Charity Establishes Crowdfunding Platform for Schools
19 July 2016 at 3:04 pm
National education charity Schools Plus has launched a custom-designed crowdfunding platform to help disadvantaged schools raise money not only from their local communities but also from corporates and philanthropists.
The new platform has been unveiled a year after federal Parliament passed tax legislation granting Schools Plus deductible gift recipient (DGR1) status.
Using the platform on the Schools Plus website, schools deemed to be disadvantaged via the government’s MySchool website can crowdfund in their communities while offering a tax deduction for donations.
Previously tax-deductibility for giving to most schools was limited to donations to their library or building funds.
Called Fundraise Yourself, Schools Plus said it developed the platform after hearing from schools and parents’ organisations that they needed a simpler way to reach out to their families, friends, local businesses and clubs when they were on a fundraising drive.
“Through the platform, schools register their projects, creating an online profile page they can promote to their networks via school newsletters, local media, direct mail and social media. They can also use the page to post updates about the project’s progress, including photos or video,” Schools Plus CEO Rosemary Conn said.
“Schools Plus manages the tax receipting, and distributes funds raised to the schools each month. Schools can access donors’ details and other resources through the platform.”
Conn said the Fundraise Yourself platform filled a gap for schools in disadvantaged communities that wanted to forge new and strong connections with philanthropic and corporate supporters.
“We wanted to make it simpler for supporters of schools in high-needs communities to make a tax-deductible donation so they can make a difference to the lives of students,” she said.
“We’re hoping that many more of the 4,600 schools we support jump onboard and use our platform for their fundraising drives.”
Conn said one school that had successfully used the platform to raise money for its activities was Curran Public School, in Sydney’s south-west.
“In two campaigns, it raised nearly $12,000 to send a team of students to Brisbane and then the United States to participate in the finals of an international problem-solving competition.”
Curran Public School principal Michael Strahan said: “We were delighted at how easy it was to spread the word about our fundraising drive using the Schools Plus platform.
“Some of our donors really appreciated the advantage of receiving a tax deduction for their donation, while others found it quick and simple to donate online. Their support has helped our students do something no other NSW public school has ever done, to represent Australia at the highest level of this competition.”