Laura Mahon, a senior at East Chapel Hill High School, is in charge of her robotics team along with three other team officers. One of her many responsibilities is to ensure that the team has enough funding to buy parts and travel to competitions. She has tried a lot of different fundraising methods from obtaining business sponsors to writing grants, but she has recently found one she plans on sticking with; Edco. Edco is an online fundraising platform that is built for K-12 education. Laura was prompted to look into Edco after hearing good things about it from a fellow robotics team. She tried gofundme in the past, but she and the other members of the team chose Edco because they, “…like the layout of the website and how everyone got their own dashboard so they can keep up with our fundraising efforts. This [Edco] is aimed at people like us and education.”
“We like the layout of the website and how everyone got their own dashboard so they can keep up with our fundraising efforts.” – Laura Mahon
Laura and the other officers manage a team of twenty five students. She tries to get everyone involved in each aspect of the robotics team experience, from building the robot to fundraising. Sometimes, everyone’s energies need to be focussed on the same thing. One example is during the off season when everyone is concentrating on fundraising. Laura’s strategy was simple. She created an Edco fundraising page and relentlessly pushed her teammates to spread the word. “Every meeting I would say to share the Edco link with friends, family, neighbors, and on social media.” She asked team members to input contacts so that she could email them with regards to donations and updates about their robotics team. Over the course of about a year, the team raised over $5,300 under Laura’s leadership.
“We’re really glad we found it [Edco] and hope to use it for a long time to come.” – Laura Mahon
Another aspect of the team’s fundraising was their propensity for securing business sponsorships. Laura and her teammates reached out to SIM, a company whose mission is to bring together IT leaders to share, network and give back to their communities through collaboration. Laura and her team were invited to do a couple of presentations about their robotics team and ended up netting a four year sponsorship! Needless to say, SIM contributed through the team’s Edco fundraising page. Now the team goes to SIM dinners and events to update the company on the impact their contributions have. Laura understands how important it is to update donors because she said that it kept SIM interested in sponsoring them and that it was their way of thanking SIM for their support. This is a microcosm of an ideal donor/team relationship. The team is way ahead of the curve in how they treat their supporters.
Laura had some good advice for anyone thinking of trying online fundraising for the first time. She underscored the importance of making it a team effort saying, “Get more people involved and make it a collective responsibility. We are all in it together.” Building off of that she felt it was important to, “Be annoying about it. It [Edco fundraiser] was a very constant presence. In every one of our emails there was a link at the bottom. We were constantly reminding them [the rest of the team].”
“Show them [potential supporters] your passion so they know why you’re doing this. Make sure they know where the money is going and you’re going to get much more positive feedback.” – Laura Mahon
Laura’s team was able to raise over $5,000 primarily through social media outreach. You can too! Listen to Laura when she says to, “Start with it [fundraising] immediately because the longer you leave it the more likely you’ll feel like someone else will do it for you.” Set up your own fundraising page in under five minutes on Edco and reach out to your community. You may even end up with your very own business sponsorships if you rally the team around your fundraising efforts like Laura did. So what are you waiting for? Get started today!
For more information about Edco or to sign up for FREE visit: www.ed.co