School Business Affairs June 2019

Be sure to check out the complete CROWDFUNDING TOOLKIT a t asboint l .org/Crowdfunding before you roll out your campaign. Crowdfunding Toolkit 1. OPT FOR MATERIALS, NOT CASH. Crowdfunding sites that purchase and send resources directly to verified schools instead of depositing cash into teachers’ personal bank accounts help ensure accountability and integrity. There is higher risk in working with platforms that provide cash instead of materials; don’t allow teachers and staff to put themselves and the district in a tenuous situation by accepting cash. 2. PRIORITIZE TRANSPARENCY. Crowdfunding sites should publicly display details about each item that was funded and provide easy-to-understand explanations of fees and overhead costs. Everything from what a school receives, to where it came from, and any associated unit costs must be made transparent. It’s difficult to have strong internal controls without clarity and documentation. 3. CAPTURE IMPACT. For every request funded, crowdfunding sites should require teachers to report on how the resources were used in the classroom, how students benefitted from them, and how the resources benefitted the overall academic program. It’s important to capture the effects from a crowdfunding campaign and to coordinate the effort. 4. MAINTAIN VISIBILITY. The best crowdfunding sites notify principals or other relevant staff when items are being shipped to schools. They should also be able to provide line-by-line reporting of every item to districts upon request. A hallmark of good internal controls is clear documentation. 5. SPECIFY SCHOOL OWNERSHIP. Crowdfunding sites should specify that the school, rather than the teacher, ultimately owns the funded resources. Resources should be designated as school property to benefit the needs of the classroom and the students in coordination with the academic program of the school and district. 6. CONSIDER TECHNOLOGY COMPATIBILITY AND DATA PRIVACY LAWS. Some crowdfunding sites allow administrators to incorporate district technology guidelines into their platforms so that teachers know what requirements to observe when requesting computers, tablets, or other devices. Also, crowdfunding sites used by teachers must have mechanisms and protocols for protecting student data and privacy.