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A few fundraising ideas to try

Q Are there any school fundraising programs online?

Save bucks with online tools

Save bucks with online tools
Q How can I use my technology to save money?
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 budget.
Keep track of cash. Aside from checking your
accounts through your bank’s online portal, there are other great
online tools. Buxfer.com, Mvelopes.com, Mint.com and
BudgetTracker.com are all free budget programs that help you to
plan, save and monitor spending.
Stay thrifty. You don’t have to wait until the
weather warms to get a great deal at a yard sale. The Internet is
full of thrift stores, auction sites, second-hand stores and
refurbished resources that can save you cash and time. Start with
eBay.com, Craigslist.com or uBid.com. Or find a brick and mortar
shop in your area by searching zip codes at Goodwill.org,
SalvationArmyUSA.org, TheThriftShopper.com or NARTS.org, the site
for the Association for Resale Professionals.
Join the coupon craze. Coupon codes, group
discounts and online savings can help pinch pennies, too. Try sites
like Coupons.com, CouponCabin.com and Retailmenot.com.
 CouponSherpa.com and GetYowza.com offer a mobile coupon app
for Apple and Android that delivers coupons to your cell phone
screen that can be used just like a paper one in the store.
Budget technology. Searching for a new cell phone
or family computer? Try a tech discount site. CheetahDeals.com,
Dell.com/outlet and store.Apple.com/refurbished offer close-outs
and refurbished tech equipment, along with warranty options. For
mobile phones, check for refurbished stores offered by the big
carriers like Verizon and AT&T, along with others like
CellularTrendz.com. Or find out what you can get for trading in
your tech equipment at ReCellular.com, FlipSwap.com or
Gazelle.com.
Find inspiration. Look for blogs and websites that
offer regular advice on cutting costs. Check out
FrugalFamilyFunBlog.com, FamilyFriendlyFrugality.com and
AmericasCheapestFamily.com.

Q How can I use my technology to save
money?

A Technology can be expensive. Finding out how
to make

A Fundraising-it’s a word that makes parents scowl.

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 purchases.

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 sales efforts.

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.

Q Are there any school fundraising programs online?

A Fundraising-it’s a word that makes parents scowl.

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 purchases.

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 sales efforts.

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.

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