Virtual fundraising has taken precedent in the last few years, and its popularity (and convenience) remains high. After all, online fundraisers are not bound by geographic limitations, allowing supporters to give wherever and whenever they’d like.
Regardless of whether you’ve built out an online infrastructure for your school, check out these ideas that can be implemented by just about any school:
Text-to-give offers one of the simplest ways for donors to contribute to their favorite causes at any time, from anywhere. Here’s how it works—your school partners with a text-to-give platform that provides you with a unique mobile giving number (typically a 5-digit “short-code” or a standard 10-digit phone number). Supporters text a pre-determined keyword to the school’s mobile giving number when they’d like to make a donation, and they’re met with an auto-responding text message directing them to a quick online donation form to complete their gift.
Top tip! Be sure to share your school’s mobile giving number and text-to-give keyword far and wide—including on social media, physical displays, event materials, and more.
Crowdfunding leverages the power of the internet to collect (on average) small to mid-sized donations from a wide array of people in the hopes that they add up very quickly. This strategy is typically used to raise money for a particular project or campaign, such as a building expansion, upcoming field trip, extracurricular supplies, and more. And it can be very effective!
Top tip! Though it’s possible to embed a crowdfunding campaign on your own school website, most organizers utilize third-party websites with which to host their fundraisers. fundraiser companies for schools
Peer-to-peer fundraising shares many similarities with crowdfunding (e.g., the vitality of the internet and online campaign pages, the idea that large audiences come together to fund a need, etc.). One of the biggest differences between the two, however, is that peer-to-peer (also referred to as P2P, social, or even team fundraising) efforts empower individual fundraisers with personalized campaign pages. From there, they are able to solicit donations from their friends and families. Though the funds ultimately go to the same place (your school), fundraisers (who, for schools, are typically students) can track their own progress toward individualized goals.
Social media is one of the most powerful fundraising assets for a wide range of causes. That includes schools! To get started, choose one or more of your favorite social media platforms. Then, you’re ready to launch your campaign. Luckily, sites like Facebook and Instagram come equipped with their own embedded fundraising tools. Depending on your strategy, you might collect funds directly through the social media site, or you may simply use the platform to direct traffic to an external fundraising campaign.
We’ve already discussed the benefits of an auction fundraiser to raise money for schools like yours. Traditionally, these events are held in person at a physical location, where auction attendees gather to participate and support your school. Now, thanks to continuously developing technology, you can enable supporters to participate in your fundraising auction from all over the world (or the comfort of their own homes) in a virtual auction. Rather than guests participating in the auction face-to-face, items are placed up for bid online (typically using an online auction platform), and attendees utilize their computers or mobile devices to place their bids. It’s easy, fun, and convenient for attendees—and it can generate a ton of revenue for your school!
Schools are often in need of classroom supplies and other physical materials, which is, unsurprisingly, what many fundraising dollars end up going toward. However, some supporters prefer donating items directly rather than contributing funds that are then spent on supplies. That’s where an online wishlist fundraiser can come in handy! Think of it as a virtual school supplies drive. All you need to do is partner with an online wishlist platform (such as Amazon or DonorsChoose) and encourage teachers and faculty to make a list of items they need. Then, share the links to your online wishlist with your students’ families and other community members, who can begin purchasing the items you need.
Box Tops for Education have long been a favorite fundraising idea for schools. This is largely because this fundraiser enables students and families to support their schools with the products they likely already purchase at the grocery store. But did you know that Box Tops fundraisers have recently had a complete makeover—and they no longer require scissors to clip? Today, all participants have to do is scan their receipts using the Box Tops app. The app automatically identifies eligible items and instantly adds associated cash to their school’s Box Tops account!
Top tip! Make sure your students, parents, and community members are aware of the revamped way to get involved with Box Tops fundraisers so that they can begin scanning to collect money for your school.