The families of All Saints School in Portland, Oregon, celebrates spring with an annual Jog-a-Thon fundraiser and auction. When the parent-run committee realized the auction wasn’t feasible this year, concerns grew about meeting the school’s fundraising goals. That’s when PledgeStar came to the rescue.
“Another Catholic school in Portland had used PledgeStar and reached out to us,” says Nathan Freeberg, a parent volunteer on the fundraising committee. “I can’t speak highly enough about [PledgeStar], and how great it was from every aspect. Put me down for however many stars are possible—I’ll give it 12 stars!”
Like many schools working with fundraising technology for the first time, the All Saints committee had many questions. “PledgeStar was so helpful and answered the million questions we had along the way,” says Freeberg. “Our school was still using the paper-and-pencil method of tracking fundraising and was very hesitant about doing an online fundraiser at all. But by the end, the school administration said they couldn’t believe they had any concerns and called PledgeStar a lifesaving tool for fundraising this year.”
All Saints had expected to earn $20-$40,000 from their Jog-a-Thon based on previous years’ totals, but decided to set a conservative goal for 2021 of just $25,000. After careful consideration and jumping on-board with the PledgeStar platform, the committee decided to shoot for the stars with a $50,000 goal and a commitment to follow PledgeStar’s recommended tips for a great fundraiser and hope for the best.
All Saints’ gamble—and faith in PledgeStar’s method—paid off: the school blew past its $50,000 goal on day 3 of going live. Riding high on the event’s success, the committee raised the goal on day 4 to $75,000—and hit it by the end of the Jog-a-Thon’s first week. The committee decided to raise the goal one more time—to $100,000—and not only reached it but exceeded it by several thousand dollars. “Our success by using PledgeStar exceeded our wildest expectations,” said Freeberg.
Besides the event’s financial success, the 350 students of All Saints School enjoyed the excitement of the Jog-a-Thon and were incentivized with prizes along the way.
“We presented the prize opportunities [a pizza party for the top earning classroom and top minutes class] at the kick-off event and it really motivated the kids. They got really competitive with asking for donations,” said Freeberg. All Saints teaching staff made checking donation totals part of their morning routine, and the PledgeStar leaderboard made it easy to incorporate into the school day without taking time away from teaching. “That feature of PledgeStar is so great, just to be able to see all that information,” said Freeberg.
All Saints has already decided to use PledgeStar next year. “It enables us to do our job so much more easily and in less time,” said Freeberg. “Before [PledgeStar] it felt like before we were just a bunch of cave people banging rocks together and now that we have PledgeStar it feels like we’re using an expensive stove. It was that different! It was life-changing.”