Every year since they began using PledgeStar, students at Sunset View Elementary school in Point Loma, California, have seen their earnings increase.
The 2019 annual jog-a-thon at Sunset View raised more money than students, teachers, and parents volunteers expected thanks to PledgeStar and several dedicated volunteers. The event had historically brought in about $40,000 before PledgeStar was introduced as an online fundraising platform. In their first year, the amount doubled and its second year earnings totaled about $90,000.
“We didn’t change much else,” said parent volunteer Jill Wyatt. “PledgeStar really helped us reach a broader audience of parents, family, and friends.”
Wyatt also attributed much of this success to the number of volunteers that the school had to make events happen. Several parents organized donations for student incentives. One family even owned a graphic design company and offered to design a t-shirt logo for event, which was “Live Aloha” theme. Volunteers passed out floral leis, sunglasses, and other Hawaiian theme prizes when students met their fundraising goals.
Organizing and executing the Sunset View jog-a-thon was no small feat. The event ran throughout the entire school day, and jogging around the track was just a small part of the affair. Parent volunteers coordinated a karate instructor, lacrosse games, a gymnastics coach, and other fun activities to get the kids excited to raise money for the school. “It was a fun one for the kids to get behind,” said Wyatt. “It’s hands down the most fun day of the year.”
The volunteers at Sunset View didn’t stop at creating fun events for the kids. Their non-profit foundation, KidsFirst at Sunset View, also pays for enrichment classes like art, music, and cultural experiences like Spanish lessons. Once a month, students rotate through the enrichment classes while teachers hold a meeting day to align their curriculum and work together. KidsFirst has also paid to hire an additional teacher when class sizes are too big, as well as for classroom supplies and campus beautification projects.
“Others want to know how we do it.” Wyatt said when asked about the multiple programs the foundation funds at Sunset View. “PledgeStar is the first thing we mention.” Wyatt also said that Sunset View definitely plans to use PledgeStar next year.