Welcome back to the Product Spotlight series in the Beanstack Blog! Here, you’ll find news about our latest features and insights into how Beanstack’s tools can help you achieve your reading goals. Whether you’re already using Beanstack, or you’re looking to build a culture of reading in your community—this series is for you.
The Beanstack team is thrilled to launch a feature we’ve been designing, building, and testing for months: Beanstack Reading Fundraisers. This new tool empowers Beanstack school partners to raise donations through readathons. Stay tuned for more details on the launch of reading fundraisers for public libraries and share your thoughts via this survey.
Reading fundraisers help raise more money for your school with less work and zero inventory. And with Beanstack Reading Fundraisers, your school keeps 90% of what you raise, while building an inclusive culture of reading.
A reading fundraiser in Beanstack is a lot like a reading challenge: it’s a time-bound challenge to your community to read as much as possible—but it’s also a challenge to raise as much money as possible. Readers earn badges for raising donations, logging their reading, and completing activities. Plus, we’ve built an extensive set of tools that make it easy for readers—and administrators—to promote the fundraiser to family, friends, and the entire community.
Our team built Beanstack Reading Fundraisers—like every feature in Beanstack—to work beautifully on devices of all sizes, so that readers and donors will have a great experience whether they’re using a school-issued laptop, a smartphone, or a desktop computer.
Readers can log reading and track their progress in either the Beanstack web or mobile app. And because our community and reader donation forms are fully responsive, you can be confident that your reading fundraiser meets family and community members where they are, even if their only device is a smartphone.
It’s easy and fast to set up a reading fundraiser. Our fundraiser templates come with tons of custom badges, activities, and prizes that you can take as-is for a turnkey solution or customize to meet your school community’s specific needs. Publish your fundraiser in just a few clicks to preview your community donation page and start getting ready to read and raise!
Once you’ve saved and published a new fundraiser, you’ll find all the information and promotional materials you need in your reading fundraiser dashboard. There, you can download and customize templates for print and digital flyers, social media, and marketing messages. We’ll also ship printed promotional materials to you at no additional cost.
While your fundraiser is running, your dashboard keeps key stats at your fingertips, from your top readers and raisers to your daily donation total. Easily view donation and participation details, award prizes to readers, and manage all aspects of your fundraiser directly from the dashboard. When it’s over, we’ll mail you a single check, so all you have to do is celebrate.
Everyone with a reader account in your Beanstack site, from teachers to students, will be automatically enrolled in your fundraiser the day it starts—and they’ll each have their own individual donation page where family and friends can donate and leave encouraging messages. Plus, donors can see how much the reader has raised and their latest books read and badges earned, making it a fun way for donors to connect with readers.
Beanstack will notify readers as soon as your fundraiser starts, and put the fundraiser experience front and center for them, so they can’t miss it! Plus, we’ve made it super easy for student readers and their families to share their reader donation pages via email and social media.
Readers log their reading just like they would for any Beanstack reading challenge, and Beanstack automatically tracks donations made to readers and awards them reading and donation badges. Don’t be surprised if your student and teacher readers report checking their donation pages regularly, and promoting them heavily—it’s exciting to watch the numbers there grow!
Donating via a reader donation page is easy and secure. The Beanstack team sent our donation tool through a rigorous testing process with donors of all ages, technical savviness, and backgrounds. So, you can be sure that everyone—even grandparents—will have a smooth and seamless donation experience. And for those who can’t or would rather not donate online, Beanstack administrators can add cash or check donations to count toward your total raised (which we do not calculate as part of your fundraiser’s 10% platform fee).
The donation model is simple too—donors give a lump sum rather than pledge a certain amount per time read—but not for simplicity’s sake alone. Our research showed that a straightforward, pay upfront model encourages donors to give more. One school reading fundraiser we studied raised 50% more when they switched from a “dollars for minutes” model to the simple model we’ve adopted.
Your fundraiser includes a community donation page to share widely, including with local business sponsors, so that everyone in your community can donate. This page is designed to keep donors and readers coming back for more. Here, your community can see your progress toward your donation goal as well as messages from donors and a list of recent books your readers have logged. Business sponsors can directly share information to be featured on your fundraiser page, including a website link and logo.
Beanstack Reading Fundraisers launches for schools on October 8th, 2021. Find fundraisers by navigating to challenges in your Beanstack admin console, and get started simply by creating a fundraiser and choosing a template.
As always, our awesome client success team is here for you. We’re excited to help make your fundraiser a success, so don’t hesitate to let us know how we can help. Whether you have a quick question or need help with strategy, we’re just an email away.
Not a Beanstack partner yet, but want to run a reading fundraiser? Reach out today!