Ohio auditor’s report encourages schools to adopt crowdfunding policies

A new Auditor’s report and survey has found that many school districts don’t have policies to help guide teachers and administrators on how to use crowdfunding.

ExploreOhio auditor advocates school policies on using crowdfunding

Teachers throughout Ohio are using crowdfunding-online fundraising-to generate donations for educational materials for students and the Auditor of State is urging policies be put in place, according to a press release from Ohio Auditor of State, Dave Yost.

The survey included 123 of Ohio’s school districts and found that fewer than half had a crowdfunding policy, according to the release.

The release stated there are risks when using crowdfunding such as compromising student confidentiality, mishandling of donations, and allowing extra scrutiny of educational programs.

According to the release, teachers spend an estimate of 600 dollars a year of their own money to buy supplies for their classrooms.

Teachers have used crowdfunding websites for donations of money and educational supplies such as notebooks, pencils, and specialized furniture to help special-needs students, the release stated.

“With an increase in donor-directed charitable donations, there’s no question more Ohioans will use these online giving tools in the future to invest in areas that are important to them,” said Auditor Yost. “Because children are our greatest resource, I expect we’ll see increasing requests for donations to education-related issues, and schools need policies to avoid any issues.”

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Crowdfunding sites that are specifically designed to help teachers include AdoptAClassroom, ClassWish, EdBacker, GoFundMe, Indiegogo, Kickstarter, PledgeCents, and YouCaring, according to the release.

Auditor Yost’s report provided information on what policies school districts should adopt including:

  • Donations must be used for stated purpose.
  • Donations may only be accepted with school board approval.
  • Require a designated school administrator ensure the crowdfunding campaign does not violate any federal or state law.

“These guidelines for crowdfunding will be of great value to me as I support teachers and employees who pursue supplemental finding for our students,” said Dan Wilson, treasurer of the Mentor Village and Kirtland Local schools in Northeast Ohio. “Using these guidelines will ensure compliance with federal and state regulations as well as assuring the donations will support the intended students.”

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