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Is Pledge-Drive.net COPPA/FERPA Compliant?
Yes! The information requested to build our unique fundraising websites only uses directory information as defined by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, which has to be approved by the School administrator or or Principal. The administrator or Principal has to have complete control and access to the internal workings of the participant websites, which includes our communication strategy.
The fundraising websites are designed to be transparent, and is completely customizable for the group. There is also no inter-communications from the donation websites created. The only thing to do from a pledge-drive.net website is to share or donate!
Per COPPA, the participant websites are basic by design, and do not collect personal data from students. The websites are created from Directory information (with FERPA as the guideline), and are simply a way to give credit for donations to a partictular participant or group of participants. The parents and students to not have an “online account”, they only have a website they can use to get the credit for their donations when the website is shared.
For more information on the definition fo directory information, Please look here:
Note: Per 34 C.F.R. § 99.37(d), a school or school district may adopt a limited directory information policy. If a school or school district does so, the directory information notice to parents and eligible students must specify the parties who may receive directory information and/or the purposes for which directory information may be disclosed.]
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law, requires that [School or School District], with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child’s education records. However, [School or School District] may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent, unless you have advised the [School or School District] to the contrary in accordance with [School or School District] procedures. The primary purpose of directory information is to allow the [School or School District] to include information from your child’s education records in certain school publications. Examples include:
A playbill, showing your student’s role in a drama production;
The annual yearbook;
Honor roll or other recognition lists;
Graduation programs; and
Sports activity sheets, such as for wrestling, showing weight and height of team members.
Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without a parent’s prior written consent. Outside organizations include, but are not limited to, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks. In addition, two federal laws require local educational agencies (LEAs) receiving assistance under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA) to provide military recruiters, upon request, with the following information – names, addresses and telephone listings – unless parents have advised the LEA that they do not want their student’s information disclosed without their prior written consent. [Note: These laws are Section 9528 of the ESEA (20 U.S.C. § 7908) and 10 U.S.C. § 503(c).]
If you do not want [School or School District] to disclose any or all of the types of information designated below as directory information from your child’s education records without your prior written consent, you must notify the [School or School District] in writing by [insert date]. [School District] has designated the following information as directory information: [Note: an LEA may, but does not have to, include all the information listed below.]
Electronic mail address
Date and place of birth
Major field of study
Dates of attendance
Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
Weight and height of members of athletic teams
Degrees, honors, and awards received
The most recent educational agency or institution attended
Student ID number, user ID, or other unique personal identifier used to communicate in electronic systems but only if the identifier cannot be used to gain access to education records except when used in conjunction with one or more factors that authenticate the user’s identity, such as a PIN, password, or other factor known or possessed only by the authorized user
A student ID number or other unique personal identifier that is displayed on a student ID badge, but only if the identifier cannot be used to gain access to education records except when used in conjunction with one or more factors that authenticate the user’s identity, such as a PIN, password, or other factor known or possessed only by the authorized user.
We’ve been successfully doing our own event. Why should we switch to having a pledge-drive authorized distributor do it for us?
That’s an excellent question, and usually the first one we are asked! There are two reasons you should let pledge-drive customer care mentor handle your event: time and profit.
It’s true you can do your own event and keep up to 100% of the profits depending on your costs; but if you’ve ever actually planned, executed, and wrapped-up a fun run, read-a-thon, or donation drive yourself, then you’re probably also very aware of the enormous amount of time and work that entails! For many, the load is simply unbearable and that’s where our network of professionals come in.
Who couldn’t use more time, right? Your pledge-drive mentor handles nearly every aspect of your event with only limited assistance needed from you – from the planning to the kickoff to the daily prizing to the final event itself! Of course you can be more involved if you wish, but why not let a professional do it for you? This is what they do every day and their focus is to make your event the easiest and most successful ever!
The other major benefit of having one of our professionals run your fundraiser or event is the profit. Yes, keeping 90-100% of the money through a DIY event sounds great; but what if you worked with a company that gave you 70% profit but raised a significantly larger amount of money for you? That’s precisely what often happens for schools that work with a pledge-drive authorized mentor!
It’s not uncommon for schools to double, triple, even quadruple their intake using the pledge-drive platform rather than doing it themselves, and that increase, despite the program’s “lower” profit percentage, usually means a much higher final profit for the school!
For example: in 2019, a private K-8 school raised $12,000 doing their own fun run and keeping nearly 100% of that as profit. In fall 2020, they allowed our pledge-drive mentor to do a virtual program (the Fit & Fun program) for them during the pandemic. With about the same number of students as the year before, they raised $72,000 and received appx. 70% profit after expenses, giving them a net profit of just over $50,000! So as you can see, keeping a lower percentage of a much bigger number can make real dollars and sense!
Why should we work with a pledge-drive mentor vs. other online donation companies?
While some online donation platforms tout low fees and high average-per-student donations, what they don’t mention is that they do not engage with your students, parents, and faculty, offer student prizes, or even do the actual event! It’s up to you to do the advertising, come up with incentives, motivate your students and teachers, and ultimately plan, manage, and execute the event itself.
At plege-drive, we not only give you a powerful yet easy-to-use donation platform, but we use our network of professional service companies to engage your students and faculty daily to keep the motivation level high and we also manage the event at the end of the fundraiser! What does this mean for you compared to the other companies? Less work. Less stress. And more than likely a lot more money! Compare our average-per-student donation return to other companies who only solicit and collect money for you and you’ll see that partnering with a pledge-drive mentor as your full-service event provider is the right choice!
What does running a pledge-drive event look like?
In a nutshell: as smooth, efficient, worry-free, and profitable as possible! Our proven methods minimize the amount of time and effort needed to execute the event while maximizing the profit to the school.
About four weeks prior to the start date of the fundraiser, one of our pledge-drive mentors creates individual mini websites for each student and designs custom logos and promotional materials for the program.
One week prior to the start date, the Principal uses our powerful online tools to notify the school’s parents of the upcoming kickoff and on the start date itself, a video presentation is made to the students, parents, and staff officially kicking off the fundraiser.
Most programs run for two weeks, during which time students utilize their mini websites to reach out to family and friends for donations. 5-minute Reading Rally, Fitness, or Character videos are uploaded daily to the students’ websites and teachers may also choose to show them in their classrooms (live or via Zoom).
Prizes, which are individually packed by student and sorted by classroom for easy distribution, are awarded throughout the program (typically once a week), with dates having been determined during the planning process. Once all money is collected and prizes have been distributed, the school receives profit check, typically 3-4 weeks after the event day.
What is our profit margin?
The profit margin on our program varies based on the services and materials required, but the school also receives 100% Profit on any Corporate donor matches. There are many variables involved in the different events that can affect your final profit margin – things such as the number of personnel required to manage an in-person event; the event’s location; whether certain accoutrements, like t-shirts, are desired; and so on. Fortunately, your pledge-drive mentor is very good at managing these variables and estimating costs, so the vast majority of groups reach or get very close to these profit percentages negotiated when it’s all said and done.
Want to use the software only? Talk to your pledge-drive mentor about special pricing.
How long do most schools run a pledge-drive program for?
We’ve found the most effective length of time to run a pledge-drive Fundraising program is for 2 weeks. Anything less than that and we reduce our chances of successfully soliciting donations from potential supporters; anything more and the program tends to get tired. This is something we discuss during the planning process so together we can determine the most effective length of time for your school specifically.
Does the event’s chairperson have online access to monitor the fundraiser?
Yes! Pledge-drive platform gives the event chairperson access to their own online portal through which they can monitor donations and the fundraiser’s progress.
How do teachers keep track of their class’s donations?
They don’t! Pledge-drive platform does this for them and each teacher/coach will have their own online portal to see the status of their class’ progress.
What forms of payment from donors does pledge-drive accept?
Pledge-drive Fundraisers accepts Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Venmo, as well as checks and cash (optional).
Can donors living outside of the U.S. support our fundraiser?
Yes! The reach of our program is as far as you want it to be, and if that means contacting potential supporters living outside the United States, we’re ready to help! The donor simply pays with a credit card or payment service (like PayPal or Venmo) and our processor converts the foreign currency into US Dollars. At the time of this publishing, we do not charge for this service even though Let’s Go! does incur foreign currency conversion expenses.
How does the optional donor tip work?
Like other popular online fundraising platforms, pledge-drive incorporates a voluntary, no-pressure tip function for donors to participate in if they wish to. Something as small as a $1 tip from every donor can significantly reduce the costs of administering the fundraiser, in turn increasing your final profit! We use the tipping function in lieu of charging manditory processing fees.
Do donors receive a receipt for their contribution?
Yes! Donors who pay online immediately receive an emailed receipt for their donation.
Who do the parents and donors contact if they have an issue?
Your pledge-drive mentor handles any questions or issues from parents and donors so you don’t have to! They simply contact them directly and they take it from there. Excellent customer service is just one of the many reasons why so many schools return to work with pledge-drive mentors year after year!
What kind of record-keeping is provided by pledge-drive!?
Upon completion of the fundraising program, the pledge-drive platform can provide the school with excel reports showing each student’s collected donation totals as well as classroom totals.