Evergreen Middle School Rocks 1st Ever Annual Online Giving Event!
- November 6, 2018
- gives day, local giving event, Online giving event
Evergreen Middle School (EMS), based in Evergreen, CO, has embarked on a new way to raise funds for needed school improvements and activities: an annual online fundraising event that puts tired auctions, gift baskets, and candy sales in the past.
Driven by grassroots efforts (as you see above) and a new website designed for fundraising, goemsrams.org, EMS has raised over $52,000 for their school — $31,000 more than last year’s fundraiser. That’s a lotta pencils.
Driven by the EMS Parent Teachers Association (PTA), this new fundraising method was a welcome change for the school. But more importantly, this method reduces the risk associated with other events — no one gets hurt donating online — and this event can’t be derailed by an unexpected fall snowfall. In addition, the cost and volunteer effort to put on such an event is insignificant compared to other fundraising methods. EMS has sometimes paid 30 – 40% of all funds raised to plan and carry out an auction or a banquet; the fees for this fundraising website are greatly reduced (and, in fact, were 100% covered by an anonymous donor for their 1st year).
But perhaps the greatest victory was the more than 300% increase in participation — from roughly 100 donors in 2017 to over 330 in 2018. Engaging the EMS community will promote more pride in the school and drive better engagement going forward. Once someone gives, they’re more likely to sustain and grow that giving in the future.
“EMS Gives Day fundamentally changed the way we consider school fundraising. The positive impact of our three day online event was shown not only in the amount we raised, but in the significant increase in participation from the families of EMS.”
Mr. Tim Vialpando, Principal
The time is right. Parents, students, and local businesses are weary of selling gift cards, cookie dough, wrapping paper, and the like. The donor fatigue associated with such methods is well grounded. They provide small margins, require a lot of volunteer hours, and the items are often unwanted and go to waste — not something palatable to an environmentally conscious community. Add to that: parents are often the ones saddled with the sale. Given that today’s most precious commodity is time, an online fundraiser is a welcome shift to a higher margin, lower manpower, higher participation method that has proven vastly more successful.
The event started on a Friday in October and ran through the weekend, however a pre-party kicked off the event a full week before the actual day, marking the launch of the website and the beginning of giving. The PTA and the school then started running events to drive interest and support — all requiring no funding from the PTA — including school rallies, community networking, social media, and enlisting no-cost marketing from local business and community leaders.
“This year we strived to break the tired and expensive auction model with a “think outside the box” approach. Our community expressed concerns of event fatigue, limited participation, and high ticket prices with lower than desirable margins. In contrast, online giving embraces everyone. We could accommodate donations of all sizes, more than tripled our donor base, increased our fundraising totals, and grew our sense of community by rallying behind our online giving event.”
Cindy Mauldin, EMS PTA President
In addition to encouraging giving at all levels and raising awareness to a new way of giving, EMS’s goals included a significant bump in overall donations — a net increase of 300% over 2017 — in order to fund outdoor learning. The grounds at EMS are extensive, but the buildings are not. EMS wants to expand where and how students learn in a welcoming and functional outdoor environment. EMS has a unique commodity; they are a mountain community. With these funds they will extend outdoor classrooms, begin work on an amphitheater, and build bike trails as part of the physical education program. The objective is to grow the physical and mental well-being of the students, as well as to encourage time away from electronics and instead, spend that time in the beautiful mountains of Colorado.
CiviCore is honored to be the preferred technology partner for Evergreen Middle School, supporting the event through the CiviCore Giving Platform. In addition to School Giving Events, CiviCore supports technology for Community Giving Events, client & case management software, and more.