On the personal side of life, I’m way into ChipIn for some fundraising I’m doing. But it really hit me that this could be a great little site for teachers and schools to use for a variety of purposes! Basically, ChipIn is a Web 2.0 site that lets you create a widget that people can use to send you money. I’m using it for fundraising right now, and you could easily do the same. Collecting money to send the 8th graders to Madagascar? Just create a campaign, say how much you want to raise and when the deadline is, and then pick your widget. Copy and paste it into your school website or class blog!
The feedback I’ve gotten so far is that people LOVE how easy it is for them to make a donation or send money. They just click “Chip In”, and it takes them to a page where they can either pay via PayPal or send money through a debit or credit card. For PayPal, some fees do apply. While the fees are relatively small, you do want to keep them in mind and adjust accordingly. For example, if you decided to let parents pay for an upcoming field trip via ChipIn, you’d want to bump the cost of the field trip up by a buck or two to cover the PayPal fees.
What else could it be good for? Well, the next time the staff is collecting to give a gift to Trudy, the school secretary to congratulate her on the birth of her 8th daughter! Or when the PTA wants to try to collect money to put in a new swingset. Or if you just want to have a tip jar where parents can donate money to be used to buy new books for the class library. The possibilities are endless! They’re easy to create, easy to embed, and easy to get money out of. It’s a win win win tool.