5 Liabilities of Crowdfunding that Every K-12 District Should Know

  • by admin
  • September 25, 2018
  • 00
  • District Fundraising Resources
  • Over the years, there has been a growing spotlight on the education funding gap. The gap has become more of a problem for many K-12 school districts since 2008, and recent statistics show an increase in teacher spending on school supplies.

    Many schools and districts are finding that traditional fundraising can no longer cover some of the greater costs that are needed, and as a result of the mass growth in technology, it’s now possible for anyone to raise money online for anything. And by incorporating online fundraising into their programs, schools have been able to increase giving by 40%.

    However, these Crowdfunding sites were not built specifically for districts and the lack the necessary oversight and control. They can be enormous liabilities to school districts and can result in violations of both policy and law.

    As a result of the liabilities, some school districts are writing “no Crowdfunding” or “no online fundraising” policies. These policies are only hurting their schools – and ultimately the education of their children. They can also imply a lack of trust in their educators. Until the educational funding gap is solved, schools should absolutely fundraise online, however it should be done in an appropriate way.

    Below, we’ve put together the 5 Liabilities of Crowdfunding that every K-12 District should know:

    1. Fundraising on the School or District’s Behalf: Most Crowdfunding sites will allow anyone within the district to launch fundraising campaigns. This means they can use the name, logo, or images of the school or district without consent. Based on how the campaign is pitched, the campaign can reflect poorly on the district, and the results of the campaign can cause PR nightmares.

    2. Sharing Student Information: Everyone loves to see pictures and know the students that are being directly impacted by their contribution, however this can be a largely overlooked FERPA violation. Sharing student images or names without consent can create liabilities for the district.

    3. Routing Funds through Personal Accounts: Many Crowdfunding sites transfer the lump sums directly to the person who posted the campaign, which raises legal and accountability issues. In most cases, this is also a violation of district and state policies that affirm that the District Treasurer is supposed to be in charge of the funds

    4. Ownership: Once completed, who actually owns those funds or products that are produced through that campaign? Was the campaign personal or on behalf of the district? Is that the property of a teacher, a school, or the district? Some teachers will tell you that everything they raise is for the school, while others will tell you differently.

    5. Existing/Incompliant Resources: It’s actually a common occurrence for staff to raise money for items that either already exist elsewhere, or already have funding. It’s also not uncommon for staff to raise money for technology that isn’t approved or that the curriculum isn’t available for.

    These are all problems that Livingtree Give has solved.

    Livingtree Give takes the same concept of online fundraising, but uses features built specifically for school districts to do so in a coordinated fashion in order to eliminate these liabilities.  Give provides district oversight to every fundraiser, while also assuring donors that every single campaign has been vetted and approved through the district’s built in and customizable approval process. District admin can now track every single dollar, route funds through a single district account, easily disperse funds to the appropriate accounts, and generate reports – all in real time.



    DOWNLOAD OUR FREE GUIDE “Crowdfunding in the Crowdfunding”
    for more information on the risks and liabilities of crowdfunding, and the best practices to help your school district ultimately raise more money through online fundraising!

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