The Basha High School Air Force JROTC program in Chandler, AZ, like many other school organizations across the country, depends on fundraisers to cover the costs of their program’s equipment, supplies, and experiences. In years prior, the JROTC program worked with Snap-Raise to help them raise funds. But after evaluating the costs and fees they were losing each year, they decided they needed a better solution. They found a school fundraising platform with all of the fundraising and promotional tools that they needed, which ultimately allowed them to keep an additional $4,000 that they would have otherwise lost to the costs of Snap-Raise.
The change was a result of an all-to-oftenly asked question: is the “convenience” of Snap-Raise really worth its cost? After losing so much of the funds they raised from their parents and community members to the fees that were charged with Snap-Raise fundraising program, the JROTC program decided it was time for a change.
What is the cost of using Snap Raise?
What percentage fee does Snap-Raise keep? Snap-Raise has a hefty cost starting at 20% of the funds raised, plus payment processing fees and any student prizes (some people online have reported fees up to 50%).¹ The primary fee essentially covers the cost and commission of letting an independent Snap-Raise representative collect and send emails to parent and community-members requesting donations for the fundraiser (note that Snap-Raise does not publish a standard fee charged by their agents). These high percentage fees and costs are the most common Snap-Raise fundraiser complaints among online articles and forums.
Other online comments indicated that the fees varied on a sliding-scale based on the percentage of the program’s “participation” – meaning in order to achieve the lowest possible fee most, if not all, students in the organization must provide the minimum number of email addresses of family and friends to the Snap-Raise agent. It also appeared that some Snap-Raise representatives may charge slightly higher percentages in order to take home a larger commission. Regardless, many parents and community members seem to be unhappy with the percentage that Snap-Raise takes from the funds raised.
The Need for an Effective Fundraising Solution
When school programs are short on funds, or wanting to provide additional experiences for students, every dollar counts. Each year, the Basha JROTC program conducts an annual fundraiser, which is a crucial event to raise funds for program equipment, critical supplies, and educational field trips. Their program was in need of a fundraising platform with the efficiency of Snap-Raise so they could raise just as much money, but with lower fees to maximize the funds they raised.
That meant something with:
Contact management to easily upload donor contact information and grow a donor-base year after year.
Email communication tools to easily promote fundraisers to donor contacts, and provide updates along the way.
Easy-to-use creation tools that allow for quick campaign creation and savable templates to use year-after-year.
Effective promotional tools that allow for internal fundraising competition, easily sharing across social media, and features that drive donations.
Fundraising with a New Platform
Fortunately, their school district had recently implemented a new platform that checked those boxes and would allow them to fundraise in a way that was both scalable and cheaper for their organization. Upon launching the campaign, the Basha JROTC set a goal of raising $10,000, which was very quickly surpassed within just a couple weeks. They extended their goal to $15,000, and by the end of their campaign that ran for about a month’s time, they had raised just shy of $18,000!
How The Program Was So Successful
So how’d they do it? The JROTC program split their students into 3 groups, plus a 4th group for staff and incorporated a “Leaderboard” feature to drive competition among the students. The feature associated and tracked donations by group, and displayed the leaders as the campaign went on.
Additionally, the organization followed the “Guide: Campaign Promotion Best Practices”. They were able to collect the email addresses from the families and friends of students in the platform’s contact manager, and then draft out and send timely emails to drive donations to their campaign.
By taking the campaign into their own hands and using the effective tools within the Livingtree Give school fundraising platform, the Basha JROTC program took home around $4,000 more than they would have using a fundraising program like Snap-Raise*.
Livingtree’s goal is to provide the most comprehensive fundraising platform for K-12 districts by incorporating the best tools for K-12 organizations, teachers, coaches, and students to maximize their fundraising abilities. With unique campaign web-pages, built-in contact and donor management, email campaign creation, online leaderboards, automatic reconciliation, detailed reporting, and a multitude of fundraising options, Livingtree Give’s “do-it-yourself” model platform allows K-12 members to efficiently manage their own campaigns with low transaction fees through their exclusive education partnership with PayPal.
If you are a Parent Organization, Club, Team, or School Organization looking for a better way to fundraise, you can sign up for a free Livingtree Give account below.
Are you a district administrator? Click here to learn more about Livingtree Give’s District plans.
*Amount calculated based on 5% + $0.30 per transaction vs. 28% on a total amount of $17,933.98 raised.