The winners of the 2016 Playa del Rey Elementary School Spell-A-Thon weren’t just the top spellers in each class. The entire school won this year when they almost quadrupled their past earnings and brought in over $17,000 in donations! Kids were thrilled about the exciting magic show they were awarded as one of the cool Spell-A-Thon prizes. Teachers and parents were pleased with the extra funds for physical education, Art Masters, teaching supplies, a garden program and much more.
The Spell-A-Thon is an annual fundraiser organized by the school’s Booster Club. It was held in November 2016 and the parents, teachers and students are still reaping its benefits.
While only about $4,000 was collected in the 2015 Spell-A-Thon, the 2016 revenue enabled incredible prizes like a Chromebook for the top earner, a Kindle for second place and a classroom Chromebook for any class that raised over $2,000. Moreover, students in kindergarten through fifth grade invested countless hours learning their unique spelling words for the competitions that took place in their classrooms. This fundraiser was undoubtedly a win-win for all involved.
What, then, could have quadrupled the amount of money the school brought in from one year to the next? The answer is PledgeStar. While the Booster Club was able to bring in about $4,000 offline as they had done in years past, online donations through PledgeStar added about $13,000 to the total money collected in 2016. After paying for prizes and a mere $695 for PledgeStar, the school was able to keep $15,000 for programs and educational resources.
Because the club had unsuccessfully tried raising money online before, they were wary that no one would participate, and the investment in an online fundraising system wouldn’t be worth the cost. With PledgeStar, though, fundraisers are only charged 7% of their schools’ donations, up to a maximum of $695. “It ended up being a really good choice,” McReynolds remarked, “we’ll definitely be using PledgeStar for our April Jog-A-Thon.”
McReynolds and other Booster Club members said getting starting with PledgeStar was easy. The volunteers created exciting incentives for students to use the PledgeStar online fundraising system. Every student that simply sent ten pledge requests to friends and family using PledgeStar was invited to attend the magic show school assembly. While McReynolds said that they didn’t expect much response, the magic show was “a huge motivator.” As a result, about half of the students used PledgeStar - a number that will undoubtedly increase when Playa del Rey uses it for their next pledge drive.