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iPads for iMusic Fundraiser Success!
Posted by Amanda Stevens at 02:51:45 PM Tue 09/10/2013
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Digital Wish Fundraiser Success Story


July 15th, 2013


Brian VandeWalle, Elementary Music Teacher, Texas 

Brian ran a technology fundraiser on Digital Wish and was able to meet 100% of his fundraising goal to purchase iPads for his music classroom. After 90 days and strong campaigning Brian was able to accomplish his objective and now we can share some tips from Brian that will help others also run a successful fundraiser. 

Identify Needs that will Enhance your Classroom.
After attending a teachers' conference where iPads were all the rage, Brian brought his own iPad into his music class to test it out with the kids. The students loved it. Brian realized that this new technology could get kids excited about learning. He saw that even kids who were normally disinterested in class became engaged when using the iPad. With the iPad he had access to many music education apps that motivated his students to explore music in exciting new ways. He also realized that the iPads were not just something that would be useful in the music room, but could be shared throughout other classrooms and subjects.


Digital Wish’s Fundraising Tool.
Brian’s school is classified as “high need” and he knew there was no money in the budget to buy iPads. After exploring some other fundraising websites he discovered that Digital Wish allowed him to raise money without any risk. If he failed to meet his goal he would still get whatever money he had been able to raise. This gave him the ability to set a high goal and obtain the money he needed for the iPads. With other sites he would have had to do a much smaller fundraiser because of the risk of not receiving any money if the goal was not met.

 

Spreading Awareness of the Fundraiser.
As soon as the fundraiser began Brian sent home letters to all the parents letting them know what he was trying to do. The key to running a successful fundraiser is constant communication with people to encourage them to donate. However, Brian noticed that only about 5% of the parents had participated. So, in order to drum up more participation, he explained to everyone at a PTA program night why he wanted the iPads and found out that part of the reason the participation was so low was that many parents were hesitant to use their credit cards online. After the program night, many parents donated money using checks or cash which Brian then donated for them.

 

Communicate Needs - Carefully and Often. Brian also realized after talking to his students, that many of the parents thought of the iPad as a gaming machine and were not interested in donating their money to purchasing them.  At another PTA program night, Brian gave a presentation showing a music video that the kids had made using an app on the iPad. He was able to show all the educational projects the students could tackle with the iPad, and many parents were able to see the device’s potential. His persistence in trying to get the message across to parents was key in being able to raise enough money to meet his goal. Without careful and constant communication potential donors were unable to understand the goal and they were reluctant to donate.


Keep Fundraiser Awareness High Until the Very End. Throughout the course of the fundraiser Brian kept a thermometer measuring the progress in his classroom. This raised student excitement and kept the goal fresh in students' minds, triggering them to remind their parents to donate. Two parents even approached the companies they work for and enrolled in their matching donation program. The corporations gave an equal donation to Brian’s classroom and doubled the impact of the parents' donation!


Wishes Granted and Fundraiser Goal Reached. In the end all of Brian’s hard work paid off and he was able to purchase iPads and an Apple TV.  Additionally, money that had not come in during the fundraiser was still donated afterwards and Brian has been able to purchase even more technology for the classroom. The kids were thrilled to start learning with the new iPads and even happier that they no longer had to share one iPad with the entire class. Brian said, “Digital Wish was a great site to use because I could create a risk-free fundraiser that was actually successful. With these new iPads I can speed up class and get more kids involved.”

Key Elements of Brian’s Success:
-Start a fundraiser on Digital Wish with a clear and well explained goal.
-Spread the word to parents and community members.
-Clearly explain and demonstrate the educational purposes to people.
-Let people know that they don’t have to donate online.
-Follow up with people about donating and thank them for their support.



For more information, contact Amanda Stevens, [email protected], 802-375-6721.






 




 



Tags: Fundraiser, iPad, Success, Music

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