Move over, bake sales. It's a brand new year, and time to start thinking big about how to use the Web to fund new projects or get gear for your classroom. Edutopia has just released an amazingly useful downloadable guide to crowdfunding, and to dovetail with that, I've collected nine ideas for how to raise money online and follow those classroom dreams. If, like many teachers, you have great ideas but no resources to carry them out, then this list will be a jackpot for you -- the season of giving and generosity might not be over yet!
Video Playlist: Online Fundraising for Educators
Watch the player below to see the whole playlist, or view it on YouTube.
- DonorsChoose.org: Our Mission to Transform Education (00:59)
- Introducing IncitED: The Crowdfunding Community for Education (02:31)
IncitED is a brand-new crowdfunding community built just for educators -- and you receive all funds raised for your project at completion of your campaign, whether you meet your goal or not. Check out their Elements of Successful Crowdfunding guide for tips.
- Bloomberg Rewind -- Using Innovation to Help Public Schools (02:58)
Here's the bake sale of the new century -- this news story interviews the founder of Schoola, which allows parents or teachers to connect local merchants to the community with a daily deal-style platform -- and the proceeds benefit their neighborhood schools.
- Digital Wish - Over 24,000 Wishes Granted (01:02)
Digital Wish allows teachers to publish a wish list of their tech needs that anyone can donate to, either by giving money directly to a classroom, purchasing gift cards, or contributing to specific campaigns. This video is a few years old; they're up to 30,000 wishes granted now!
- Support Education! | Adopt-A-Classroom Overview Video (03:47)
Out-of-pocket spending is astronomical for teachers. Adopt a Classroom aims to help teachers stop spending their own money by connecting them with donors who want to help get them the resources they need.
- City Charity - Chaplin Mashup (01:45)
ClassWish produced this wonderful mashup of a Charlie Chaplin film to encourage people to support the teachers who post on their site. It functions like a wedding registry, so donors can see what's already been purchased.
- Why I Chose EdBacker (01:35)
Teacher Don Wettrick explains why he chose EdBacker, a teacher-founded company, for his crowdfunding campaign. Watch Don's campaign video here, and you can find tutorial videos on the EdBacker YouTube channel.
- WeAreTeachers Grant Winner Michelle P. (03:43)
WeAreTeachers is an online teacher community where you can find PD resources, but did you know they also give grants and offer listings for contests? Teachers often submit videos on what they did with their winnings.
- Getting Started on Teachers Pay Teachers (10:19)
Do you have excellent lessons plans and resources that you've developed over the years? Some educators make big bucks over on Teachers Pay Teachers, an open marketplace for learning materials. Despite audio glitches, this video is helpful for understanding the basics.
More Resources for Digital Fundraising for the Classroom
I hope this list got you excited about the myriad ways you can use your network creatively and make the best of Web-based platforms to raise some funds for your projects. I wish every teacher had all the funding they needed, but the truth is that most could use some extra support, even in relatively affluent districts. I've added a few more articles and resources below for more ideas on raising money for your classroom. Good luck with your campaigns!
- Edutopia's new "Raise Money for Your School Using Crowdfunding" guide
- "10 Ways to Get Free Money & Classroom Supplies," by Richard Byrne from Free Technology for Teachers
- "Beyond the PTA, How to Raise Funds for Your Classroom," by Jennifer Roland from MindShift
- "Short on Funds? How to Raise Money for Your Classroom," by OLE Staff from Pearson's Online Learning Exchange
- "Cool Ways for Schools to Raise Cash," by Leslie Pepper from Family Circle Magazine
- "RocketHub's Crowdfunding Success School," by RocketHub Staff from RocketHub
- "16 Innovative Ways to Use Crowdfunding for Education," by Miriam Clifford from OpenColleges
- Crowdfunding Education Pinterest Board from Crowdfund Capital Advisors on Pinterest