(NC) As the school year begins, so does another season of raising money by bake sales, magazine drives and dance-a-thons. Did you know, however, that there's an alternative way to raise money and more efficiently – and it's one that may also touch your heart?
Crowdfunding is about raising money through Internet connections. It's been used for everything from financing independent movies, to start-up companies, to new mobile apps, to, believe it or not, potato salad.
MyClassNeeds.ca, a young registered Canadian charity, helps connect deserving kindergarten to grade 12 classroom projects with interested donors through a crowdfunding website.
Certified teachers in Canada working in publicly-funded schools, submit proposals through the website. Their proposals describe how the classroom project will benefit students' learning and identify the resources required to achieve the outcome. Projects and resources could be anything from science equipment, art supplies, a trip to a special exhibit, or any other resource that enriches learning.
Once the project is posted, teachers and project supporters use their own social networks (electronic or traditional) to encourage support for the concept. Small and large contributions are collected online until the project is fully-funded.
The concept is working. A special-needs kindergarten class in Edmonton raised enough money to build an indoor sensory room to allow students to run, jump and swing in a safe environment. A Grade 11/12 class in Neilburg, Saskatchewan secured funding for hands-on science equipment including digital scales, a model of the body system, and a cell model. A class in Fergus, Ontario had a modest request: the 20 students wanted to replace their broken, “Comfy Cozy” chair, a much loved place for reading. They did it through MyClassNeeds.ca.
Patti Friday, Photojourno, reporting from inside 'The Art Dept.' at the international 'Embassy of Ideas'. Reading. Listening. Learning. Improving. Hanging out with successful people. Photographer. Pirate. Bubby. CANADA @pattifriday