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Educational Fundraising Online

Educational Fundraising Online

Author: Melissa Hill

The objective of this packet is to introduce online fundraising and explain why educators, parents, and students should use the Internet and Social Media to make money for their schools.  It will be followed by 4 additional packets giving specific examples and sites that can be used for educational online fundraising.

Every school has needs - new technology they'd like to obtain, new equipment for physical education, a new gym, new textbooks.  There is always a new need.  The school fundraiser has been around for a very long time but has not changed much over the years.  Selling products to friends and family, washing cars on a Saturday, putting on a school play.  All of these are good and sometimes effective ways to fundraise.  However with the increasing popularity of the Internet and advances in technology, there are so many new ways that a school can raise money for these needs.  Now more than ever, new ways are being explored that make fundraising more effective, less work, and even fun!

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Why use the Internet or Social Media?

Selling cookie dough, magazines, and raffle tickets has always worked in the past for school fundraising, but the times are changing. More and more people are using the Internet and Social Media to connect, but some are still hesitant to use the Internet for fundraising. Isn't it all just a fad? Watch this, and you decide.

Fundraising 101

When fundraising whether on or off line, there are still some basic fundamentals that hold true.

1. Present a well organized, well thought-out plan for fundraising. Make sure your message is very clear about how the fundraising occurs and who is involved. You need a clear and consistent message, which can be more difficult to do if you are using multiple avenues or social media sites. Keep it simple, and keep it the same.

2. Be specific about your need. People in your community want to know how they can help. They need to know the need, but when you're using online fundraising, you need to be even more clear about your need. Some of your donors might not live in your area and might not be able to physically see your need.

3. Show a plan for the money. Donors want to know the plan. Spell it out for them. Be visual. Know exactly how you're going to use the money effectively and efficiently.

Is Anyone Else Making it Work?

Take a look at this article, "School Fundraising in a Web 2.0 World", from the Spring 2011 issue of The Fundraising Edge that shows how two schools reached their fundraising goals by using online fundraising.