Two new internet portals are making it easy for schools to earn money for technology and other purchases.
A+America’s Technology4Kids.com and the independently run Schoolpop.com have created similar fundraising programs.
Both work roughly the same way: log onto one of their web sites, register the school you wish to support, and follow links to some of the internet’s most popular eCommerce merchants. Buy what you’d like, and your school of choice automatically gets credit for the purchase, between 5 percent and 12.5 percent through Technology4Kids and anywhere from 4 percent to 20 percent through Schoolpop.
The Technology4Kids web site is set up like a internet “mall,” with links to more than a dozen of popular internet retailers, including Amazon.com, eToys, J. Crew, OfficeMax, Cdnow, and others.
By starting at the Technology4Kids homepage and selecting a school (the site has a database of every K-12 public and private school in the U.S.), consumers automatically ensure that a portion of their purchase will go to their school of choice.
A+America says the arrangement works for schools in much the same way as search engines are compensated for directing traffic to eCommerce sites.
Many internet merchants pay royalties or commissions to search engines for sending consumers their way. A+America negotiated similar deals with online merchants and retailers for its Technology4Kids site, but instead of the commission going to a search engine operator, the money goes to help selected schools buy computers equipment and software.
“Every day, more and more Americans are getting onto the web and discovering the convenience of online shopping,” said Bob Norton, president of the A+America Free Technology For School Program, a multifaceted initiative. “We’re excited by this chance to help schools by tapping into this growing phenomenon.”
The Technology4Kids system is designed for ease of use, adding only one extra click for access to merchants after the original registration. The site will automatically remember which school should receive the shopper’s credits.
For example, someone spending $50 at eToys would automatically earn $6.25 in technology funding for their school of choice.
Technology4Kids.com is the latest in a series of technology initiatives supported by the A+America Free Technology for Schools Program.
In its six years of existence, several companies–including Sprint Long Distance, Duracell, and the Sharper Image–have committed to donating a percentage of their sales to school technology efforts.
More than 22,000 schools are currently enrolled in the program, earning millions of dollars for technology in the process.
The new Technology4Kids.com initiative could prove to earn schools much more in the long run.
The independently-operated Schoolpop site aims to do the same, though it does not restrict the money earned by schools to technology purchases.
At Schoolpop.com, consumers again select the school they want to support, and use the site’s homepage to access links to eCommerce sites, even more than are available through Technology4Kids. Again, shoppers must begin at the Schoolpop homepage before making any purchases to confirm the consumer’s association with the school.
Schools have to do very little to participate and enjoy the rebates being earned for them.
Each merchant involved in the program keeps track of the purchases made and sends detailed reports to Schoolpop.
Schools that have earned rebates will receive quarterly reports on activity that benefited them, along with a corresponding check for the amount they earned.
Making sure your school is on Schoolpop’s list and encouraging your school supporters to use the site is all it takes to earn money for technology. Schoolpop even provides promotional materials to schools to help them spread the word about the program.