‘Our technology was outdated, so we were excited when a parent mentioned Rocket Fund (rocket.fund) – a website where schools can crowdfund for new technology. Our ICT Manager, Mr Hammond, considered what item would have a positive impact on learning while being achievable for our first crowdfunding experience. We chose a class set of 30 Makey Makeys, with a cost of £1,224 as our target. These pieces of design kit would enable the children to control computers and computer programs with everyday objects – meaning they could turn bananas into keyboards or pencil drawings and Play Doh into controllers!
Mr Hammond wrote a pitch and submitted this for approval. Just before the project launched, Rocket Fund contacted us with tips and advice. Rocket Fund operates in “waves”, where all projects are launched at once and run for four weeks.
We teased the idea on Facebook and Twitter for about a week before launch, which meant that when the project went live, the support was amazing! We used our PTA Facebook and Twitter accounts, the school’s Twitter account
and ParentMail to get the word out. We took advantage of captive audiences at our events to remind people and keep the excitement flowing.
We sent out letters to local businesses asking for support. Magic Scissors, a barber’s, wanted to help, so we found a teacher who agreed to have his beard shaved off if we reached £750 – we live-streamed it via Facebook and Twitter! A parent who runs a catering business donated cakes for us to sell, which helped boost our profits.
As we neared our target the local radio station came and did an interview, which was the final push we needed to get us over the finish line. We raised £1,254, and at the end of the campaign, Rocket Fund purchased the equipment and had it delivered to our school!’
Suzanne Armer, PTA Chair, Oakham CofE Primary School, Oakham, Rutland (263 pupils)