How to crowdfund for your classroom
Frequently, schools face budget cuts, resulting in a lack of basic classroom supplies, cancellation of field trips and music programs, unavailability of science and sports equipment, and other extracurricular activities.
In such situations, some teachers not restricted by time constraints are forced to organize fundraising events such as fairs, sales, and other events. But this is not always possible. Hence, a significant number of teachers from across the globe have resorted to crowdfunding to meet their classroom requirements.
These crowdfunding campaigns can raise funds for materials and resources, field trips, and various projects. If you’re wondering why teachers choose to crowdfund, some of the reasons are listed below:
- Crowdfunding campaigns are not complex to start. Teachers need only follow the website instructions to create their campaigns effortlessly.
- Crowdfunding platforms sometimes are not limited by guidelines.
- Funds raised can be swiftly processed, and most times, these campaigns reach a much wider audience than most other fundraising programs.
Now, if you’d like to embark on the crowdfunding journey and raise funds for your classroom with ease, here are some steps that you need to take:
Before taking action and publishing your campaign on any crowdfunding platform, you must first create a crowdfunding plan and get it reviewed and approved by the school or the school district to avoid any problems that may arise later.
Next, you need to set an estimated cost for the project. This sometimes determines and influences your campaign’s chances of getting funded. According to various sources, smaller, low-budget campaigns are more likely to be financed than more extensive ones.
Most sponsors donate to campaigns that align with missions they believe in. Furthermore, most crowdfunding platforms expect the campaigners to set a duration within which the campaign can be funded. Be sure not to over-extend the period. It may also help if you customize your campaign and align it to campaigns already published on the platform.
Teachers must remember to do the following while preparing a project campaign:
- Make sure the writing is honest and as authentic as possible
- Mention all of the requirements clearly
- Explain how the project will benefit the students
- State the resources that the campaign would fund and estimate the cost
Choose the right platform
By now, you probably know which crowdfunding tools specifically cater to education. If you’re unaware and don’t know much about crowdfunding platforms, ensure to look them up before you get started.
Some platforms will provide you with a check, and you can purchase the classroom items on your own, while other platforms require you to buy products from associated vendors. Before starting a campaign on sites associated with vendors, check if the vendors have the items you need.
You should also check the terms and conditions and find out what happens to the funds raised if your goals are unmet. Some platforms give you whatever amount you have submitted, while others return the funds to the sponsors or donors if the campaign goal is unmet.
Set up your campaign
Once you’ve found the right platform, it’s time to set up your campaign by following the instructions provided on the website. To ensure your campaign goals are met, you can also follow the tips provided below:
- Create video content to showcase and display your classroom and the conditions under which you are forced to work. Videos help increase contributions by up to 30%. However, if you plan to display your students’ faces on the video, ask for parental and school approval.
- You can also jazz up the campaign description by telling potential donors about your students and their stories, including what they need and how these supplies will benefit them.
Spread the word about your campaign
After publishing your campaign online, you can do the following to drive traffic to your crowdfunding campaign:
- Ask the parent-teacher groups to share the campaign link with their contacts
- Post the crowdfunding campaign link to your social medial account and request your friends and acquaintances to do the same
Other modes of gaining campaign traction include:
- Partnering with local businesses and posting flyers or posters about the campaign at their store. You can find a store aligned with your campaign goals and ask them to participate as donors. You can create a poster to thank them for their contribution.
- Reach out to a local newspaper or broadcasting agency and ask if they can highlight your campaign and campaign goals.
Purchase the items you need
Once you’ve raised enough funds, you can purchase the items your classroom and students need. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve received the funds in a digital wallet, received a check, or are required to purchase the items through a vendor chosen by the platform. There’s no better feeling than being able to buy and provide your students with the things they need to enhance their learning.
Be sure to document and photograph the items you bought and publish them on your campaign page to show your donors how you’re utilizing the money they have given out of goodwill.
Most crowdfunding platforms allow their campaigners to post project updates on the campaign page, while others will enable you to thank donors for their contribution personally. So be sure to tell them how thankful you are for their generosity.
Remember that this is a great way to nurture your relationship with the donors and create a group of regular donors who will most likely donate to your future projects.
After following the steps mentioned above, you can reap a successful outcome. Don’t be disheartened, though, if your project does not receive as many funds instantaneously as you’d hoped. Some fundraisers take some time to succeed.
Stay positive, constantly work hard, and stay focused on your goals, and before you know it, you’ll have received the funding you need to get the materials you require for your classroom.