One of the most important characteristics of just about anything that affects an entire school is the level of teacher engagement or buy-in. Without teacher buy-in, new curriculum flops, technology initiatives fail to launch, and innovation flounders. Fundraising to support the school’s budget is significantly hindered if there is a lack of teacher support for it. So, as far as fundraising goes, how can you go about getting teachers involved?
It really starts at the top. Teachers have to know that their administrators have bought into an idea. Once they see that, it shouldn’t be too hard to get teachers on board. For example, if a school’s principal is interested in trying online fundraising with a platform designed for the K-12 community, they can show the teachers how committed they are by making the first donation. Afterwards, the principal could ask the teachers to donate to the campaign.
The amount teachers donate isn’t important, but getting every teacher to participate is.
Once all of the teachers have donated, a principal can bring the fundraiser to the PTA or parent body at large. It is extremely powerful to be able to say, “100% of our teachers care enough about your children to give money from their own pockets to help the school.”
Keep in mind that intimacy matters in these scenarios. If the principal asks teachers to donate in an email, many teachers will likely ignore it. If the principal calls a faculty meeting and spends 10 minutes talking about this fundraiser, what the money will be used for, how the money will directly benefit the school community, and how important teacher participation is for success, then teachers are more likely to be engaged. Intimacy matters when moving from getting teacher buy-in to getting student and parent buy-in too.
Again, announcing it via email or to parents en masse will not be as effective as taking the time to explain the fundraiser’s importance to parents individually or in small groups. It may take more time and energy to talk to parents in small groups, but the rewards will far outweigh the costs. You’ll see your fundraiser’s thermometer fill up in no time!
Share your strategies for getting teacher and parent buy-in. We’d love to know what you do that works and what you’ve tried that could use some tweaking!
Edco, the leading online platform for the K-12 community, has been helping school programs raise funds since 2014. Using an online fundraising platform, on average, raises four times as much per student compared to traditional fundraisers (bake sales, car washes, auctions, craft fairs, etc.) and is a paperless, hassle-free experience for all involved.