School fundraising: 13 innovative ideas to encourage qualitative education

By: Jasmine Marfatia

Published On: July 16, 2018

Ever wondered how school fundraising can improve the quality of education in India? We give you effective tips! 

India is home to the largest population of illiterate adults in the world – 287 million, which amounts to 37% of the global total. 60 lakh children in India are still out of school, and India is ranked 123rd out of 135 countries in female literacy rate. It can very well be understood that not everyone has access to affordable education. Even though the Right To Education (RTE) act has been implemented, many slum communities and people from low income groups opt to have their children work for daily wages rather than study for a secure future. 

Such a mindset stems from the fact that they don’t believe education is a long-term investment. The emergence of school fundraising in India has brought in opportunities for families of low income groups, who wouldn’t otherwise know how to raise money for kids’ education, to do so without having to resort to education loans, and borrowings.

The beauty of school fundraising is that it isn’t just limited to getting children into schools, but rather improving everything related to education in India, such as the quality of educational resources, and staying updated with progress in the educational sphere.

 With school fundraising, the possibilities are endless

Starting a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for tuition is the most obvious one yet. Then there are co-curricular pursuits that can flourish with a little monetary support, be it field trips, concerts, or sports days. Innumerable schools still lack facilities such as computers and computer labs, even though digitization in this age is the way to go. Students could use such platforms to further a great idea from a class project to a viable product or service, and eventually a business. Most schools offer exchange programs that give students the opportunity to explore foreign countries through mentorship programs, conferences, training, and so much more. 

But only the financially fortunate can actually benefit from such opportunities. With crowdfunding in the picture, such opportunities can be made available to so many others with equal potential. Most importantly, students shouldn’t feel the pressure of getting into employment as soon as they finish school. Those who dream of getting a higher education, collecting a degree in a field that matters to them, is as valuable as anything else. 

Below is a list of unique school fundraising ideas that will provide some insight into various the various aspects of education, and what crowdfunding can do for them.

Direct fundraising for tuition

You can start an education crowdfunding campaign on an online fundraising platform to directly raise funds to fuel education for yourself, a loved one, or anyone who may need funds for school fees. You can raise money for the tuition of a child from a low income group. Even small contributions can allow a child to go to school for a year. 

Raise money for educational resources

Use crowdfunding to pay for the accessories that you need in a school, such as uniforms, books, and stationery. Have a look at this incredibly successful campaign by Aasra, to provide winter clothes uniforms for students in Dehradun , who would drop out of school due to the biting cold.Fund higher education

In a time as competitive as this, a resume that boasts a degree from an expensive institution is almost always given preference over one that doesn’t. Getting a graduate degree is no longer enough to get a well paying job. In India, where even basic education is not accessible by all, higher studies may seem like a distant dream. It’s no news that college fees and university tuition expenses have gone through the roof in the last few years. The past decade has seen the highest increases in expenditure for higher education, such that students have had to forego getting a degree, and instead take a job in a career path that least interests them. Crowdfunding is a great source to fuel higher education.

Student scholarships

Some exceptional students can be given great opportunities by crowdsourcing the funds that will pay for a scholarship, and cover all overheads, as well as tuition fees.Special educational endeavours

Many schools in rural areas have been set up, but they lack facilities that will enable progress, such as computes, playground, projectors etc. A school can raise funds for such endeavours with small online campaigns.

Fund co-curricular pursuits

Learning isn’t just limited to books and exams, it stretches further to sports, cultural, and community activities. Crowdfunding can be used for co-curricular activities to enhance a student’s education with field trips, sports days, and annual concerts. 

Fund a talent

Fund anything you need to further your talent, be it singing, dancing, drawing, or acting. Moreover, use crowdfunding as a platform to compete in national and international level competitions. Take an example of this young girls Yamuna, who represented India at an international moot court competition. You can read about their story here.Fundraising innovative projects

Traditionally, getting funds for a student project was a lengthy process which involves making grant applications or approaching innumerable funders with the hope that one of them sees the potential in the project. But lately, students have started crowdfunding for their projects, and this is causing a phenomenal rise in the number of innovative ideas that reach the completion and execution stage. 

Promotion of innovative ideas

Crowdfunding has the capacity of making one’s idea viral because its success depends a lot on the strength of the idea and how the campaigner promotes their campaign. At any given point of time, the pool of donors can comprise of complete strangers who are curious about your idea, to people who are experts in the field. In many cases, the college/school alumni turn out to be the biggest supporters and this acts as a great boost for students.

Fund your educational travel expenditure

Today, most schools offer exchange programs that offer students a chance for an incredible work experience in a foreign country, with extensive training and mentorship. Similarly, students can benefit by attending conferences and workshops, ad having all the expenses covered by crowdfunding for it. 

Improving learning techniques

Conducting researches and practical studies, especially for medicine and engineering programs would sometimes require special equipment that some educational institutions may lack. However students can ensure that such roadblocks do not hamper their studies. Check out this campaign that helped a 100 post-graduate medical students with their thesis project.Education awareness

Several adults from low income communities believe it is better for their children to learn some work and earn money on a daily basis, rather than invest in education. This mindset can be changed by spreading correct information and awareness about the importance of education in a modern society.Encourage women’s education

In many parts of India, it is believed that women have no need to learn or be educated. Using the resources from crowdfunding cannot only help spread awareness and eradicate such a mindset, but also enable women to attend educational facilities and become financially independent. This inspiring campaign run by NGO Tharuni Swecha, encouraged women’s  education in a unique way. The NGO raised funds to provide bicycles to school-going girls in Telangana so that they could travel safely.Social initiative to encourage adult literacy

There are many rural areas in India that lack access to proper schools. Through crowdfunding, you can set up a school, or even small workshops in remote areas, and give underprivileged adults a chance to learn. Each and every adult who has either missed the opportunity to study, or simply wishes to polish certain vocational skills, may have the financial bandwidth to do so. Additionally, school fundraising can assist in building a community of youngsters and adults that are prepared and polished in vocational skills, before they enter the world of employment. 

We understand the value of education in transforming society for the better, and more importantly, securing the future of younger generations. With India’s demography being its most powerful asset, one can only imagine the potential for creativity and innovation if every individual had the chance to get an education that would enhance and polish the skills they’d have to apply in the real world. It’s time we treat education as a necessity rather than a luxury.

We suggest you also read:

Education crowdfunding in India: How you can fund the future

5 Indians who are ensuring every kid in India gets educated

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