How Schools Can Benefit from Online Fundraising
“Fundraising is the gentle art of teaching the joy of giving.” - Hank Rosso
For many schools, fundraising is an important part of the teaching and learning experience. Fundraising not only helps schools raise money for supplies, extra-curricular activities and special events, it’s also an opportunity for them to reach beyond the classroom, contribute to the community at large and teach students about charity.
“Fundraising is a great way to teach kids to give back,” says Emmanuel Penalosa, education relations manager at Chimp. “Every school has an opportunity to give to their community. Taking fundraising online makes it easier and amplifies a school’s reach.”
Educational Fundraising in Action
Emmanuel has worked with many schools to develop unique and innovative ways to integrate online fundraising into the learning experience for students. Here are a few examples.
Run-a-thon for a New School
Holy Trinity Elementary School in North Vancouver held a run-a-thon to raise funds for a new school building. It set up individual Giving Groups (fundraising pages) for each of its grades -- kindergarten through grade 7 -- empowering each class to get pledges from family members toward their 10K run. Parents were able to give to specific classes online, and leave encouraging comments for their kids. The school raised $6,355 this way!
Mental Health Conference Participation
Schools involved in the Let’s Talk Mental Health National Video Conference and Campaign started online Giving Groups to raise awareness of the importance of mental health.
Classes were empowered to choose whichever mental health charity they wanted to support, and to determine their own way of fundraising. They received charitable dollars for creating their Giving Groups and for posting videos of their fundraising efforts. On top of that, their donations were matched by a generous campaign sponsor. Participating classes also had the opportunity to take part in an online video conference to share their successes and lessons learned from the project.
Inner City Youth Hike Mount Kilimanjaro
Based within Vancouver’s Britannia Secondary School, Streetfront Alternative School launched the Street2Peak program to take 18 inner-city youth to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. The once-in-a-lifetime experience is designed not only to be physically and emotionally transformative, but also to change the way inner-city youth see themselves and their community.
Through Chimp, Street2Peak became a beneficiary of TechPong, a charitable ping pong tournament that raised money for Downtown Eastside charities. One of TechPong’s participating teams -- Vision Critical -- chose to give a third of the money it raised through the tournament -- $1,750.33 -- to Street2Peak.
Benefits of Taking Your School Fundraising Online
If your school is often asking parents to bring their chequebooks to events, or to dig into their pockets for a few bucks here and there, fundraising online with Chimp may present a convenient alternative -- and numerous benefits.
- Cashless donations: An online charitable account allows families to give regularly without ever having to use cash or cheques.
- Automatic tax receipts: Save your staff the hassle of handling tax receipts and let Chimp do it automatically.
- Fundraising pages: Set up fundraising pages for classes, groups, families and any other groups who want to fundraise on your behalf.
- Amplified reach: Fundraising online allows you to reach family members, friends and benevolent strangers who might not otherwise be able to contribute to your cause.
- School and community engagement: Fundraising is a great way to get students involved both in and out of the classroom for a charitable cause.
Strategies for Online Fundraising Success
While online fundraising presents many benefits for schools, it’s only as effective as the people who find creative ways to make the most of the tools available. Emmanuel offers some tips for success:
- Identify a Champion: Every successful fundraising campaign requires a champion -- someone passionate about the cause. This person can be a teacher, a student or a parent who is able to take charge of the planning, implementation and communications required to launch the campaign and sustain momentum through to the end.
- Use Social Media: Spread the word -- and the passion and excitement for the cause -- using social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and anywhere else your supporters and their networks hang out.
- Think Big: Since geographic constraints are no longer an issue when you’re fundraising online, there’s an opportunity to extend your outreach efforts beyond your immediate community. Extended family members and friends who may be geographically distant can get involved easily and conveniently to provide support, encouragement and contributions throughout the campaign.
Ready to plan your school’s next fundraiser online? Talk to us — we can help you get started!