How Teachers Are Using Crowdfunding


Teachers typically spend more money on their classrooms than people generally give them credit for doing. The average teacher, in fact, will spend at least $500 every year just to get their classroom prepped to be a high quality learning environment. US tax law allows some of the expenses to be written off as a tax credit, but that comes back at the end of the year. When July and August roll around and supplies need to be purchased, it’s coming out of that teacher’s budget.

With crowdfunding, however, teachers and their classrooms have an amazing opportunity to offset these costs and potentially raise even more money for improvements. Teachers from coast to coast are trying this model with success and for one Houston, Texas teacher, she was able to raise enough money for her supplies and to build a library for her classroom.

What could crowdfunding for classrooms look like in the future? Let’s take a look.

Crowdfunding Could Expand Classroom Technology

Today’s generation of kids will be the first true digital pioneers. They don’t remember a time when computers were outrageously expensive or dial-up times to the internet could take hours. Remember when you’d sit for 15 minutes on a modem connection to chat on AOL and then have a phone call come in to knock you off the internet? Or you’d have a $300 phone bill because every time you connected to the internet, it would cost you a nickel?

What today’s kids need is access to technology. With every industry doubling the knowledge it has in 18 months or less today, tomorrow’s innovations will start today with kids, teachers, and classrooms. This is where crowdfunding for classrooms could give a community the advantage it needs. With backers coming from potentially all over the globe, the village that it takes to raise a child could expand greatly and that means a small investment could go a long way toward a large contribution.

Classroom Crowdfunding Can Even Adopt a Rewards Model

The best news for classroom crowdfunding is that many of the rewards that could be offered would be intangible rewards. For a $5 donation, for example, a teacher may offer a thank you card from their classroom during art time. For larger donations, a school might offer a commemorative plaque that gets put on a wall. For extremely large donations, the offer of having a room named after the backer could be a possibility. All of these take very little in actual time or monetary resources, which means there would be more money for education.

Classroom crowdfunding can also take the monetary worries that a teacher has at the start of the school year away. Instead of trying to find budget-friendly supplies, the focus can be on purchasing the exact supplies a classroom needs. This benefit would also extend to parents because they would potentially need to purchase fewer supplies for their students as well. Communities helping each other – that’s the foundation of classroom crowdfunding.