Monday, April 13, 2015

Why to use CrowdRise for Student Fundraising

How cool is this note from CrowdRise?
I enjoy activities that allow students to show their work outside of the classroom. Even better is when the work has the possibility to change!

One project my students do is create crowdfunding pages. They select a charity and create a website and video fundraising for the nonprofit. This really helps them understand audience, hone their research skills, practice public speaking, and

There are many crowdfunding pages out there; some have very specific audiences that don’t quite match what we do. Kickstarter for example helps people fundraise for something, like a book launch or product creation.

Here are the main reasons I love using CrowdRise for fundraising activities in my classroom:

1. Students should be thirteen with parental consent and guidance
Be a Decent Human!
  •  Some crowdfunding sites require users to be 18. This can be doable, students give their texts to a teacher (or parent) who creates the page. However, it is much easier that the site permits teenagers to create their own profiles.

2. Students (and teachers) NEVER touch the money
  •  I like this project because I can be a decent human, without having to understand the money side of things.
  • A lot of other sites give you the money which you transfer to the charity. This can create issues. Who handles the money? The teacher? The student? Does it go through your school? What paperwork do you need to avoid paying taxes? Gah! You’re trying to show your students that their actions can have a positive change in the world, not that fundraising is crazy chaotic.
  • The website does charge fee, but it is less than 10%

3. The site is very easy to use!
Screenshot explaining how the site works
  • Most charities are already set up, so there's no need to track down tax ID numbers, or accounts payable, etc.
  • This is great for students who like to have options, but can never think of anything. Just have them scroll through the charities on the site. Or, since so many charities are there, have them search for their favorite charity! There’s no getting the charity’s number, or inputting the information. Just click and voila, it is there.
  • The basic set up is already there, and students just add text, graphics, and a video. No coding, or web design skills are needed.

4.  The staff is AWESOME 

Tattoo and Flag
  • They respond to Facebook posts, tweets, and emails with record time! This is from me AND my students.
  • If you send them an e-mail and ask really nicely, they’ll send some CrowdRise swag (maybe stickers, maybe temporary tattoos, maybe something else!). I don’t know about your students, but my students get INCREDIBLY excited about little tidbits. This gives them a little extra focus on the project.
If you have any plans on doing a schoolwide event or want to try a fundraising project similar to the one my students did, then I suggest you look into CrowdRise.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Fundraising with your Students

Fundraising in your classroom?

I read a lot about fundraising FOR your classroom, but why not help your students create fundraising pages OUTSIDE your classroom.

A screenshot of a student made video

So much of school is doing an assignment for your teacher, reading a book for your teacher, giving a presentation for your teacher.

With the use of more technology, many teachers have students share their information outside the classroom via YouTube, or a blog. However, even then, the goal is often that the teacher likes it and it lines up well with the rubric.

An infographic created for a previous project
Pushing things outside of the classroom helps improve the motivation of students. They aren't doing things just for your class, but because they matter in the real world.

With crowdfunding, students have an authentic audience and a real life task. They get to research a charity, find appropriate graphics, and create a video. All of this is done with one goal: to persuade people to donate to their fund.

CrowdRise 101

Below is a list of the CrowdRise pages my students created. Before you check them out here's a quick CrowdRise101 on how to work the page:

  • You can confirm the charity the funds are going to (and click on the name for more information)
  • Read the text that the students have created which should quickly persuade you that the charity is a noble cause.
  • Under the picture you'll see grey circles. These tell you how many graphics or videos the CrowdRise page has. Click the arrows to scroll through. You can see different pictures and hopefully a video the student has shared!
  • Rather self explanatory, but the giant "Donate" button encourages you to make a donation. You can also leave a comment.
  • Questions? Issues? The service button in the bottom right should help.

Student Created CrowdRise Pages

Here are some finished copies. If you have a moment (and possibly $10) to spare, consider making a donation!

  • Families to Build a Miracle. 
    • Build a Miracle CrowdRise Page
      • This was one of the first pages to get a donation.The graphics include infographics students have made, and a rather informational video.
  • MDStudents Building a Miracle
    • Build a Miracle CrowdRise Page
      • As you can see Build A Miracle is a favorite charity with the students. These students have a habit to be very dramatic in their videos. I think you'll agree they are quite emotional!
  • L'Arche USA
    • L'arche USA CrowdRise Page
      • This is one of the most energetic groups I have ever had. I LOVE the video and the page is very clear on what their goals are. Plus, they pronounce L'arche much better than I have managed to do.
  • The Laboure Society
    •  Laboure Society CrowdRise Page 
      • Since I teach at a Catholic school, all of the charities had to be vetted. However, I wouldn't consider all of the charities as Catholic charities. This one however is. I was a little surprised that this group of three boys decided to raise money to help people become priests.   
  •  Divine Mercy Care
    • Divine Mercy Care CrowdRise Page 
      • This was the one group of students who decided to use an animation website (powtunes) to help them make their video. I do wish they would have done a voice over, but the information provided is all really good and I hope you take the time to read it. 
  •  Supporting Mary's Mercy Center
  • The Tomorrow Project 
    • The Tomorrow Project CrowdRise Page
      • I don't think I am supposed to admit this when it comes to a charity project like this, but this is my FAVORITE charity. See what the students have put together and decide whether or not it is your favorite too! Technically this charity is Catholic Charities, but as they do so much students decided to focus on The Tomorrow Project.
Share, Comment, Advise
If you were persuaded, but don't have an opportunity to donate, I'd encourage you to share your favorite page on Twitter or Facebook. Hashtag #CrusadersCrowdfund so my students will know that their pages are being shared and appreciated!

We would also appreciate any comments or advice.
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