The PTA at Falcon Academy of Science and Technology in Brea, CA, know that their coding immersion program is a wonderful opportunity for students. They also know the value of having someone else manage the ones and zeroes when it comes to fundraising.
“When I joined the PTA, we were doing fundraising the old-school way with stacks of cash and checks. It was horrible,” says PTA treasurer Jim Bailey. “We got on board with PledgeStar the following year and got our feet wet. The next year we tried to do it ourselves, including coding our own website—that was a nightmare. I would tell others to not even try. We basically coded up and implemented a ‘poor man’s’ copy of PledgeStar and it was a massive endeavor. Had we continued down that road, it would have been an entire year of work to do it ourselves again the following year. We immediately decided not to do that and go back to PledgeStar.”
Falcon Academy also learned what happens when a school population used to writing checks becomes accustomed to using an online fundraising platform. “After using PledgeStar for a few years,” Jim explains, “our online pledges have gone from a quarter of the total pledges to over 90 percent. Having everything online is more efficient and less work for our small band of volunteers.”
Falcon’s 2021 fundraising event, the Falcon Olympics, was the best of both worlds: efficient for volunteers and financially successful. “Our goal was $40,000 and we ended up pulling in $50,000. This year we raised the most money we ever have.”
The students of Falcon Academy were duly rewarded for their financial success. The PTA offered many incentives to keep the students and families interested in the event. “We told the kids that if the school exceeded the overall goal we would have a BMX stunt group come to the school and do a demo. The students who exceeded our per-student goal get to visit a game truck we are bringing to campus.”
While Falcon is computer coding focused, funds raised through PledgeStar go to more than computer science. The PTA at Falcon wants to make sure that a wide variety of enrichment is offered to its students. “We fund a math program and a couple reading programs that the teachers want to use but the district and state don’t fund. We also recently funded the addition of a large climbing structure to our playground.”
When asked what’s best about partnering with PledgeStar, Jim is quick to respond. “It’s so easy and convenient for families to go online and make pledges. Using PledgeStar allows donations to come in from relatives and friends in other parts of the country,” he says.top image: https://cdn.pledgestar.com/info/images/Falcon.jpg