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Community Forums - K-12 Educators - Crowdsourcing to fund classroom projects

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Hi everyone,

I'm curious whether you have used crowdsourcing to fund projects for your classroom.  If so, would you be willing to share what site you have used?  What do you think contributes to a successful "ask?"  I'm also interested in your thoughts if you have contributed to such a project - what inspired you to give?

This thread was posted on July 10, 2013 at 2:41 PM ET by Jeanne Chowning.
  |   2 Replies   |   Last on 6/13/2014 at 6:02 PM ET
Re: Crowdsourcing to fund classroom projects

I think you mean crowdfunding and not crowdsourcing. As I understand it correctly, crowdsourcing is when you get a group of people to do a project for you.

I run K-12 science outreach programs (bioeyes.org) and we are currently working on our first crowdfunding campaign. We started by doing a search for the best reviewed sites and made a list, then narrowed it down to what might work best for our campaign, which is about raising money to buy two microscopes to bring to classrooms. Our top pics were Crowdsource, incitEd, and Razoo. We picked these based on cost of fees and what they have to offer, niche (e.g., education funding), and the amount of money we want to raise.

We also researched the best practices for launching a crowdfunding campaign. I highly recommend looking into this if you want to do it right. This aspect is helping us to figure out the next steps, such as a timeline, identifying campaign "ambassadors," incentives for giving, messaging for social media and elsewhere that is done well in advance of your campaign, etc. On the last point, you want to educate the people you're asking money for about your campaign well before it launches. That way once it launches they simply give and it's an easy and positive experience for them. The overall strategy is to create excitement about your campaign, and to keep the momentum going so even at the end people really want to give and see you succeed.

Personally, I have only given to one of these campaigns. It was Giving Tuesday, and I contributed because my city (Baltimore) was in competition with other cities to see who could give the most. And we won! In general I give to causes I care about because I think it's important and should be a part of every person's life; it feels good to give. Guess who gives the most money? The poor!

This was posted on June 13, 2014 at 6:02 PM ET by Valerie Butler.
Re: Crowdsourcing to fund classroom projects

I've donated to projects using DonorsChoose.org [for classroom projects] and Microryza.com [for a local DIYbio space in our community].  I'd love to hear about the experiences of people using these types of groups to fund their projects!

This was posted on July 11, 2013 at 8:26 PM ET by Dina Kovarik.