“We expect the teachers to reach unattainable goals with inadequate resources, and they often do” – Haim Ginott.
In India, the literacy rate is growing rapidly; the literacy rate among urban areas stands at 85%, and in rural India, it is about 65%. Even as the number of students enrolling in schools is rising, several schools across India lack resources and funds.
As a teacher, you would want to do everything in your capacity to help your students succeed. However, the task can be challenging when you don’t have the necessary funds and supplies. In such a situation, you can rely on crowdfunding to raise funds and help your students continue their academics endeavours.
What is Crowdfunding?
If you are new to crowdfunding, the term defines itself. It is the practice of raising money by seeking donations from several people who contribute towards a common cause. As teachers, crowdfunding can help you raise funds to buy classroom supplies, take your children to special field trips, build toilets in the school, provide daily meals, etc.
Until recently, the education sector in India has been slow to adopt crowdfunding. Today, education crowdfunding has become a common practice as more and more teachers from NGOs, shelter homes, and schools are utilising crowdfunding to raise funds and help their students learn better.
Now that you are aware of what crowdfunding is? You must know how you can raise funds through crowdfunding.
While it can be tempting to start your crowdfunding campaign as fast as you can, it is advisable that you take your time to prepare a fundraising plan. The more time you spend before launching the campaign, the less time you would have to spend fixing the errors while the campaign is live.
The first step in starting a teacher crowdfunding campaign is to define a goal. You must determine for what purpose do you want to raise funds? How much do you want to raise? And set a feasible timeline for the campaign.
Once you are ready with the above details, the next step is to look for the best crowdfunding platform to host your campaign. There are many crowdfunding platforms in India, like Ketto, that hosts hundreds of campaigns. Make sure that you are familiar with how the crowdfunding platform works and choose the right platform to suit your needs.
After you have narrowed down your search on the crowdfunding platform, it is paramount
that you have a good narrative before you take the campaign live. Write a catchy caption for your campaign that can immediately draw the potential donor’s attention and give them a preview about the campaign. Provide details about why you are raising funds and how the donations can help the children learn better and become better citizens. You can add a few pictures of your students to emotionally connect with your donors.
After you have collected donations from the people, it would be wise to send a personal message to the donors and thank them for helping you make a difference in your students’ life.
Other effective ways to raise funds for your classroom
Sell a classroom book
Creating a classroom book can be an excellent team-building exercise, which can help you raise funds and bring the students’ to display their talents. You can decide on a central theme and ask your students to write a poem, an essay, a short story, or any other form of a literary piece and compile all of them into a book to be sold online or at the local fair or market.
Students will be excited to see their work compiled into a real book, and you can count on the students’ parents, other family members, and the fellow teachers in your school to be first customers.
You can organise a book launch event in your locality and invite the locals to visit and contribute towards your classroom needs by purchasing the book. To make the event more interesting for the visitors and potential donors, you can organise a book reading session or a book signing event with the little authors as your guests.
Host a restaurant fundraiser
A lot of families enjoy eating at restaurants. It is a great way to spend quality time with loved ones. So, why not use this opportunity and make this family time a profitable one for your classroom. You can collaborate with any local restaurant to host an education crowdfunding night and use the proceeds to meet your classroom expenses.
You can also involve your children to design a special menu for the fundraiser night and allow them to showcase their unique talents to the guests at the restaurant. This may make the guests feel more interested in the cause, and they may offer to pay more than the actual price for the fundraiser.
Be decisive with your fundraiser planning and try to get the students involved as much as possible. This would help them learn a valuable lesson – ‘they should stand up for their cause.’