In the 2009-10 school year, Digital Wish helped put $5 million worth of technology into the hands of teachers.

Websites that let teachers post their classroom “wish lists” for donors to fulfill have been around for more than a decade, but now one of those sites—Digital Wish—has added a new fundraising feature that could help schools raise support from their local communities.

The fundraising feature allows for teachers and their supporters, such as administrators and Parent-Teacher Associations, to establish their own fund drives for their educational needs. Through Digital Wish, users can publish their event on social media websites and print customized fliers.

“We really wanted to give PTAs and PTOs better tools to help them fundraise online,” said Heather Chirtea, the site’s founder. “Schools don’t typically have the capacity to process credit card donations at their events. Now, they can make a giving page in a few minutes on Digital Wish and add online fundraising to every event. Our mission is to help solve technology shortfalls in American classrooms, and parents play a huge role in helping schools.”

Starting an online fundraiser is simple, Chirtea said. After signing up on the Digital Wish website, users can click “Start a Fundraiser” from the home page. By sharing the event with friends, family, and community members through social media, a fundraiser can grow with no set-up cost. Organizers can view progress and edit and manage details from a single web page.

Funds are deposited automatically in the beneficiary’s Digital Wish account for use in the educational technology shopping area at the end of the fundraiser.

The fundraising feature is one of the newest tools at Digital Wish, a site that allows teachers to create online lists of their classroom needs.

The site was formed when executive director Chirtea moved to a small town in Vermont. She appreciated the small class sizes in the tiny school that her 7-year-old twins were enrolled in. However, the school was on the verge of closure, with a lack of funding and equipment.