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Fundraising Platforms for Schools, How to Elevate School Fundraising Success 

Fundraising Platforms for Schools, How to Elevate School Fundraising Success 

Choosing the right school fundraising platform among the multitude of options requires careful consideration. Whether it's for a kindergarten class or an Ivy League institution, these fundraising platforms boost and simplify the fundraising process. To make the best choice and successfully fund your school initiative, focus on key features such as efficient gift collection, effective communication tools, comprehensive donor management, detailed reporting, and precise goal tracking.

Top School Fundraiser App for Schools to Raise Funds

Raising money for schools doesn't need to be overwhelming- thanks to technology, it's now more convenient than ever before. Say goodbye to traditional paper-based donation forms and manually tallying cash; a digital platform can streamline and automate numerous fundraising tasks for online giving. Whether you're a teacher, a school administrator, or a parent, there's an ideal platform available to assist you in achieving your fundraising objectives.

Paybee

Elevate your school fundraisers with Paybee, an intuitive online platform designed for various campaigns, including live auctions and virtual events, ensuring well-funded school programs. Paybee offers an affordable pricing model with transparent fees and no hidden costs or contracts. Building online fundraisers is hassle-free with Paybee's automatically generated event pages, and donor-covered fee options can be utilized to retain more funds for your school programs. Manage guest lists effortlessly, create ticketing campaigns, and use social sharing buttons for effective promotion on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. 

Host multiple activities from a single online platform, including silent and live auctions, online raffle tickets, and virtual games. This approach keeps energy levels high and allows supporters to donate regularly. Leverage virtual technology to expand your support network beyond local communities. Livestream events using platforms like Facebook Live, YouTube Live, or Twitch to connect with audiences worldwide. 

Encourage student involvement with Paybee's peer-to-peer fundraising web pages. Students can create personal fundraisers, raising awareness and reaching potential new supporters. Paybee offers step-by-step guides for setting up accounts, creating campaigns, and hosting silent auctions. Experience the potential of Paybee by scheduling a free demo. Interact with the platform, participate in a mock live auction, and get personalized guidance from Paybee specialists.

Platform Benefits and Key Features:

  • Intuitive platform for various campaigns, including live auctions and virtual events.
  • Affordable pricing model with transparent fees and no hidden costs or contracts.
  • Automatically generated event pages for hassle-free online fundraisers.
  • Donor-covered fee options to retain more funds for school programs.
  • Social sharing buttons for effective promotion on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
  • Host multiple activities from a single online platform.
  • Peer-to-peer fundraising web pages to encourage student involvement.

99Pledges

99Pledges, a free online fundraising platform, aids schools and teams in successful fundraising for events like walk-a-thons and fun runs. It offers a user-friendly setup, ideal for schools, teams, and organizations.

The platform is free and easy to use, enabling quick campaign setup, seamless donation acceptance via credit cards or PayPal, and eliminating startup fees and contracts. Users benefit from real-time reporting and dedicated fundraising coach support throughout the process.

Platform Benefits and Key Features:

  • Free online fundraising platform for schools and teams.
  • User-friendly setup and operation.
  • Quick setup of fundraising campaigns with seamless donation acceptance.
  • Eliminates startup fees, platform fees, and the need for contracts.
  • Real-time reporting for effective tracking of fundraising progress.
  • Dedicated fundraising coach support throughout the process.

ShopRaise

ShopRaise simplifies the donation process, a critical factor for a successful school fundraiser. Supporters can effortlessly contribute to your school program while making regular purchases. Users utilize ShopRaise for their regular shopping needs, and up to 10% of the purchase value is directed as a donation to their chosen cause – in this instance, your school or program. 

This innovative approach enables supporters to contribute without increasing monthly expenses beyond their usual spending. Depending on your school district's fundraising policies, you may coordinate a ShopRaise fundraiser alongside another initiative, making it more convenient to maximize your fundraising efforts.

Platform Benefits and Key Features:

  • Simplifies the donation process for successful school fundraisers.
  • Up to 10% of purchase value directed as a donation to the chosen cause.
  • Enables contributors to support without increasing monthly expenses.
  • Coordination flexibility with other fundraising initiatives.

DonorsChoose

DonorsChoose stands out as a premier fundraising platform for U.S. schools. Rather than coordinating events, teachers opt for DonorsChoose to obtain essential classroom supplies and technology. The process is straightforward – create a page, and describe your needs. 

What distinguishes DonorsChoose is its remarkable search capabilities, allowing people nationwide to find and support your project. Importantly, it serves as a cost-free resource for teachers engaged in school fundraising efforts.

Platform Benefits and Key Features:

  • Allows teachers to secure essential teaching supplies and technology.
  • Cost-free resource for teachers.
  • Outstanding search capabilities for nationwide project support.

Fundly

For schools engaged with parents and donors through Facebook, Fundly could be an excellent fit. It provides one of the most seamless Facebook integrations, enabling you to embed your donation form directly into your school's page.

Fundly comes at no cost, although the platform deducts 4.9 percent from each donation received. Additionally, for any credit card transactions made by your donors, there is an additional deduction of 2.9 percent plus $0.30 per transaction.

Platform Benefits and Key Features:

  • Seamless Facebook integration for schools engaged with parents and donors.
  • Embed donation form directly into the school's Facebook page.
  • No cost for using the platform.

BetterWorld

What sets the BetterWorld fundraising platform apart from other choices in the market is its extensive range of possibilities for schools to raise funds. Whether it's traditional crowdfunding, donation campaigns, auctions, giveaways, or ticketing, the BetterWorld platform supports various charity campaigns.

Nonprofits can access the platform for free, except for the optional concierge service for personalized fundraising campaign assistance, which incurs a fee. This affordability is maintained through the backing of donors who may opt to provide optional pledges.

Platform Benefits and Key Features:

  • Extensive range of fundraising possibilities for schools.
  • Supports traditional crowdfunding, donation campaigns, auctions, giveaways, and ticketing.
  • Free access for nonprofits.
  • Optional concierge service for personalized fundraising campaign assistance (fee-based).
  • Affordability maintained through backing from donors.

Classy

Classy serves as a fundraising platform tailored for schools, enabling them to establish and oversee online campaigns, peer-to-peer fundraising, and virtual events- to enhance its functionality further, Classy has seamless integration with third-party platforms like Facebook and Salesforce.

With a user-friendly interface, Classy ensures a straightforward checkout process for individuals interested in making online donations. Its robust peer-to-peer functionality includes virtual gala options, fostering engagement among board members and team captains. This platform is recommended for mid to large schools prepared to invest in a comprehensive and effective online donation solution. Pricing information can be requested directly from Classy.

Platform Benefits and Key Features:

  • Tailored fundraising platform for schools.
  • Online campaign, peer-to-peer fundraising, and virtual event management.
  • Seamless integration with third-party platforms like Facebook and Salesforce.
  • User-friendly interface with a straightforward checkout process.
  • Recommended for mid to large schools willing to invest in an online donation platform.

Bonfire

Bonfire presents a T-shirt fundraising platform tailored for school initiatives, offering the convenience of selling shirts without managing inventory. The process is straightforward — upload your unique shirt design, kick off your fundraiser, and encourage supporters to place their orders. Bonfire handles the printing and shipping of shirts to your donors, while you collect the funds raised.

Notably, Bonfire seamlessly integrates with Classy for efficient donor management and YouTube, providing convenient links below videos to direct donors to your merchandise store. Although Bonfire has an 8 percent donation fee, this is reduced to 3.5 percent after confirming your school's nonprofit status.

Platform Benefits and Key Features:

  • T-shirt fundraising platform for schools.
  • Sell shirts without managing inventory.
  • Convenient uploading of unique shirt designs.
  • Integration with Classy for efficient donor management.
  • YouTube integration for directing donors to the merchandise store.
  • Donation fee reduced to 3.5% for nonprofit schools.

Case Studies: Success Stories of School Fundraisers 

Discover successful school fundraisers through compelling stories and practical insights from real experiences. 

Westwood Elementary's Innovative "5/10/15 Reading Challenge" 

Seeking an alternative to traditional sales-based fundraisers, the Westwood Elementary School PTO took matters into its own hands. Introducing the "5/10/15 Reading Challenge," they devised a creative approach to fundraising. Students were encouraged to secure pledges from five individuals, each pledging ten dollars for the student's commitment to reading for fifteen minutes daily over a week- the response was overwhelming, with 158 students enthusiastically participating.

Students were offered enticing rewards to incentivize involvement, including school spirit gear and gift certificates redeemable at the school store and local businesses. Principal Jared Skorburg further motivated students by promising to spend one hour reading aloud on the building roof for every $2,000 raised.

The outcome surpassed expectations, as the collective efforts of the students yielded over $7,600 in funds. These funds were allocated towards enhancing classroom technology, installing benches around the playground area, and financing enriching assemblies and field trips. Additionally, Principal Skorburg honored his pledge by spending an entire October morning reading to students from the roof, further reinforcing the school's commitment to fostering a love for reading while achieving fundraising goals.

Windsor High School's Fruit Sale 

Windsor High School in Colorado has a tradition of hosting a fruit sale every August, organized by the After Prom Committee to fundraise for the much-anticipated after-prom party each spring. While the community has consistently supported this initiative, the year 2012 proved to be exceptional. With the combined efforts of parent volunteers and members from the school's Future Farmers of America (FFA) club, the committee successfully orchestrated the sale of nearly 12 tons (960 boxes) of fruit, resulting in an impressive total of almost $8,000.

According to the chairwoman overseeing the fruit sale, this annual event holds significance beyond its fundraising aspect. It is a visible demonstration of Windsor High School's dedication to offering students a secure and enjoyable post-prom environment. This success story underscores the effective collaboration among committed volunteers and school groups and the community's unwavering support in achieving fundraising objectives while prioritizing the well-being of the school's students.

Cherokee County PTA's PJ Parade Success

In 2009, Georgia witnessed a distinctive fundraiser, the "PJ Parade," organized by the Cherokee County Council PTA. Schools embraced a comfy dress code, adorned in fluffy slippers, cozy terry robes, flannel pants, and gowns. Students, faculty, and staff from the county's public and private schools actively participated in this creative event.

The "PJ Parade" was a playful display of comfortable attire and served a noble cause. Sponsored by the Cherokee County Council PTA, the parade aimed to benefit the Cherokee Family Violence Center and Cherokee County Children's Stabilization Center. For a mere one-dollar donation, students gained the privilege to wear their snug pajamas to school.

The outcome was remarkable, with the event successfully raising nearly $8,500. This case study exemplifies how creativity can go a long way in fundraising efforts, showcasing the positive impact of community involvement and innovative school fundraising ideas to support essential causes.

Integrating Fundraising Platforms with School Events 

In the contemporary era, fundraising for school events extends beyond traditional methods like bake sales and door-to-door initiatives. Embracing technology has revolutionized the fundraising landscape, offering efficient alternatives to manage logistics, communication, and engagement during school events.

Streamlining Logistics

Modern fundraising programs and platforms, such as Paybee, alleviate the logistical challenges associated with event planning. These platforms automate financial management, budget reporting, and post-event evaluations, simplifying fundraising. With features like customizable landing pages, goal tracking, and integrated payment management through platforms like Stripe, these tools significantly reduce the administrative burden on organizers.

Enhancing Communication

Effective communication is critical for successful fundraisers involving parents, students, community leaders, and the media. Leveraging technology, organizers can utilize email, social media, and texting to disseminate information promptly. Group texting and social media outreach are crucial in promoting events to a wider audience beyond personal contacts, ensuring seamless communication throughout the community.

Virtual Events and Online Fundraising

Technology enables the transition to virtual events, addressing challenges posed by physical limitations or unforeseen circumstances like the COVID-19 pandemic. Platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet facilitate virtual gatherings, making participation accessible from anywhere- while online fundraising platforms such as Paybee, 99Pledges, and ShopRaise offer global reach, allowing schools to set fundraising goals and receive donations worldwide.

Cashless Donations and Online Merchandise Sales

Embracing cashless donations using QR codes, NFC tags, and popular payment apps like Venmo and PayPal simplifies the donation process. At the same time, online merchandise sales through platforms like Etsy or Shopify provide a convenient way to showcase and sell school-related items, eliminating the need for door-to-door sales.

Online Donation Pages and Engagement With Social Media

Online donation pages with QR codes and NFC tags enhance shareability and data tracking while utilizing social media platforms like Meta, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter maximizes engagement. Contests, giveaways, and user-generated content foster a sense of involvement, while consistent updates and expressions of gratitude on social media platforms contribute to a positive online presence.

Effective Social Media Management

Different social media platforms serve specific purposes in promotion and audience targeting. Meta is ideal for informing parents and families, while Instagram appeals to students with visually appealing content. TikTok engages a diverse demographic through challenges and trends, and Twitter's hashtag culture promotes easy searchability. Tools like Hootsuite facilitate comprehensive social media management, streamlining text messaging, live chat, and online ad scheduling.

Incorporating technology into school fundraising simplifies organizational aspects and enhances community engagement and outreach, making the entire process more efficient and enjoyable for participants.

The Future of School Fundraising: Trends and Predictions

In response to the evolving landscape of school fundraising in 2023, here are some tips to support educational institutions in effortlessly securing the funding they need in 2024 and the current decade.

Multi-Generational Approaches

Current generations of students are deeply invested in shaping the educational landscape they will inherit. This presents an opportunity for schools to tap into new avenues for fundraising, but adapting to changing trends is essential. The upcoming generation of potential supporters expects to find school initiatives active on platforms like Instagram rather than relying on traditional methods like direct mail.

To effectively engage this new generation of supporters, maintaining a strong presence on social media platforms is crucial for schools. However, it's equally important not to neglect traditional methods such as direct mail. Embracing a multifaceted approach and aligning with the latest fundraising trends can aid schools in reaching out to donors across different age groups and generations in 2024 and beyond.

Streamlining Payments with Digital Wallets

Digital wallets are swiftly transforming from a nice convenience to a crucial component, as indicated by a Forbes study reporting that over half of Americans now prefer them for payments. The study reveals that users of digital wallets tend to contribute more, and a significant portion would reconsider supporting a fundraiser that doesn't accept this payment method. For school fundraisers, this emphasizes the importance of embracing digital wallets to align with the preferences of the majority of participants. On the other hand, failing to adopt these digital wallet options might lead to a decline in donor support for school initiatives.

Apart from being widely used, digital wallets, including well-known platforms like PayPal, Venmo, Stripe, Wise, among others, offer a straightforward and trusted payment alternative. Introducing these digital wallet choices in school fundraising donation forms ensures a simplified process with minimal clicks, building immediate trust through familiar and secure payment options.

Nonprofit AI Integration

Looking ahead, school fundraising is on the cusp of change as nonprofits increasingly adopt AI. In 2024, the focus will be on using AI to find potential major donors and build strong connections with supporters. But caution is key – while AI is handy for handling data, it can't replace the personal touch in forming real bonds.

AI plays a crucial role in bringing together data in Donor CRM systems to spot the best donors for strategic moves management. This involves using wealth screening and behavior profiling. It also helps create personalized donor communication journeys based on preferences, event attendance, and responses.

However, a warning is issued about using AI the wrong way, especially in creating robotic-sounding content. The temptation to let AI generate generic emails or collateral, especially in teams with limited resources, should be avoided to prevent turning donors away.

It's important to understand that AI can't replace genuine interactions, like chatting with a donor over coffee or connecting them with people who can make a real impact. These human connections are priceless and should never take a backseat to technology in the world of school fundraising.

Final Thoughts: Fundraising Software to Achieve School Fundraiser Goals Successfully

Integrating fundraising platforms with school events, particularly with technology leaders like Paybee, streamlines logistics, enhances communication, and facilitates cashless transactions. The digital shift enables seamless transitions to virtual events, expanding reach globally.

Looking ahead, embracing multi-generational approaches, integrating digital wallets like PayPal and Venmo, and cautiously adopting nonprofit AI are pivotal trends. As schools navigate this evolving landscape, platforms like Paybee pave the way for empowered, successful, and innovative fundraising endeavors.

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Anastasia-Alexandra Nenova

Born and raised in South Africa, Anastasia-Alexandra is a Bulgarian writer and fighter. When she isn't writing, she's busy training or competing in Judo for South Africa. She's passionate about Judo where she is a 2nd Dan, other martial arts and fitness overall. Her dream is to qualify for the Olympic Games in Judo, and she's doing her best to turn that dream into reality.

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