Looking to get a new resource for your class, but struggling to come up with space in your budget for it? Thankfully, in this day and age, there are lots of private funding options out there! To help you take advantage of these funding sources, we’ve compiled a guide with tips and best practices for successfully achieving your goal.
One of the best ways to raise private funding is through crowdfunding. Various sites allow you to create campaigns that you can share with your friends, family, and social network. As word spreads, even anonymous donors may decide to contribute to your class. Two of the most popular crowdfunding sites are DonorsChoose and GoFundMe, and in the past, our customers have had success using both these sites to fund their IXL memberships.
GoFundMe vs. DonorsChoose: Which One Is Right for Your Class?
GoFundMe is a website where you can post a project to raise money for anything: a classroom, medical expenses, a sports team, etc. In contrast, DonorsChoose is a site specifically dedicated to public school teachers; only projects that directly impact students are allowed.
In practical terms, this means that it can be harder to get a campaign funded on GoFundMe since anyone can post any project on the site. You’re most likely to successfully achieve your fundraising goals if you have a large or generous network of family, friends, community members, or school parents that you can share your campaign with.
On the plus side, it is incredibly easy to get started on GoFundMe; after signing up on their website and creating a campaign, you can start fundraising right away. There’s no time limit for a campaign and you can keep all donations regardless of whether or not you reach your goal. Be aware that GoFundMe will deduct some fees, totaling about 8%, from the donations you receive.
If you’re hoping to get your campaign funded mostly by anonymous donors though, DonorsChoose might be better because the site only works with teachers. DonorsChoose is also a great choice if your school is in a low-income area—they’ll even do special promotions and matching for qualifying schools.
However, the process to get funded is more involved. DonorsChoose uses a “points” system, where you have to have a certain amount of points in your account to create a project. Projects vary in cost, but approved resources require the least number of points, while things like class visits and resources that are not listed on the site, such as IXL, require more points.
Teachers automatically receive points when they open an account, and you can earn additional points each time one of your projects is fully funded and you complete the follow-up steps, like sending digital thank you notes and uploading pictures of your students using the requested resource. This means that to fund an unlisted resource, you may have to run multiple campaigns for approved resources first.
While both GoFundMe and DonorsChoose are strong options, GoFundMe is simpler and faster. DonorsChoose might be for you if you’re purchasing one of their approved resources, already have a number of points, or will be relying mostly on anonymous donors.
Another Option: Run Your Own Class Fundraiser
You could also fund your IXL subscription by starting a fundraising challenge with your class. IXL has a 30-Day Fundraising Challenge kit that includes a getting started guide and customizable sponsorship forms to help you successfully raise money while involving students and community members. Find it here.