Should I request permission from admin before starting a classroom GoFundMe?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by J. A., Jul 14, 2018.

  1. J. A.

    J. A. Rookie

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    Jul 14, 2018

    I posted yesterday asking if items purchased with instructional funds are considered school property or personal property, and it seems that they are school property. To make a long story short, I work at a new location where we only receive $200 a year in instructional money. I want to use novels in my classroom, but $200 simply isn't enough. I was going to start a GoFundMe to raise funds for a classroom library, because I've seen teachers (not from my county but close) posting GoFundMe fundraisers online.

    Does anyone have experience in running an online fundraiser? If so, did you need approval from your school admin, or did you just do it on your own? Lastly, if anyone can recommend some places to get reasonably priced sets of novels, please let me know!
     
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  3. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I'd recommend DonorsChoose over GoFundMe, but also it's probably a good idea to wait until you've had your district orientation or have met a couple of teachers and can ask someone. Every district has its own policies and unwritten culture.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018
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  4. dr.gator

    dr.gator Comrade

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    Jul 14, 2018

    Also keep in mind that when you post on these fundraising sites you are using the school’s name to secure funds to purchase the items. Some districts will not only require prior approval before posting a project, but will consider the items secured through the fundraising site school property given that the school’s name was used when requesting the items through the site. Read the fine print on the site carefully and fully understand your district’s/school’s position towards these sites.
     
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  5. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I think I heard something about Donor's Choose requiring the materials to stay with the school they were originally purchased for, rather than moving with the teacher. I could be wrong (I've never used DC, just something I thought I heard). I'd look into that further if it's a concern for you.
     
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  6. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    You’re correct. The materials do belong to the school.

    I have to get permission before writing a grant, using DonorsChoose, or any other means of getting materials or money, so it would be wise to ask first.

    Scholastic has good prices, especially if the book you want happens to be a dollar deal.
     
  7. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    There are many, many different lines in a school budget. While you may get $200 in instructional money, there could be additional budget lines for books, literacy initiatives or school goals. Talk with your admin before applying for grants. Let him/her know what you would like to purchase & why and see if there is money available in the school budget.
     
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  8. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    We are not permitted to use Go Fund Me or Donors Choose without permission, and all items received become property of the school.
     
  9. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    I would ask. Years ago, at a former school, I created a donors choose without asking, and it was no big deal. However, I recently heard my principal tell a colleague that our school board gets mad when teachers post to donors choose because it makes them look bad (like they don’t provide enough funding). I was surprised, but now I’d never post one without asking first.
     
  10. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    I've always considered donated items to belong to the teacher, not the school, by default. The teacher is the one doing all of the work and promotion of the project, and often these websites encourage the link to be shared with the teacher's family members and personal friends on social media. I know some schools have policies about these websites, but I thought it was rather uncommon. I'm surprised to see all the comments stating otherwise.
     
  11. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    I've always been of the mindset that it's easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission. I have a few colleagues who want to run EVERYTHING by admin. I believe you're a professional, just do it, but I know my advice may be contrary to others.
     
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  12. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Thanks for asking this question! It's one I had myself (was considering dipping my toe into DC).
     
  13. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    On some matters-yes, but not on this one. Some schools or districts could get beyond upset at you for posting on GoFundMe or Donors Choose without permission. It is one thing to do something a bit questionable in the classroom and plead ignorance, and another to post something online for the whole world to see with the school's name. The previous posters are exactly right on this. I would definitely ask permission on this one.
     
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  14. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    We received an email from central office telling us that we were not allowed to use Go Fund Me or Donors Choose without permission from central office. Then the principal sent an email saying that we were to take down any Donors Choose items we had up, and we were not to do any others. We were told that it made the public think that we didn't have enough funding to purchase the things that we need. At the time, we were trying to get a raise in the property tax rate passed in a community that already feels that they pay too much toward the schools. It was causing a "what are they doing with our tax money" issue. And we are a high-poverty area, so teachers are seen as making a lot of money anyway.

    As a new teacher, I'd recommend laying low until you see how the school runs. Don't rock the boat early. I'd rather ask than be scolded.
     
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  15. J. A.

    J. A. Rookie

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    Thanks for the replies! I don't want to assume that it's allowed everywhere, because at my former job, I was told that I could absolutely not do an online fundraiser, even if the school's name was left out. I've seen local teachers in my new district on Donors Choice, so I assume it's okay, but I will still ask my admin first.
     
  16. TrademarkTer

    TrademarkTer Groupie

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    Oh yeah, I would never suggest going against a directive. If I was told no, I wouldn't do it. But if I wasn't told one way or another, I could plead ignorance.
     
  17. vickilyn

    vickilyn Magnifico

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    Jul 15, 2018

    OP, I would never assume that it would be OK to run an online fundraiser without permission from the administration. I believe that there are always reasons for and against virtually everything you or I could think up, and even with the best of intentions, there may be some crucial factor that may be overlooked.

    I do believe that it pays to be especially careful when allowing the school name to be used when fundraising, especially if that fundraiser implies that the school is not providing all that the students and staff need. There is always an element of pride involved, and I would never want to step on someone's toes, even accidentally.

    I would be inclined to find out if there are more traditional ways to initiate fundraising, perhaps with a twist, to make the efforts fresh and hopefully more successful. Best of luck acquiring the funding you desie.
     
  18. phillyteacher

    phillyteacher Comrade

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    Jul 25, 2018

    This is a DonorsChoose policy. Their documentation states:

    Donated materials should remain at the teacher’s original school if a teacher leaves after receiving the materials, unless both of these criteria are met:
    Link: https://help.donorschoose.org/hc/en...7-DonorsChoose-org-Materials-Ownership-Policy
     
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