Here is a middle school fundraising idea that will not only help your school, it will motivate plenty of middle school students and their parents to get involved for the entire school year.  It will also work well for high school students and parents.

These days many schools and parent teacher organizations will subscribe to a directory app that they can provide for their families.  Most school directory apps you find will offer some standard features such as sharing contacts, viewing calendars and sending alerts.  Some directory apps will go a bit further and offer volunteering and even a shopping cart to purchase any item your school sells.  These are great tools that allow your families to stay in contact with each other and also give them on the go access to your school activities and events.

Something that is beginning to appear among the leading school directory app providers are features that allow your school to raise funds directly from the app.  We are not just talking about donations to your school, but rather donations that open up additional interactive features in the app that families will truly enjoy using.

What kind of interactive features will keep everyone coming back for more?  Well, they need to be features that will motivate parents.  They need to be features that will challenge students.  They need to be features that will allow teachers and staff members to foster learning among their students.

Let’s motivate parents first.  The easiest method is by engaging them in a way that will benefit their own children.  One idea is by rewarding students on a scale when their parents take some kind of action with the app.  Yes, actions like volunteering  or purchasing spirit wear from the app can help, but they are actions that are routine not very exciting.  You want to give them interactive features that will make them use the app repeatedly.  Features they will enjoy, features they will look forward to, features that will motivate parents and will also allow them to challenge their students.

Middle and high school students with smart phones are very common these days.  A student that knows they can earn rewards for actions their parents take and also for actions they take will be using the interactive features of the app all year long.  The best part is the interactive features they use promote thinking, logic and creativity, and also reinforce learning.  Combine student rewards with these features and you have an app that teachers and staff will want to use so they can help foster learning.

As more and more parents and students are using the educational and challenging fundraising features of the app, the buzz in your school community will reach teachers and staff members.  They too can participate and they will be able to creatively contribute to student learning.  Teachers will do it with a true passion for helping their students.  Staff members will do it for fun.  Either way, you have an entire school community using your directory app’s features that motivate parents, challenge students and foster learning while raising funds for your school.

Let’s learn exactly what these features are and see if it is a good fit for your school.

Michael Kerin is the founder of Paperless PTO, one of the first providers of e-Commerce websites and mobile apps for schools and parent teacher organizations.

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