Do the Math: Crowdfunding Supplies Teachers with Platform To Raise Money For Classrooms

For school teachers like Malerie Schreiner who spent nearly $800 of her own money on supplies for her classroom last year, the writing on the wall is in plain English.

School budgets are even tighter this year.

Schreiner, a 25-year-old English teacher in the Cincinnati Public Schools, has done the math. That’s why she turned to crowdfunding, an online fundraising tool that is becoming increasingly popular in the teaching community.

YouHelp.com, a free crowdfunding website, offers teachers a platform to raise money for their classrooms without having to dip deeper into their own pockets. Teachers like Ryan Fromoltz post classroom requests and concerned donors from the community can select those projects that they wish to support.

In past school years, Fromoltz has put out around $700 of his own money for basic supplies. He still does. But now, in addition to paper and pens, he needs batteries and microphones for his students to participate in a broadcasting class at Canyon Springs High School in North Las Vegas.

Unfortunately, cuts in school budgets have forced many teachers to decide whether they want to put their own financial interests ahead their classrooms. The choice can be costly. In Ohio, teachers spend an average of $600 of their own money each year on school supplies, according to the state auditor’s office. No wonder, more than 900 initiatives specific to classroom and teacher needs in Ohio, alone, have been posted on crowdfunding websites entering the new school year.

Gabriel Soliz, a teacher in the Columbus City Schools, used social media to promote his crowdfunding initiative. Because most of the school districts in Ohio do not have policies that cover crowdfunding, he kept a careful log of where the $1,800 he raised for much-needed physical education equipment was appropriated.

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that 94 percent of teachers spend their own money on school supplies. Math teacher Torri Martin, who figures she extends about $500 on-average of her own money each year, doesn’t want to add up how much she has personally spent to integrate technology into her classroom at the J. Graham Brown School in Louisville.

The eighth-grade teacher does know there is power in small numbers. Donations of as little as two dollars to her crowdfunding campaign quickly multiplied, leading toward the purchase of two Chromebooks.

YouHelp.com, a 100% free crowdfunding website, is a popular fundraising tools for forward-thinking teachers, school administrators, nonprofit organizations, small businesses and concerned citizens who want to connect education-based initiatives to the public. The process is simple: decide on your goal, write a compelling message, and garner initial support (contributors) excited  about your fundraiser and committed to sharing it out on their social media — and launch. When you share your campaign on social media, if the idea is deserving, people will pledge their support.

About the Author: Staff Writer for YouHelp