As Coronavirus lingers and new academic years are planned with distance learning tools, don’t forget to include the social aspect of student life. Consider these school fundraising ideas to help your campus stay connected virtually while they can’t be together.
Your Website is Now Your Campus
Most public schools provide much more support for their students than simple education. At school, many kids get social stability and lifelong skills that can’t be gained anywhere else. Teachers and educators play a huge role in that.
One teacher who cares could mean the difference between a kid who goes to college instead of prison. So, how do you translate this kind of care into online classrooms?
Everything you do on your website is now relevant to your entire student body. Before, your students may have only visited the website to see when they had days off school and what’s on the lunch menu. Now, they’re looking to stay connected and feel the same level of support they got in person.
When it comes to distance learning, your website is your campus.
We’ve come up with some creative ways to keep kids engaged with the learning process through the homeschooling that is required during the Pandemic. Of course, everything that happens in a learning environment requires funding, so we’ve got that covered for you, too.
Idea 1: Fund At Home Kits for Projects
Maybe you’re an elementary school teacher on a budget with kids you want to inspire. Or, maybe you teach science or art and your students need special supplies for some of your lessons.
Make sure that everyone gets access to the educational tools they need by raising money for project kits.
Set up a “Learning Kit” fundraiser with these three steps:
- Research pricing and included pieces to establish how much each kit will cost and multiply that by the number of kits needed to establish your campaign goal.
- Create a donation form for your project kit. Try to include a picture of an actual project kit you plan to send to students.
- Let your class know and ask them to spread the word so they can benefit from the campaign. This is where social media and grandparents are a bonus! You can add a social sharing option to your thank you page with our new form templates or the free Simple Social Share add-on.
Idea 2: Start a Tech Fund (and Grant Program)
While most schools move classrooms online, not all students can afford the technology they need to excel with distance learning. Most importantly, not everyone will have high speed internet and access to a computer at home.
Consider hosting an online fundraiser for people to give toward internet access or computers for students with less access to technology. Limit your fund to students in your classroom or start a campaign for your entire school. Either way, make sure there’s a way for people to both give and apply to the program.
To start a tech fund and grant program for your students, follow these steps:
- Set up an online giving form with the details on where the money is going and how much each item costs (internet stipends, PCs, etc.).
- Consider adding Recurring Donations to help cover the ongoing costs of monthly Internet bills.
- Set up an online application for students (or their parents) to apply to receive money from this program (with specific requirements to make sure the money is properly allocated).
- Tell your students and local community about the fundraiser. Consider asking local businesses to partner, too.
Idea 3: Help Parents Hire Tutors (and Provide Tutors with Work)
Many parents have recently found themselves playing the roles of teachers and tutors. However, most parents are struggling to provide for their families by working full-time and maintaining a household. Most are not equipped to provide home education, nor do they have the energy for it. It’s not easy for everyone to help their children with at-home learning.
On the other hand, many teaching assistants and similar roles were also laid off due to the transition to distance learning. This leaves qualified educators without work and open to new opportunities, like remote tutoring.
You can use your school website to help parents who need help teaching as well as teachers who need work.
- Create a donation form so parents can donate to request help from a tutor. Anyone can afford a $1 for a tutor, but some can afford to give much more in support of the overall cause. Each tutor should be someone laid off from the loss of in-person positions at the school or in the local community.
- Set up a tutor information page with biographies for each tutor. Let your teachers and tutors know that you value them by helping them promote their work and giving them an avenue to get hired – even if you’re not paying their salary.
- Allow tutors to use their own Stripe accounts to receive money directly. You can also add individual donation forms for each tutor, where people can either give or request tutoring from them with a donation. Per-form Stripe account settings allow you to delegate funds to different accounts on each form.
- Open your tutoring program to neighboring communities. Maybe there are other schools nearby that could use similar help. Either host the campaign on your own website or start one on its own domain and become the local leader for education.
There are many ways you can set this up with GiveWP, but our Customer Success Team is best to show you. Let us know if you have questions about how you might set up a tutoring program on your school’s website.
Idea 4: Raise Money for Your Graduating Class
To be realistic, no one is sure that next year’s graduating class will get a true prom or graduation. Even if they do, it needs to be the event of a lifetime to make up for the class of 2020’s lackluster ending to high school and college. Start raising money now for all the possibilities so you can make sure this year’s graduating class gets to celebrate together, no matter what.
Depending on where you are and how your community has been able to quell COVID-19, you might not end up with a traditional prom or graduation. Here are some ideas for an alternative graduating class celebration that you can start raising money and awareness for now:
- Host a community-wide parade: Make it known early on that you want your town to help you celebrate your seniors. Plan a parade with the city to celebrate prom, graduation, or both. Use your donation form to raise money and awareness for the possibility throughout the year. If you end up with an in-person graduation, even better! Your funding is already solid.
- Air your graduation ceremony on a local channel: Television air-time is expensive. But, if you’re graduating from high school or college and you can’t gather in person, what’s better than hearing your name called out live on television?
- Use multiple donation forms to “vote” for a celebration: You can also use the GiveWP Form Grid to create a voting campaign. The form to reach its goal first or raise the most money might be the winning idea for prom or graduation, but all the money will still go to that event.
The possibilities are endless. Brainstorm with your students, your faculty, and even your students’ parents. What’s the best way to celebrate your class of 2021? Plan ahead and raise the money you need to make it special, no matter how you the celebration takes place.
Idea 5: Rally Around a Cause for School Spirit
Last, but not least, raise money for a local cause or choose something abroad. Whatever charity you decide to raise money for, pick something that focuses on values your school teaches to students. This will help more students feel invested in the cause, too.
You don’t even need to accept monetary donations for this. One university professor created a website using GiveWP that was entirely donation-free. The site tracks how many masks, items, and volunteer hours students have contributed to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus in their community.
Whether you raise money for a local shelter or keep track of student volunteer hours, give your students a place to collaborate for the greater good.
Bring Your Students Together Through Distance Learning
Educators like you are shaping the leaders of tomorrow, a task that’s never been done under these particularly strenuous circumstances before.
How do you impact students when you can’t meet with them face-to-face?
It’s time to think outside the box with distance learning. Turn your website into an online community, a place for your students to congregate. These school fundraising ideas help your website function as your virtual campus.
If you liked this article, you might like our 10 fundraising ideas for back to school campaigns. Check it out and join our newsletter for more fundraising advice.