Online fundraising is a growing area in K-12, and crowdfunding has exploded onto the scene over the last decade. While many students, families, teachers, and schools have embraced this new type of fundraising, school districts are facing unintended liabilities from these types of campaigns. EdSurge collected research on crowdfunding in K-12 over the last year, and just recently published a report of their findings. Among the seven crowdfunding platforms that EdSurge compared, Livingtree Give was effectively highlighted as a platform to:
– “Ensure that money raised through crowdfunding goes directly to the school or district, but that administrators can allow teachers to spend the money wherever they’d like in a secure and trackable way”
– “Maximize district oversight by providing administrators with full reports for campaigns in the district and ensuring that all campaigns have been approved before they’re published”
In the full downloadable report, Austin Independent School District was featured as one of the two “Districts Paving the Way.”
This section of the report uses Austin ISD (pictured below) as an example of a district that has developed strategies to support crowdfunding and boost teachers’ efforts. The district provides Livingtree Give accounts to teachers, boosters and parent organizations across their district. Once campaigns are approved, they feature these campaigns in their Livingtree Give public portal, which donors can access through the district’s website.
Under the Integrations section of the report, EdSurge mentions Livingtree’s integration on Austin ISD’s website which links donors directly to their Give portal. The integration option is offered to all of Livingtree’s customers as part of the district plan.
The report also profiled the Livingtree Give platform, where Chandler Unified School District in Arizona was featured as a “highlighted project.” After going on a nation-wide search to find a crowdfunding platform that met all of their district’s needs, Chandler started their first year with Livingtree Give this fall and had garnered more than $50,000 in donations as of December 2018.
Livingtree is pleased to be recognized among the top crowdfunding platforms, and as one that truly helps districts manage the complexities and eliminate the liabilities of crowdfunding. To learn more about how the Livingtree Give platform can help your district, visit learn.livingtree.com/products/give.
To further understand the process of crowdfunding in K-12 schools, the liabilities that districts are facing, and how to develop policies and procedures around it, visit the EdSurge Report page and download their full report.
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, it seems like there is a different app for behavior, communication, attendance – you name it. With limited direction from the school or district, teachers are left to sort through and drive these apps to try and find the best tools that work for their students’ families.
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 a conversation.
Bonus info: Get the Family Engagement Technology guide for the 4 capabilities your engagement platform must have and the best practices for school districts to implement a unified solution.
These methodologies change from year to year, and 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. This then results in teachers become frustrated with the lack of participation and amount of time required to upkeep all the information.
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.
What capabilities should you be looking for in a district-wide family engagement platform?
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.