Dothan City Schools has launched a program that will allow parents to pay for portable internet access with a portion directly benefitting the school district.
“Wifi on the Go” is a program available to parents of Dothan school students and employees. It offers a free wireless hotspot device powered by T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network in return for a $50 “monthly contribution,” according to LeanStream.
There is no contract involved and no term obligation, upon an “initial donation,” a hotspot device equipped with unlimited data service will ship directly to the donor’s front door.
“The donor gets to support our schools while getting something valuable and practical in return,” Dothan City Schools Board Chairman Mike Schmitz said.
Donors can write off $20 a month in tax-deductible contributions.
The school district will receive $12 per month, per line and anticipates that the supplemental revenue will offset the full cost of licensing LeanStream’s crowdfunding software, which is $10,350 annually.
Based on average adoption rates, the net income benefit to a 9,300 student district could generate approximately $23,000 a year with a 1.59 percent adoption rate, according to data from LeanStream.
The fundraising program is all web-based and features online giving to “needs” that are posted by teachers, schools, clubs, PTAs, booster clubs and other school support organizations.
Districts can also post a “big featured need,” which will promote fundraising efforts that will benefit the entire district’s most pressing need. The tool, which uses Paypal as a payment processor, will allow users to bypass transaction fees while the school collects fees, host online stores for spirit gear and parking passes, and keep the school’s inventory of supplies.
Each school’s needs are laid out like a menu and parents and community members can decide what they want to support and donate with a few clicks.
“We wanted to give our community a way to support things they are passionate about and to know exactly what their donations are being used for,” Superintendent Phyllis Edwards said.
LeanStream, a comprehensive crowdfunding and fees management resource for K-12 schools, will support visibility, control, accountability, and fund management with real-time monitoring capability, according to product information.
Several other school systems in Alabama have already implemented the service, and St. Clair County Board of Education, Colbert County Board of Education and Alexander City Schools recently announced their implementation of the program as well.
The school system will be providing more information about the fundraising platform and the needs gallery in the coming weeks.