Crowdfunding school expenses

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It’s the end of the school year, and you were appointed head of the booster club, which means fundraising for the next school year.

More parents, as well as teachers, are turning to crowdfunding, says Dan Pfeiffer of GoFundMe, which is a crowdfunding website.

GoFundMe has seen $50 million raised in school-related campaigns since it started in 2010, with most of that in the past year, Pfeiffer says. Big growth is expected in 2016.
Because of social media, crowdfunding appeals can draw from a bigger audience than the traditional school fundraiser by reaching far-flung family members, friends and school alumni—even people who aren’t aligned necessarily with the specific community, experts say.

Crowdfunding websites aren’t all the same. Some take a percentage of money that’s raised as a fee. Others charge a fee to donors. This makes it so the cause gets all of the dollars that are pledged to it, but someone who wants to donate, say, $100 pays $105. A few websites focus on school-related causes.

Regardless of the website that you choose, your success depends on getting the word out, Pfeiffer says. For a successful crowdfunding campaign, parents should have “a compelling cause, a well-written campaign description and a photo that catches the eye,” he says.