Four Online Fundraising Tools for Schools

PTAs and school foundations have become invaluable partners to school districts, especially in states where districts are not permitted to directly conduct fundraising campaigns. Here in New York, where the laws prohibit districts from fundraising, PTAs and school foundations have pitched in and raised money for everything from iPads and graphing calculators to field trips and enrichment programs.

This is where the online and mobile universe can play a vital role. Fundraising sites, social media communities and mobile apps provide PTAs, education foundations and school districts with exciting fundraising opportunities — without having to knock on your neighbors’ doors or print a single flyer.

Here are four online fundraising tools well worth looking into:

Razoo: This website allows PTAs and other non-profits to create team fundraising pages and to accept donations on their own websites, thanks to an embeddable widget. Razoo provides you with page templates, and your campaign can be integrated with any Facebook page. Razoo also helps organizations send thank you notes to donors, track donations using an online dashboard and download its iPhone app. Razoo charges a flat 2.9-percent administrative fee on the total amount of money you raise. Take a look at how the Spring Glen School PTA in Hamden, Conn., has used its Razoo page here.

GoFundMe: This is a “crowdfunding” website that makes it easy to build a fundraising page, set your fundraising goals and share your campaign with others on a Facebook page, through Twitter and elsewhere. GoFundMe includes a category called “Education, Schools and Learning,” which can mean many things. But plenty of schools, classes and even individual teachers have created successful fundraising campaigns on GoFundMe. The site charges a five-percent transaction fee on each donation made, but if nobody donates, you’re not charged.

Givezooks: This website offers non-profits two types of campaigns: long-term fundraising initiatives and single events. Donors then select what they’d like to support. Long-term campaigns can cost between $129 a month for fundraising goals of up to $500,000 and $499 a month for a campaign with a goal of raising $5 million. If you’re running a one-time event fundraiser, however, Givezooks just charges you its 2.5% transaction fee.

Shoparoo: Inspired by Box Tops for Education, this mobile app lets people raise funds for schools by taking pictures of their grocery receipts. Every school in the U.S., from kindergarten to 12th grade, is listed on the app, and the user is able to select the local school they would like to support each time they make a qualified purchase. Purchases under $10 convert into a one-cent donation, those between $10 and $49 convert into a two-cent donation, purchases of $50 to $99 provide a four-cent donation, and purchases of more than $100 mean a six-cent donation. If your school hasn’t signed up to participate, you might want to tell them about the app. According to Shoparoo, more than 200 schools are using it in 2013-14.

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