After running Randolph Elementary’s annual walk-a-thon for the third year in a row, PTA President Kathy Hansen wanted to do something different to encourage her participants to raise more funds than ever before.
Months earlier, her children had participated in the school’s annual magazine sale fundraiser, but they complained that they didn’t win any prizes for their efforts. That gave her an idea. For the 2018 Walk-A-Thon, everyone would win a prize for participating. Not only did this tactic help Hansen and the other volunteers get more students to participate, but they raised almost $10,000 – an impressive feat for a Title I school where an estimated 50-60% of the student population qualifies for a free or reduced-price lunch.
“We wanted to be able to reach each kid,” said Hansen. Every student who participated earned a gold medal and had a special visit from an Olympic gold medalist after the event. The students were thrilled to have both. “When I visited the classrooms in the days after the walk-a-thon, some of the kids were still wearing the medals,” Hansen said.
Hansen also credits PledgeStar for their success. Each of their top earners collected the majority of their pledges online rather than donation packets, she said. Hansen encouraged students to use the online donation system to connect to family and friends who weren’t local. She was also thrilled she could take advantage of PledgeStar’s ability to share her kid’s donation pages on Facebook since she doesn’t usually connect with many of her relatives via email.
Randolph Elementary’s new principal was the one to encourage Hansen and the PTA to adopt PledgeStar since she had such a great experience with it at her previous school. After seeing the incredibly low price and the amazing service offered, she was convinced. “I am not the one who has to create the spreadsheets, PledgeStar does it for us, and their staff is beyond helpful,” she said. For all of the services she was provided, Hansen said that her small, Title I school was amazed that they only had to pay $400 for PledgeStar costs. Since then, she’s recommended the amazing online system to others on a social media page for other school parent leaders.
Way to go, Randolph Elementary!