PledgeCents is a social enterprise with one mission: to help every student receive more educational opportunities and experiences while helping teachers minimize the amount they spend out-of-pocket for classroom needs. We are referred to as the "GoFundMe for classrooms". Our platform looks to remove financial barriers to educational opportunities by allowing anyone, anywhere to support specific PreK-12 needs. Any PreK-12 school, PTA/PTO, or non-profit that has a school/classroom need is able to create a cause and post it on our site. We allow investors to see exactly where their funds are going and how they will be utilized. You can see our impact here.
One of our greatest benefits is our flexible funding model. Whether you exceed, meet, or do not meet your goal, you will receive all the funds raised. We believe that every cent will help provide more opportunities and experiences to students. Unlike other sites, we do not believe in penalizing our Cause Creators if they do not meet their goal by refunding everything they have raised. Each cause page contains a “Plan B” for what the money will be used for if the goal is not met. This creates transparency for individuals who are investing in the cause.
As a social enterprise, we work hard to achieve our social mission. PledgeCents collects a fee from each cause. For causes that meet or exceed their goal, PledgeCents receives a 5% fee from the total raised. For causes that do not meet their goal, PledgeCents receives an 8% fee from the total raised. Each investment is subject to an additional 3% payment processing fee. Causes are highly encouraged to include the 8% fee percentage to their goal amount. We have also provided investors the opportunity to cover the 3% payment processing fee while they are making their contribution.
If the money is contributed to a cause created by a registered 501(c)3, each investor will receive the organization's Federal Tax ID number and will be able to write off the contribution. If a cause has 'verified non-profit' in the title section, then any contribution to that cause can be considered tax deductible.
We work closely with administrators to verify how the funds are being used. Unlike many other sites, we have a built a process that incorporates administration oversight. Every school (or organization) account that is submitted on our site goes through a verification process before it is approved. All the funds are sent via a check directly to the school, not the individual. Once a cause is over, Cause Creators will post an update with pictures and content to inform investors how the funds were actually utilized. Every time an update is posted, every investor will receive an automatic email with the update. The updates help to build trust between the Cause Creator and the investor.
We have partnered with WePay to handle financial transactions, but neither investors nor Cause Creators need a WePay account.Investors can contribute to any cause using a credit card or bank account. When causes are complete, we send a check within 48 hours to their school (or organization) and memo it to the Cause Creator and the specific cause. We do this for a few reasons:
the funds are accountable as they are sent to an organization, not an individual
the funds can be considered tax deductible (if applicable) because they are going to an organization, not an individual
the funds will not be considered taxable income for the Cause Creator (unlike the scenario with other crowdfunding sites)
PledgeCents is a flexible platform. Cause Creators are able to raise funds for any school or classroom need (e.g. a classroom party, a field trip, supplies). There is no minimum or maximum goal for a cause. Cause Creators have the flexibility to raise funds for any need from any vendor of their choice. We don't want to put restraints on what you raise or who you purchase from; it's your need, we just want to help.
Since we work with such a variety of different schools and organizations, we allow each school or organization to make the decision based on their respective policy. If you are unaware about your school's (or organization's) policy with this, then we recommend you discus with your administrator before moving forward.
The answer is 'yes' and 'no'. Through PledgeCents, you have the flexibility to purchase from any vendor of your choosing. But, if your school or district has regulations around certain vendors, please make sure you are abiding by those regulations. In other words, make sure the vendor you choose is also approved by your school or district.
Every Cause Creator is given a personalized referral code, which can be found in the Profile section on their dashboard. We have built a Referral tab in the Cause Creator dashboard that rewards users for referring other teachers to sign up. For every teacher who signs up from your referral invitation, you will receive a $1 credit to your account. Click here to read more about our referral program.
The Preferred Partner Program brings some of the leading and rising EdTech tools directly to our classrooms. Cause Creators are able to raise funds for an annual subscription (or product) to one of the 20+ EdTech partners. Once you choose which partner you want to raise funds for, a pre populated cause will appear and all you have to do is review the cause and make any edits and submit. You can view a list of partners here.
Once you raise funds for any of our partners, we take care of the rest. We will make the purchase for the subscription (or product) on your behalf and you will receive an email from the partner with your subscription (or product). You and your administrator will receive a confirmation email of the purchase for your records. We take all the headache and extra time off your shoulders.
We are focused only on PreK-12 education and work closely with each of our users because we truly do care. Our platform takes into account traditional crowdfunding methods and incorporates systems and processes that schools and districts are accustomed to in regards to fundraising. Learn more about our specific benefits here.