Have You Heard the News?
A recent segment on the always excellent show Marketplace discussed the Metro Nashville Public School System’s decision to ban online education fundraising. At first glance, this looks like another example of the disconnect between educators and administration.
On the one hand, educators are increasingly being asked to do more and more with less and less. This has caused many to turn to online and crowdsourced fundraising. According to research cited in the article, 94% of teachers have used their own funds on classroom supplies, and 80% of public schools have utilized Donors Choose for education fundraising of one sort or another.
These efforts have resulted in more than $100 million in funds raised every year since 2015. Obviously, the need and desire to give are there.
So Why Take Education Fundraising in a Different Direction?
Despite the clear need, administrators feel the need to reign in these increasingly expanding efforts because they have almost no oversight or accountability. Examples of fake efforts, misused and redirected funds are a dime a dozen, and school authorities need to make sure that their rules and guidelines keep pace with the technology.
It would appear that the two sides seem to be at an impasse, with a total ban helping no one and hurting the kids to whom both sides have dedicated their working lives.
There is another option though — bring that peer-to-peer, crowdsourced education fundraising in-house. There are multiple benefits to this approach:
- You can keep track of and maintain contact with all donors, and provide follow-up showing the impact of their gift, making them more likely to give again
- You can track the use of all funds raised, ensuring the money raised goes where it’s needed
- With an adaptable platform, you can also schedule volunteers, automate contact with donors, parents or any other group you want to and coordinate events
- You can provide your partners with ready-to-go tools and messaging, helping to protect your branding, voice, and overall fundraising goals
- You bring your audience in on the fundraising strategy, making them part of its success and creating an emotional connection
Let’s Keep the Focus Where It Belongs
Fundraising challenges will come and go, but by empowering your existing audience to become fundraising advocates on your behalf, you can continue to make progress toward your goals while keeping the focus on what matters most: the kids.
Learn more about how Big River can help you streamline and expand your education fundraising. If you’re ready to see our platform firsthand, let us know. We’d be happy to give you a personalized demo.