It's almost that time of year again when educators and parents are seeing the timely "Back to School" sales at your favorite mall or superstore. For educators, it's a reminder of the all the great projects and lessons we taught last year and how we can improve them if we just had the materials we could not afford or ran out. If you are not a teacher, be aware that teachers do get some money for classroom materials but it varies from school to school and they get very little.
During my time as a classroom teacher throughout California my teacher material allowance range was between $60 - $250 to spend on a year' supply. On average, I had 35 students sitting in my class at any given time throughout the year. This meant that supplies went out by mid year and I was left to either pay out of pocket or fundraise. I would always do both. As a teacher, I never really knew how much out of pocket money I spent on my class at first. I can tell you that in all the dozen schools I taught over my career It was not abnormal to see my fellow teachers spend at least an eighth of their salary on their students.
As a parent, I too am torn between seeing these signs at every shopping location I walk into during this time of summer. Especially, since I have one child who is on the horizon of going into higher education after his last year of high school coming up. I can not begin to explain the sticker shock I have about higher ed and whether the money will really prepare my child for his vocation.
With todays school and family budgets on a diet, I would like to share some resources that can help:-)
DonorsChoose.org is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests on their site, and you can give any amount to the project that most inspires you.
When a project reaches its funding goal, they ship the materials to the school. You'll get photos of the project taking place, a letter from the teacher, and insight into how every dollar was spent. Give over $50 and you'll also receive hand-written thank-yous from the students! I wish they had this service back when i started teaching. Learn more here!
FInd funding fast for K-12 schools.Grant Wrangler is a free online listing service of grants and awards for teachers.
Karen Greenwood Henke has been helping schools and nonprofits apply for grant funding since her work with Smart Valley in 1995. She worked with a Challenge Grant project in Silicon Valley and reviewed grants for the Department of Commerce TIAPP program. She has run grants and awards contests for National Semiconductor, eBay, the International Reading Association, the Air Force Association, and the University of Arizona Graduate and Professional Student Association. Karen is interested in how technology makes our lives easier and more fun. She shares her thoughts about the future of learning at www.longtaillearners.com.
edRover is a new mobile application that aligns businesses' goals with schools' fundraising needs. The application, which can be downloaded free to an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad or a Windows Phone 7 (more platforms to come), allows consumers to direct donations from participating businesses to the school of their choice by confirming each visit to a sponsor's location.
edRover.com also contains a charity mall that allows registered consumers to earn donations back for their favorite school program when they shop through the links on the site.
Tania Mulry, a concerned mother of three boys frustrated by shrinking school budgets, founded EdRover, Inc. and developed the edRover application as a solution to help address school fundraising challenges. She brought together an extensive understanding of business, location-based marketing, technology, school involvement and motherhood to create a win-win-win for businesses, schools and concerned citizens. Learn more here!
The $1 trillion US student loan market is broken. SoFi was founded to offer an innovative approach to addressing this problem using the power of social communities to transform the industry. SoFi connects students and alumni through a dedicated lending pool and an original social community approach where students, alumni and schools all benefit. Alumni earn a compelling double bottom line return, students receive a lower loan rate than their private or federal options, and both sides benefit from the connections formed.
Double Bottom Line Investing
Alumni have a unique opportunity to participate in a SoFi Community that is custom built around your alma mater. Alumni invest in a pool of loans for students (or recent alumni) from each school. Alumni provide immediate value for borrowers by giving a lower fixed loan rate, while at the same time receiving a return on their investment. We call this opportunity a "double bottom line" return, in that alumni gain both a social and financial benefit (i.e. "SoFi"). Learn more here!
Causera is an e-commerce platform dedicated to making fundraising for your cause easy.
Causera was founded by a group of tech veterans and parents who were frustrated with fundraisers for their kids’ schools and activities. These fundraisers were time-consuming. Many sold the same overpriced stuff. They often involved sending kids to sell door-to-door. There were too many paper forms. There had to be a way to run fundraisers more efficiently and to offer products, services, and events that people really wanted.
Out of this desire to apply technology to make fundraising better, Causera was born. Using Causera, any organization can set up its own e-commerce site in 5 minutes or less. Simple, right? But it’s also rich in features to match just about any fundraising need. Learn more here!
Are you in higher Ed?
The USEED crowdfunding platform taps the power of social networks and the voice of your students to win new donors for your college or university.
How It Works
Our platform is an easy-to-use web application that empowers your students, faculty, alumni and staff to tell their stories using video and other rich content. It enables them to leverage their social networks—through email, Facebook, and other sites—as they raise funds for the projects at your school that are close to their hearts. Learn more today!