Q How can I use my technology to save
A Technology can be expensive. Finding out how
to make it pay off is a common question for families and in tough
economic times, cost cutting is a subject worth revisiting.
Start by keeping technology costs low at home and make sure your
gadgets are not costing you more than necessary. Turn off
electronic devices when you're not using them, set your printer
default to print drafts in black ink only and revisit your cell
phone plan to see if you can squeeze into a less costly plan.
Then, try these great sites and sources to cut your family
Q Are there any school fundraising programs
A Fundraising-it's a word that makes parents
Without extra money from the sales of candles or entertainment
books, many schools, scout troops and sports teams struggle to
afford supplies and programming. But the pressure to buy and sort
wrapping paper orders, magazine subscriptions or boxes of peanut
brittle can make parents cringe.
Thanks to technology, there may be a slight reprieve to the
door-to-door sales pitches of the past. Some fundraising companies
are creating online tools and resources that allow schools to post
fundraisers online and ship products directly to supporters. Others
create social media options, so word can spread on Facebook and
through email to increase sales easily. And still others offer
year-round support when patrons use a registered card or make
Before your school signs on for another candle sale or coupon
book booster, check out these options:
1 Online gift cards. Fundraising companies have
gone the way of the gift card. For example, Sally Foster offers the
option to buy gift cards in amounts of $10, $20 or $40. Cards can
be used for hundreds of products, including wrapping paper, baked
goods and chocolates at Sallyfoster.com. Supporters can shop at
their leisure and schools earn 40 percent for every item sold,
without pickup, coordinating or delivering products.
2 Give directly. New online sites take the
"stuff" (i.e. chocolates, stationary) out of the fundraisers and
concentrate directly on donations. Sites like OneCause.com,
GoFundMe.com and Fundly.com make it easy to set up a Web page to
accept donations to help your cause, school or team.
3 Donor matches. AdoptAClassroom.com helps
match a class in need with generous donors-not just parents and
neighbors-through social networking, email and site promotions. The
classroom receives 100 percent of the donations, can spend the
money at online retailers and have supplies shipped directly to
school. Donations are tax deductible and donors reports to how
their donations were used.
4 Tradition with a twist. Many traditional
fundraisers have also added a tech twist. Looking for Girl Scout
cookies? Try the Cookie Locator app for iPhone and Android. The
Entertainment Book fundraiser now includes additional online
coupons. Before you scrap an older, successful fundraiser, find out
how you can use new tech features to increase the success of your
5 Max out your network. Whether you're selling
candy bars, having a car wash or gearing up for a good ol' bake
sale, everyday technology is a great way to get the message out.
Post messages and set up events on Facebook, send an email out to
friends and parents, and talk to your school about using the school
or organization's website for announcements and promotions.
Sharon Cindrich is a mother of two tech-savvy kids from Virginia Beach. Learn more at sharoncindrich.com.
See more of Sharon's stories here.
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