AASA and DonorsChoose.org Launch Policy Toolkit To Help District Leaders Harness the Power of School Crowdfunding Efforts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
James Minichello
703-875-0723
703-774-6953 (cell)
jminichello@aasa.org

Alexandria, Va. - June 10, 2019 - Today, AASA, The School Superintendents Association, and national education nonprofit DonorsChoose.org released a new resource for school district leaders to maximize the impact of crowdfunding in their districts, while ensuring appropriate control and reporting practices are in place. The Establishing Your Crowdfunding Policy Toolkit helps school districts implement crowdfunding policies that protect students, teachers and school districts through the implementation of coherent policy -- building on the initial Back to School Crowdfunding Toolkit and exemplar policies and practices from pioneering district leaders around the country.

“DonorsChoose.org plays a critical role in helping teachers secure the additional resources they need to enhance their instruction, but district leaders have not always understood the process of crowdfunding and how they can maximize its impact and ensure proper safeguards are in place,” said Daniel A. Domenech, executive director, AASA. “This toolkit will help district leaders take action to support teachers in using the platform, while putting in place policies that ensure equity, safety and transparency.”

DonorsChoose.org continues to be the largest crowdfunding platform dedicated to public schools. The organization has funded more than $800 million dollars in teacher projects to schools in all types of districts. In 2018, DonorsChoose.org saw a 53 percent growth in rural area teachers creating their first projects, compared to a 37 percent growth among schools in urban areas.

“I’m always heartened to see folks from across the country—who don’t personally know our teachers—giving to our district,” said Diane Tremblay, district administrator, Barron Area School District, Barron, Wis. “Not only does it help teachers give more to their students, but it makes teachers feel supported and appreciated.”

The new toolkit is a response to district leaders requests for guidance on how best to ensure equity and responsible use of crowdfunding in their districts. It provides actionable insights and best practices from other district leaders including:
1. Adopt a Clear Policy
2. Communicate Policy & Engage Principals
3. Train Teachers
4. Engage District Stakeholders
5. Input Your Technology Guidelines
6. Celebrate Teacher Successes

“We are thrilled to partner with AASA again to bring districts a guide to creating crowdfunding policies that maximize the benefit for teachers and students," said Charles Best, founder of DonorsChoose.org. "Teachers around the country work so hard to bring innovation and creativity to their classrooms, and we at DonorsChoose.org are proud to help teachers expand their network of support beyond their local communities.”

To find out more, please click here to access The Establishing Your Crowdfunding Toolkit. For additional questions, please contact Katie Bisbee at kbisbee@donorschoose.org.

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About DonorsChoose.org
Founded in 2000 by a Bronx history teacher, DonorsChoose.org has raised over $830 million for America's classrooms. Teachers come to DonorsChoose.org to request the materials and experiences they need most for their classrooms, and donors give to the projects that inspire them. To date, 3.7 million people and partners have funded 1.4 million projects on the site, reaching 34 million students and making DonorsChoose.org the leading platform for supporting U.S. public schools. DonorsChoose.org is the only crowdfunding platform that vets each request, delivers materials directly to schools, and captures the impact of every funded project with photos, thank-you’s, and a cost report showing how each dollar was spent. In 2014, DonorsChoose.org made the top 10 of Fast Company's list of the World's Most Innovative Companies, the first time a charity has received such recognition. For more information, visit www.donorschoose.org.

About AASA
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to equitable access for all students to the highest quality public education. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.