Fundraising has always been about building relationships with people who are or will be ready, willing, and able to give. It has never been more difficult than it is today with COVID-19 significantly impacting our ability as parents and communities to support our school's funding with the number of job losses and economy uncertainty.
With that said, the evolution of technology has driven a shift in the way that we are able to raise funds that doesn't call for additional contributions above and beyond what could be considered your every day spend.
Of course, schools receive funds from the government to a varying degree. But generally this funding falls short of what’s needed to help students flourish academically, physically, socially and emotionally.
The ‘State of the Our Schools’ survey commissioned by the Australia Education Union unveiled some startling facts about school funding:
83% of schools engage in fundraising.
90% of schools who fundraise say it’s ‘important’ or ‘very important’ for their budgets.
95% of teachers spend their own money on school supplies.
Only 5% of teachers said their school was well-resourced.
65% of teachers said their school was under-resourced.
There is a very definite need for additional funds in all schools.
Traditional Fundraising Methods
When we talk about traditional fundraising methods, it can sound like we are talking about antiquated ideas from 20+ years ago but with so many different types of fundraising available, it becomes even harder to find the right fundraising strategy and funding model.
Examples of traditional fundraising strategies include:
Direct mail: Any kind of physical mailing (aka “snail mail”). Many direct mailings include school information/update, a request for donation, and a small gift, like address labels or a branded merchandise.
Events: This includes cake bakes, school fete,chocolate drive, dress-up-day, etc. (Most organizations still do at least one in-person fundraising event of some kind every year)
Phone Solicitations: Any donation request done over the phone, ranging from one employee making calls to a large telemarketing campaign
Face-to-Face Meetings: Meeting a current or prospective donor for coffee, or any other one-on-one or small group physical encounters
Modern Fundraising Methods
Online Fundraising: Social media, emails, and donations that come through your website, among other internet-based platforms
Crowdfunding: A type of 'micro funding', this technique uses platforms like GoFundMe to raise a large number of small donations from individuals, mostly online
Text/Mobile Donations: Supporters can donate to organizations directly from their smart phones through text messages and other mobile platforms
Which Method is right for you?
Many of the traditional fundraising methods have higher costs than the more modern fundraising techniques. The most important aspect to look at with any fundraising method is ROI (return on investment) in terms of staff and parents financial resources and time.
Parents are busier than ever. Many work full time while raising children and juggling all sorts of additional responsibilities. Most parents would like to support their child’s school, but often there are not enough hours in the day or spare funds to assist.
In addition to this, a recent survey of 18,000 NSW public school teachers showed that teachers are working an average of 54 hrs per week with that number increasing. Teachers need to be able to focus on their core business of teaching and learning. Investing critical time into brainstorming ideas and even coordinating activities is not the best use of their time.
Many schools are looking for fundraising ideas that:
Don’t cost parents too much money or time
Don’t overburden teachers
Still involve a level of community engagement
Raise maximum funds for minimum effort
We are all familiar with the supermarket campaigns where parents can collect stickers or tokens with their weekly shop to earn equipment for their school. Parents can help with minimal effort – it requires money already allocated for their weekly shop. Many of us have endured the pressure to gather the 'collectibles' which only demonstrates the willingness of kids to get behind an idea if there is value to them.
But what happens when these promotions are over? Imagine the benefits available if the opportunity existed for everyday purchases to generate additional revenue for your school. Schools can now raise funds with the help of Brainz, a new tool for education.
Let Brainz tell you how contact the office today on firstname.lastname@example.org
It's a no Brainer....