In our increasingly digital world there’s an app (or a dozen) for every need and / or want we can imagine. Education technology is no different. Every week there’s another app for behavior, communication, attendance, you name it. They’re free! And teachers are driving them individually! But when is enough enough? When does one more app become too much for families? Why are we placing more burdens on our teachers, families, and students with too many single-purpose applications? Are we trying to use an app when a platform is needed? A resounding “YES” is the answer when it comes to family engagement.
Family engagement is the number one driver of student success, leading to increased attendance, better behavior, and improved academic performance. Yet, when it comes to technology, we’re letting the two-way conversations flow on public social media or offering classroom-level private social media that teachers, families, and students set up and manage themselves. Maybe we’re even doing single-direction notification apps instead of anything that approaches conversation. Methodologies change from year to year. There’s a lack of consistency from classroom to classroom within a school, and campus to campus within a district. We lose parents and families on the sheer basis of confusion and time to connect. Families become frustrated and experience “app overload” when there are too many places to check for information about their child. Teachers become frustrated with lack of participation and amount of time required for upkeep.
At Livingtree, we created the technology to solve this. Taking a school or district-wide platform approach resolves the engagement barriers of time and consistency. Livingtree takes care of the set up for staff AND families, while integrating with the school information system to keep classrooms up to date daily. This takes the time burden away and allows our educators, families, and students to focus on positive conversation and partnership. Providing a school or district-wide platform with engagement features (two-way conversation and messaging, translations, media sharing, volunteer and event management, etc.) can truly take family engagement to a whole new level.
Livingtree Give just added a little competition to education fundraising… We’d like to introduce the “Leaderboard” Feature!
The “Leaderboard” feature is an option that you can choose to set up when you are creating your online campaign, which allows you to create a “competition” for donations between groups (i.e. classes, teams, grades, etc.).
Fundraising leaderboards are an effective K-12 fundraising tool for groups small and large that provide a little extra motivation to raise funds. We’ve added this tool to inspire friendly competition among groups to help them drive donations and meet their goals!
With the option selected and your groups created, your donors will be able to select which group they want to donate on behalf of. Their donation will then be credited to that group and the list/status is displayed on your campaign (note: you also have the option to hide the leaderboard list on your campaign, but still know the status internally).
With the Leaderboard, you can provide status updates to your donors, students, parents, etc. throughout the duration of your campaign. This brings the element of competition and excitement to your campaign, at the same time, helping to optimize your donations!
On the campaign page, select the “Leaderboard” tab to access the list of groups, along with real-time donations that have been collected for each group! The groups are sorted by largest donation amount to smallest, indicating which group is in the lead.
The Basha/Perry/Casteel Air Force JROTC (campaign pictured above) originally set a goal of raising $10,000. Using the Leaderboard feature, they quickly surpassed that and extended their goal to $15,000 – which they also crushed, raising almost an extra $3,000! They are now able to use these donations to fund program equipment, critical supplies, and incredible educational field trips. To view their campaign page, click here!
We recommend that you send regular updates to your donors, students, parents, staff, etc. announcing which group is in the lead, as well as driving everyone to the “Leaderboard” tab on your campaign. Don’t forget to ask everyone to share your campaign, and how much is still needed to reach your goal!
Good luck to all!
For more information on our new Leaderboards feature, visit the support page.