The Office of Innovation and Development can help you research funding opportunities and develop strategies to meet your school’s needs and goals.

What is Crowdfunding?

Online fundraising, also known as crowdfunding, is the practice of funding a project or idea by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet. Crowdfunding enables schools to use online platforms to generate funds to supplement local and district funds for school supplies, special projects, events and more within a relatively short time frame.

Is Crowdfunding Right For You?

One of the most powerful things about crowdfunding is the ability to tell your school’s story. If you have a compelling idea or project and a large social network, crowdfunding may be an excellent tool for raising money. Check out the crowdfunding guidelines and explore our resources below to determine if crowdfunding is the right strategy to help meet your fundraising goals.

Step 1: Develop Your Concept

Before you decide if crowdfunding is the right fundraising strategy for you, you need to develop a clear concept where you clearly convey your needs and goals to a prospective funder. What are you trying to achieve? Who is your target audience? How much money do you need to implement your project or idea? What is your timeline?

Step 2: Identify a Crowdfunding Platform and Create a Campaign

Austin ISD partners with two crowdfunding platforms named Livingtree and DonorsChoose to offer teachers and staff multiple ways of fundraising. 

Which crowdfunding platform would you like to learn more about? (Click one of the logos below.)


Click to learn more

Click to learn more

Users All teachers, staff, administrators, booster clubs, and PTAs can create campaigns All educators who work at least 75% of time with students can create campaigns
Campaign Examples
  • Installing a new marquee sign
  • Paying for AP exam fees
  • Improving an existing playground
  • Expanding classroom library with books
  • Adding flexible seating for students
  • Professional learning for teachers/staff
Funding Set a goal and start fundraising. No matter if the goal is reached or not, the campus will receive the total money that is raised deposited into an activity fund. Set a goal and create an itemized budget using approved vendors. If the goal is reached, then DonorsChoose will purchase and send items directly to the campus. No money transacted at school!

Once a campaign is submitted, there is a two-step approval process.

  1. Bookkeeper - financial approval
  2. Principal - final approval
Submit the campaign for review and approval from DonorsChoose. If a project is fully-funded, the principal will receive an email notification.
Fun Facts
  • Fees ~ 3.10% platform, 2.9% Stripe plus $0.30 per donation, 5% Austin Ed Fund
  • Requires campaign creator to promote heavily through personal and school community.
  • Keep the money that is raised.
  • Fees ~ 1.5% credit card, 15% optional donation, $30 labor
  • Campaign creator can promote through personal and school community, but DonorsChoose has a broad network to support fundraising efforts too.
  • May send money back to donors if the goal is not reached.
Want to Donate? Click to see all AISD projects on Livingtree Click to see all AISD projects on DonorsChoose

Step 3: Start Fundraising

Who can support your campaign? Share the campaign link with the entire school community as well as your own personal network. Share it on the website, in newsletters, or across social media to help spread the word.

Step 4: Reach Your Goal and Thank You

Congrats, you reached your goal! Be sure to celebrate your success and thank your supporters. If you used a crowdfunding platform other than Livingtree or DonorsChoose, please submit this AISD Donation or Grant Award Notification Form.