Creative ideas for online fundraisers
A decrease in state spending on education paired with significant advances in Edtech due to covid and general user adoption has led to online fundraising becoming the go-to method of raising capital for schools. However, for many educational institutions the virtual fundraising space is uncharted territory.
Today’s post will discuss the pros and cons of online fundraising for schools along with ideas to help you get started.
Pros and Cons of Online Fundraisers
There are many reasons to participate in online school fundraisers, including:
- Extended Reach: Anyone, anywhere can access your online fundraiser.
- Convenient: Online fundraising is quick, easy, and convenient.
- Safer for Participants: Virtual fundraising is safer than other traditional options such as door-to-door sales.
- Capture Donor Information: Online fundraising allows you to capture donor information for future campaigns and track the progress of your raise.
- Cost-Effective: Virtual events cost little to nothing to host in comparison to hosting fundraising events at your school or other local spaces.
Some of the drawbacks to online school fundraisers can include:
- Fees: Crowdfunding, social media, and other platforms may charge fees or collect a percentage of your raise.
- Requires an Audience: Online fundraising is most successful when you have a solid virtual audience which can take time and expertise to build.
- Donor Fatigue: Your community likely receives virtual donation requests daily and may feel overwhelmed by this. This can lead to a decrease in giving or ignoring requests altogether.
Online Fundraising Ideas for Schools
There are an unlimited number of ideas for online fundraisers. Feel free to get creative with your raise! If you need some inspiration, consider one of the online fundraisers for schools listed below.
1. Virtual Raffle
Hosting a virtual raffle is an entertaining and interactive way to raise funding for your school. Host live or post your raffle for a set time on your school’s webpage. Optimize your raise by asking for donations from local businesses such as merchandise, gift cards, and discounted experiences.
2. Live Stream Events
Streaming live events is easier than ever with access to Zoom, Vimeo, and social media streaming platforms including Facebook Live, YouTube Live, and Instagram Live. Examples of live stream events your school can host include talent shows, trivia nights, game nights, movie nights, classes, and local celebrity nights. Hosting live-stream fundraising events such as auctions is a quick and easy way to double your raise!
3. Virtual A-Thon Fundraisers
Traditional A-Thon fundraisers are considered some of the most successful fundraisers. Why not take this into the virtual space? Examples of virtual a-thon fundraisers that work well for schools include walk-a-thon, read-a-thon, math-a-thon, and spell-a-thon. Encourage students, parents, faculty, and local community members to get involved.
4. Principal Challenge
Another traditional school fundraiser easily transferred to the virtual space is the principal challenge. In this fundraise, the principal agrees to a list of challenges or punishments that he/she will undertake based on funds raised. Participants vote for their preferred outcome with their donations. Principal challenges include shaving their head, having a pie thrown in their face, being slimed, etc.
5. Amazon Smile and Wish List
Schools can take advantage of Amazon’s fundraising options Amazon Smile and Wish List. When supporters sign up for Amazon Smile, 0.5% of the purchase price of all eligible purchases is donated to the school. Amazon Wish List allows you to create a list of items that supporters can purchase and ship to you such as desks, markers, cleaning supplies, and more.
6. Online Product Sales
Online fundraisers are replacing traditional door-to-door fundraisers. Virtual fundraising may include candy, popcorn, seasonal git items, and more. Students can make individual sales, and the school can have additional purchase options on its website. Many schools are now only using online fundraising platforms that don’t involve any face to face selling at all.
For best results, explicitly promote what proceeds will support such as a field trip, books, or classroom materials. This information can also appear on your online store so potential supporters will better understand your cause.
Crowdfunding is a method of fundraising that collects small monetary donations from a large number of donors to reach the organization’s fundraising goals. This is often done using crowdfunding platforms such as GoFundMe or Fundly. Peer-to-Peer fundraising can be incorporated into your crowdfunding campaign by having students or classes create customized fundraising pages that link back to the school’s campaign.
An easy way to launch any of the above is outsourcing the fundraiser logistics. Whether this is your first online raise or your tenth, it can be beneficial to have help managing your raise. There are many established platforms you can use to help you launch your school’s online fundraiser if you choose this route. Here’s a guide that can help you move from traditional to virtual fundraisers.