In the fall of 2019, parent volunteer and PTO Vice President Jamie Rosen wanted to simplify things. She worked hard on fundraising for her kids' school the year before and wanted a way to earn even more money for Maple Dale Elementary, all while spending less time volunteering. Surprisingly, she figured out a way to do both.
Rosen knew that there were more efficient ways to collect money from donors than the traditional cash and check system they used in the past. "We're living in a digital age," she said. Plus, the local middle school had used PledgeStar for their walk-a-thon and volunteers told Rosen that it was a very easy system to use and how much of a success their fundraiser was thanks to the online fundraising system.
Using PledgeStar's online fundraising system for the first time, Rosen and other parent volunteers helped their school raise almost double what they had earned the year before at their annual fun run event. Their total amount raised, a whopping $54,000, exceeded their goal by almost $30,000!
"We thought that using PledgeStar might help," said Rosen. "In the past, we had people turning in cash and checks and going to our PTO website if they wanted to make a credit card donation. It wasn't the easiest thing. Plus, my niece and nephew in Texas had sent me a request for PledgeStar in the past, so I knew how simple it was. The risk was so low with a small investment compared to our goal, so we thought, 'why not try it?'"
In the end, more than half of the school's donations were collected on the PledgeStar site. Rosen credits the ease of use and ability to post on social media with their huge success. She saw posts with links to the site on her Facebook and Instagram feeds and watched the money add up every week.
The Warrior Run, as they called it, was an exciting day for all five grade levels at Maple Dale. Rosen set school wide fundraising goals, each with a prize of an inflatable obstacle course the students could earn for the event. Thanks to far exceeding each goal, the students were able to earn all three courses. They took turns running over bouncy hills and weaving through inflatable race courses. The District Superintendent even made an appearance and students enjoyed seeing him slide down a giant bounce house before the day was over.
"They loved it," said Rosen. "The kindergarteners even got a little wet because of the rain, but they didn't care. It was a fun, really successful event."
Maple Dale will use the money to pay for fun programs throughout the year, including a Cultural Heritage Night, author visits, and a Family Social. The extra income was a surprise, so the PTO volunteers, along with school staff, are thrilled to have the chance to decide what to do with it.
"It was a win-win situation," said Rosen. "There was really no downside and everything went really smoothly. We will absolutely use PledgeStar next year."