Teachers who lead educational trips want to make sure every child has access to the opportunity being offered. That often means being resourceful when it comes to finding financial support for families in need. Crowdfunding sites offer an efficient way to organize a direct appeal campaign to ensure everyone has the chance to participate.
Check out these three sites that make it possible to start collecting donations in less time than it takes to put up a bulletin board.
GoFundMe - This online site allows you to set up a personalized campaign and start receiving online donations for your scholarship fund within ten minutes.
Once your page is created, you can easily send a link to your campaign within an email,
posit it to a classroom blog, or add it to your school’s website. Facebook and Twitter also make it easy to spread the word via social media. If you still use paper, the site allows the organizer to print a poster to promote the campaign.
When you’re ready to collect the money, GoFundMe can deposit it directly into a bank
account or they will send you a check for the money that you can disburse to individual student accounts.
While it is free to create and share the campaign, GoFundMe will deduct a 5% fee from each donation.
CrowdRise.com - Create a website with visual appeal that tells a personal story to encourage giving. With this site, you can encourage people to use your web page or an app that makes giving easy anywhere, any time. They offer 10 recommendations that will guide you through the process.
The company has a goal of creating a “giving tower” that is taller than any building in the world. The CrowdRise Giving Tower has an app that will let you and your students see the world's charitable efforts grow in real time in the form of a tower made in augmented reality like a hologram. It is a good lesson in the power of goodwill and generosity towards others.
As for the money, the company charges a 3% fee for all donations, which they promote as one the lowest fees around. Claiming your contributions will not be subject to meeting a goal during a predetermined amount of time, which takes the pressure off. To collect, you will need to provide a bank account for a fund transfer.
DonorsChoose.org - People in public education have been reach out for financial support from DonorsChoose for several years. The site matches donors with specific classroom needs or projects that are submitted by teachers from around the country. You will need to answer short essay questions to explain the need and provide financial details about how the funds will be used.
Here is a great example of a request for support for a STEM and history field trip to Washington, D.C.
Your project can remain on the site for up to four months and if it does not meet its funding goal, you can redirect your contributions to support another project. They also ask that your students write thank you notes or send photos to donors - a nice touch.
Involve your students
The best part of a direct appeal campaign is that students can help write the appeal, plan a strategy to get the word out, and then monitor their progress. They also can make adjustments along the way, which can give them the opportunity to problem solve and build a sense of community while working toward a common goal.
For great educational travel opportunities, browse our tours. Good luck with your campaign!