Fundraising Secrets Series: Crowdfunding for the Classroom

Watch the full webinar here!

Here at Schoolrunner, we are committed to demonstrating the power of data. We believe that data can empower individuals across our schools to make a strong case to increase funds, however they choose to raise those funds.

In our most recent webinar, fundraising expert Kristina Saccone compares and contrasts four popular crowdfunding sites:

Why Crowdfunding?

The potential for crowdfunding is huge. In 2017 alone, over $17.2 billion was raised by more than a fifth of the country. Not to mention, nearly 4 in 5 teachers have used DonorsChoose, one of the most popular fundraising platforms, to crowdfund their classroom. That is the majority of school teachers in the country.

The next question then becomes: How do I know which fundraising platform I should use? For a full recap, watch the webinar recording above. In the meantime, we will give a brief overview here of the logistics and projects best suited for each platform.


  • Who: “Verified” public school teachers only. DonorsChoose defines “verified teachers” as those who spend at least 75% of their time in the classroom.
  • Logistics: This platform was built to help teachers raise money for specific supplies. Teachers are required to set a fundraising goal, and once that goal is reached, DonorsChoose buys the goods and ships them. Teachers must reach their goal in order to receive the donated goods.   
  • Fees: The platform deducts shipping, labor, and fulfillment costs, as well as standard payment processing fees for each donation received.
  • Pros: DonorsChoose reaches a lot of teachers! People go to this platform when they are looking to make donations specifically to public school classrooms. 72% of donors surveyed said they had never made a donation to a public school prior to using DonorsChoose.


  • Who: Teachers, nonprofit organizations, and anyone else raising money for K-12.
  • Logistics: This platform allows you to keep however much money is raised, regardless of a fundraising goal. PledgeCents sends the money raised via check or direct deposit.    
  • Fees: Users receive 97% of the funds raised. The standard 3% goes toward payment processing.
  • Pros: PledgeCents gives a specific call to action. It gives donors suggestions for how much to donate, helping them make the connection to how much money is meaningful.


  • Who: Anyone 
  • Logistics: This platform allows users to keep all funds, regardless of whether or not the goal is met.    
  • Fees: Fundly deducts a 4.9% fee, in addition to a payment processing fee, from each donation you receive.
  • Pros: You can embed a video on Fundly, which is a compelling way to share stories about what you’re fundraising for.


  • Who: Anyone
  • Logistics: This platform allows you to keep however much money is raised, regardless of a fundraising goal. PledgeCents sends the money raised via check or direct deposit.    
  • Fees: 2.9% plus 30 cents goes to payment processing for each donation.
  • Pros: Easy social media integration

How to Get Your Campaign Off the Ground

In order to have a successful campaign, it is imperative that you do the following:

  1. Tell a personal story
  2. Set a clear goal

Here’s where data comes in, and this is where Schoolrunner can help. Our platform gives teachers a single place for all of their student data across academics, behavior, attendance, and communication — making it easy for teachers and administrators to tell the whole story of student success.

For more on this topic, check out the other recordings in our Fundraising Secrets Series (posted on the blog), in addition to this most recent one.

Stay tuned for information on our May webinar, and contact us to learn more about how you can leverage our platform to tell a data-driven fundraising narrative!

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