Why your PTA should try crowdfunding!

With a ready-made network, schools are in the best possible position to make a success of digital fundraising, so what are you waiting for?

What is crowdfunding?

Rather than asking one donor for 
a large investment, crowdfunding asks a large crowd of donors to 
each make a small contribution.

This method of fundraising is especially effective for schools, given that you have a ready-made network of people in your community who have a vested interest in seeing your project succeed. Rather than tapping 
up the same group of people - 
your parents - time and again,  crowdfunding enables you to 
appeal to a wider network of extended family, community 
groups and local businesses.

The benefits of a well-managed crowdfunding campaign go far beyond the extra funds in your bank... Crowdfunding helps raise awareness of your school's vision, opens doors to new opportunities and partnerships, and increases 
your support base for future fundraising appeals.

What makes a good project?

If this is your first crowdfunding campaign, then concentrate on a project that is likely to motivate your community to donate. You will need to create a compelling story that clearly illustrates how your school will prosper as a result.

Explain how you will deliver the project, in what timeframe and who will benefit. Consider the amount 
of funding this project requires - 
having a successful launch project will enable you to follow up with subsequent campaigns in the future, so set a modest target, say between £1,000 and £5,000.

What should we include 
in our campaign?

Donors will want to know how their hard-earned cash will be spent, and that they can trust you to deliver. Cost out your funding target and provide a sensible plan to show donors that your project is feasible - include maintenance and running costs. Outline how additional funds will be used should you exceed your fundraising target, and what you plan to do in the event of a shortfall.

How do we get our 
project noticed?

Think of this as an advertising campaign - why do so many people share the John Lewis advert every Christmas? What will make people want to share your project? Research similar crowdfunding campaigns - were they successful, and how engaging was the pitch? Give your project a simple, attention-grabbing strapline and spend some time creating eye-catching visuals to 
be used on your website, on social media, in blogs, etc.

Get in-depth guidance

Subscribe to our sister resource, FundEd, for 
just £90 (+VAT) a year and get access to a wealth of targeted crowdfunding guides, including:

  • A Crowdfunding Handbook - From preparing your project to thanking donors, this guide gives a valuable overview of all the steps to consider.
  • Promoting Your Campaign - Identify your likely support base using our mind-mapping template, and develop a marketing strategy 
to take you from pre-launch to the final push.
  • Rewards: Everything You Need to Know - What might encourage your donors to dig deeper? What makes a good cost-neutral reward?
  • Scheduling a Campaign - Allow time to plan and prepare, recruit support, launch and engage donors and complete your campaign.
  • Building a Support Base - Supporters should include those who are likely to pledge money 
as well as those who could spread news of your campaign to the widest possible audience.

For more information, go to funded.org.uk.

JustGiving's 'Campaigns' platform enables you to link individuals' fundraising pages to your school's crowdfunding page. How about having a one-month push where everyone in your community helps raise funds? Find out more at justgiving.com/pta.


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