School Fundraising Is Broken

By Christopher Haylett


If you're an educator or school administrator engaged in fundraising with product sales (think cookie dough and candy bars), that's how much of your funds raised go to the product in almost all cases. Don't take our word for it. The Parent Teacher Association provided this bit of information.

We think this is outrageous.

You mean to tell us that when children get all of their friends and family in on supporting their education, oftentimes only half of the funds raised actually go towards what everyone is trying to support? Surely there is a better way.

Teachers Don't Like Current Methods

I can't tell you how awkward and uncomfortable cookie sales make me. Half the time kids are selling to teachers!

We've talked to quite a few teachers here at Sixpence to get an idea of the education fundraising landscape in the U.S. They don't seem to like these cookie dough fundraisers any more than anyone else does. "I can't tell you how awkward and uncomfortable cookie sales make me. Half the time kids are selling to teachers!" exclaimed Mel, a teacher we asked for feedback in the early stages of building out Sixpence. If you're a teacher reading this, odds are that you're in agreement.

Sadly, fundraising  is necessary for many schools and teachers across the country. As we've mentioned beforethe average teacher spends $500 of their own income each year on classroom expenses; 1 in 10 even spend over $1,000 of their personal funds for the children in their classrooms. Schools across the U.S. are chronically underfunded.

A Solution In Crowdfunding?

In recent years, crowdfunding has emerged as a popular resource for teachers, especially for quick targets in their classrooms. Supplies, books, new technologies, and trip funds are all items that funds are raised for on the leading teacher crowdfunding site, Now, this website does very well for one-time targets. In fact, their success rate for targets beneath $200 is roughly 90%. Wow!

However, even with the success of Donors Choose, no clear solution has emerged for sustainable crowdfunding in schools. Running a school fundraising campaign is an exhaustive process that garners a bunch of one-time donations that must be recruited again next quarter. And the larger a target is, the lower its chances of success, to a drastic degree. For campaigns with targets over $1,000, the Donors Choose success rate drops all the way down to 43%. We're glad that platforms like Donors Choose have emerged to help the teachers of the United States, but we believe the solutions available are only part of the answer.

We've Fixed School Fundraising

Whether you're a teacher, parent, school administrator, PTO/PTA representative, a school sports team coach, or anyone else with a hand in school fundraising, we believe that roundup contributions are the best sustainable crowdfunding method for you. From the beginning of the year through to the end of the year, you can be fundraising for a general fund and for special projects all year with Sixpence roundups. With nothing more than pennies from every purchase made by your supporters in their daily lives, people end up contributing about $25 a month, but without really feeling it in their wallets.

This the most accessible way for you to solicit donations from parents and your community. After all, you're not asking for any donations upfront; just a commitment from your community members to contribute pennies at a time. This is an easy way to ensure funds for the extra things throughout the school year.

A Bigger Mission

All that to say, it's our mission to make communities more engaged and more connected than ever before through our platform. We think parents and teachers are the perfect starting point for beginning to engage in that mission. We envision a world in which everyone in the US is constantly contributing to the things that matter to them in their own communities, with giving made more affordable than ever and engagement with community needs made easy.

Know a teacher, a parent, or a school administrator? Send them this post to help change how American communities support education and the futures of our children. Better yet, feel free to create a campaign for your local school or a community cause yourself and begin mobilizing your network with us. Be sure to download the app and see if any campaigns are currently active around you as well! We truly can change the way that communities work in our country. Let's make it happen.

Tags: Classroom Crowdfunding, Education, classroom fundraising, school supplies, teacher fundraising

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