million in funding for classroom projects. If you’re thinking about posting your project on DonorsChoose, you must be employed full time by a U.S. public school or public charter school and work directly with students at least 75% of the time to register. Visit DonorsChoose.org for more information about posting a project or making a donation.  

Kaplan Early Learning Company is a proud partner and supporter of DonorsChoose.org!

2. AdoptAClassroom.org

At AdoptAClassroom.org, donors can choose to support a variety of funds, including the Annual Fund, Special Education Fund, Literacy and Language Fund, Art Fund, and many more. Donors also have the option of funding a specific classroom. To register a classroom, teachers simply provide their contact information, school information, and classroom information on the Teacher Registration Form. For more information about Adopt-A-Classroom’s mission, how to register, and how to make a donation, visit AdoptAClassroom.org.

3. GoFundMe.com

The main difference between GoFundMe and the other two funding platforms featured in this blog post is that GoFundMe is open to all types of projects and campaigns. You’ll find classroom projects on the website, but you’ll also find campaigns to cover funeral costs, vet bills, hospital bills, music lessons, etc. Once you create a fundraising campaign, you can make changes to the campaign, post updates, and send thank you notes from your campaign page’s dashboard. Go to GoFundMe.com for more information about registering and running a successful fundraiser campaign.

Keep in mind that many online funding platforms charge a small percentage fee and/or require the project to be funded in full by a certain date for you to actually receive the donations and products. Be sure to check out all of the funding platform’s requirements before registering or posting your project. When you post a project on a funding platform, be prepared to share and promote your project. Ask students’ parents to donate to the cause if they are able or to post about the project on their social media accounts, and be sure to post about it on your own social media accounts. Some of your friends and family members will likely want to contribute to your project, but in order for them to do so, they have to know about the project and where they can contribute. Good luck with your fundraising campaigns!