Crocker Highlands Elementary in Oakland, California has used the PledgeStar system for the past two years. This year, they raised over $122,000; more than double the amount the school earned in the same event without PledgeStar.
PTA member Colleen Orfuss researched several online fundraising platforms before last year’s Walk-A-Thon. She wanted a system that was simple, easy to use, and affordable. After interviewing local PledgeStar schools in her area and discussing the site’s features with PledgeStar personnel, she made the decision to use the service at Crocker Highlands.
The school relies on the Walk-A-Thon as its main source of fundraising income. Devastating cuts in California, and in particular the Oakland area, have forced parents to maintain the educational budget themselves. “Without the Walk-A-Thon, our music and arts programs, field trips, P.E. classes, and more would be cut from the curriculum,” explains Orfuss. “The fundraising success we’ve had with PledgeStar these last two years has been absolutely huge for our school.”
Orfuss credited the school’s robust prize structure, as well as the PTA’s promotional efforts, as the keys to motivating the students to seek the most donations and raise as much money as possible. PledgeStar’s donation dashboard made it easy for her to keep track of what prizes were owed to what student. “Having all the donation and prize data in one place was amazing. Pledges, payments, prize reports, all in one place, all easy to understand. It was perfect for our needs.” Crocker Highlands parents and staff held a Kick-Off ceremony to get students excited about the event and sent out email blasts to remind parents to register on the school’s PledgeStar site. Additionally, Orfuss used PledgeStar to generate class participation reports, and sent them to parents to make sure they registered their family on the school’s PledgeStar site. At the end of the event, the class with the highest participation percentage was awarded a pizza party.
Crocker Highlands plans on using PledgeStar for all their future fundraising needs. “It’s perfect for our community. No one has time to go door to door collecting money. PledgeStar is just so easy. We raised $60,000 from this event three years ago. PledgeStar is responsible for helping our school double its fundraising earnings,” raved Orfuss.