Oregon Youth Sports Leagues Raise Thousands With PledgeStar

By utilizing PledgeStar to reach out to more friends and family, the Sunset Youth Football and Baseball leagues of Portland, Oregon raised tens of thousands of dollars.

SYFLIt all started when SYFL Coach Frank Krause was made aware of the PledgeStar system by a friend who had used it successfully at his school’s Jog-a-Thon. Krause decided to give PledgeStar a shot for his league’s annual fundraiser.

The fundraiser put on by Krause and the league allowed families and friends to donate a flat pledge or per yard amount. Ultimately, the event raised $15,000, more than triple the amount raised in years past.

“It’s a more logical way to reach out to people than sending out letters,” explained
Krause.

Krause applauded PledgeStar’s customer service, explaining, “They did a lot of the work for us. It was really great.” In addition, he praised PledgeStar’s ease of use in setting up, carrying out, and analyzing the success of the event.

After the success of the fundraiser, Sunset Apollo Youth Baseball league treasurer Brooks Newsom took notice. He hired PledgeStar for the league’s Pitch & Hit fundraiser that aimed to reduce league registration fees. “Without our Pitch & Hit fundraiser, our registration fees would double,” recalled Newsom.

Sunset Apollos

The Pitch & Hit event achieved the same success as the football league’s fundraiser, raising over $14,000. Newsom credited the success of the fundraiser to PledgeStar, citing the service’s reporting and tracking functions as timesaving, helpful features.

“PledgeStar is an outstanding fundraising tool. It just works,” concluded Newsom.

Helping you work less and raise more!

PledgeStarLogoPledgeStar is always looking for ways to improve your fundraising experience, so you can work less and raise more. That’s why we tested two new innovative features this fall: text message pledge requests, and online address book importing. The results are in and we’re excited to report that over 100 schools raised 15% more than they would have without the new features.  

These new features help schools raise more money by making it even easier to reach out to family and friends. Don’t have someone’s email address? Input their cellphone number and PledgeStar texts them a pledge request instead. Hate the hassle of manually typing email addresses or mobile numbers? Just select your family and friends from your online address book and PledgeStar takes care of the rest.

After crunching the numbers and interviewing parents and volunteers who used the new features, we realized that it would be crazy not to include them for all of our customers going forward. So, the text message pledge request and online address book importing features are now included with PledgeStar.

To cover the increased costs associated with the new features, we had to increase the fee cap associated with the PledgeStar system by $300. The percentage fee remains 7% of funds received online, but will now cap out at $995 instead of $695. We’re so confident these new features will help raise more money, we’ll waive the additional fee if they don’t.

We appreciate you choosing PledgeStar for your school’s fundraising needs. If you have any questions or comments about the new features, feel free to give us a call at (949)258-9706 or email us at info@pledgestar.com.

Work less and raise more. It’s that simple.

PledgeStar Perfect For Papillion Elementary

For the past three years, Rumsey Station Elementary in Papillion, Nebraska has used Boosterthon, a full service fundraising company, for its annual Rumsey Run Jog-a-Thon event. However, after parents began voicing concerns over Boosterthon’s high fees, PTA member Kristi Waszak knew it was time for a change. “Raising almost $33,000 and then writing a check to Boosterthon for almost $10,000 really left a bad taste in our mouths. Our parents felt like the money wasn’t going where it should be.” recalled Waszak.

Waszak first heard about PledgeStar from her relatives who had successfully used the service at a neighboring elementary school. PledgeStar’s fee cap and intuitive prize reporting tools persuaded the initially skeptical PTA to give the service a shot, and Waszak hit the ground running to launch the event.

Waszak and her volunteers set up the event and directed parents to use PledgeStar. Then, something interesting happened: “We actually had more parents willing to donate because of PledgeStar’s low-cost pricing structure. Once parents realized the money was actually going to the school, donations, as well as parent involvement in the event, increased dramatically.”

This year’s Rumsey Run was a complete success, bringing in even more than last year’s Boosterthon event. Best of all, thanks to PledgeStar’s fee cap, the school retained over 95% of their fundraising earnings!

PledgeStar Keeps Tuition Prices Down at Private School

RedwoodChristianDirector of Advancement at Redwood Christian Schools, Mike Kady, has been running his school’s Jog-a-Thon for the last 21 years. This year, after researching online pledge drive systems, and being made aware of PledgeStar by his district’s superintendent, Kady decided to give the service a shot.

For over 40 years, Redwood Christian has relied on their annual Jog-a-Thon as one of their top fundraising sources. Without the Jog-a-Thon to supplement the school’s budget, Redwood could not offer the same level of quality programs that it currently does. “Funds raised through our Jog-a-Thon are used for program enhancements, and help fund tuition grants for families who otherwise could not afford a quality private education,” explained Kady.

Until last year, the school used traditional paper pledge sheets. By adding PledgeStar to the mix, Kady saw numbers unlike any he’d witnessed in his previous 21 years. “Our prior record for the event was about $73,000. When we added PledgeStar to the equation, we raised over $102,000.”

Kady credited PledgeStar’s donor email request system for the new fundraising record. “PledgeStar makes it a lot easier to cast a broader net, and invite more people to participate in the event.”

PledgeStar’s donation tracking system also garnered praise from Kady. “PledgeStar’s dashboard makes it easy to track the fundraiser’s real time progress, and it’s fun to see an increase every time I refresh it! PledgeStar definitely makes peer to peer fundraising easy and fun.”

Supercharge School Fundraising with PledgeStar

Now that school’s begun, it’s time to get serious about fundraising, and PledgeStar is the simplest, least expensive, and most effective way to squeeze every last dollar from your Jog-A-Thon, Walk-A-Thon, Read-A-Thon, or any other pledge drive.

PledgeStar is an online fundraising system that helps raise 50% more from your group’s pledge drive by making it fun and easy to ask family and friends for donations.

PledgeStar supports:

  • Flat and repetition based pledges (per lap, per hour, etc.)
  • Payment by check or credit card
  • Offline pledge packet donations

How it Works

  • PledgeStar creates a website for your group, and facilitates the creation of a PledgeRequestSamplemerchant account into which your donations get deposited. PledgeStar never handles your money.
  • You instruct your participants to use PledgeStar to enter family and friends from whom they’d like to solicit donations. They may also share the fundraiser on social media.
  • PledgeStar emails or texts those family and friends a personalized pledge request with a link to a fundraising page designed specifically for them. Your participants can track the status of each pledge request through PledgeStar.
  • The fundraising page allows family and friends to enter a donation amount andPaymentPage choose whether to pay securely using credit card, or optionally, by sending a check.
  • After completing their donation, the money gets deposited directly into your group’s merchant account. PledgeStar then emails a personalized thank you message with a donation receipt attached, as well as a payment notification to the participant.
  • You may track your fundraiser’s progress in real-time with PledgeStar’s event overview dashboard and reports.

Introducing PledgeStar Plus

Reach even more potential donors with PledgeStar Plus’ address book import feature which allows your participants to solicit donations by selecting contacts from their Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook.com and AOL contact lists. This makes it more likely that your participants will invite people they otherwise might have forgotten.

Unleash the power of text messaging with PledgeStar Plus’ pledge request texting Iphonefeature. Now, your participants can invite people by text message when they don’t have their email address, increasing their reach to more potential donors.

Simplify shirt ordering with PledgeStar Plus which allows participants to enter their shirt size during registration. Each participant’s shirt size then appears on the prize report making it easy to know how many of each size to order.

Pricing and Credit Card Processing Fees

After your event, PledgeStar sends you an invoice for 7% of online donations received, capped at $695 for PledgeStar or capped at $995 for PledgeStar Plus.

The credit card processor deducts 30 cents per transaction plus 2.2% of the transaction amount for Visa, MasterCard and Discover, and 3.5% for American Express. Of course, these fees do not apply for donations made by check.

Getting Started

Take your pledge drive to the next level. Call (949) 258-9706 or email info@pledgestar.com

PledgeStar Revolutionizes Corona Del Mar High School Sports Fundraising

Several Corona Del Mar High School sports teams raised hundreds of thousands of dollars using the PledgeStar fundraising system.

41It all started in 2015, when Assistant Football Coach Kevin Hettig utilized PledgeStar for his team’s Lift-A-Thon. In the past, team members sent handwritten letters to family and friends asking for donations to pay for everything from equipment to transportation. Hettig noted that this process was slow and did not yield a great return.

When Hettig heard about PledgeStar and how it automatically sends pledge requests by email, he decided to try it. The football players were able to lift their earnings high above their goal.

“We were very impressed with the overall efficiency of the system,” said Hettig regarding PledgeStar. “The ease of use was the most impressive part. We didn’t have to sit there and watch kids lick stamps and seal envelopes. Overall, it was just awesome.”

Over time, word spread about the football team’s fundraising success with PledgeStar. The Girls and Boys Water Polo teams both used PledgeStar, bringing in $36,000 each. Dave Strauss, a water polo booster, remarked, “We raised more money than we ever raised with a single fundraiser! The families loved the fact that it only took about 15 minutes to complete the entire set up and email process.”

Since 2015, several other sports organizations at Corona Del Mar have enlisted PledgeStar’s help for their fundraising. Boys Basketball, Girls Volleyball, Girls Soccer, and the Boys Lacrosse team all used PledgeStar to help lessen the burden of the high athletic costs facing students and their parents.

In the two years that PledgeStar has been used at the school, CDM athletics has raised almost $300,000. They continue to serve as a case study in how high school sports fundraising should be. With PledgeStar, they’ve worked less, and raised more.

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PledgeStar Helps Florida School Save Recess

1241When Stephany Dawson took over as co-chair of Cypress Elementary School’s annual Eaglethon fun run, she had one goal in mind: bring recess back to the school. The school’s playground facilities were virtually nonexistent, and students weren’t afforded the luxury of unstructured play. This led Dawson and other parent volunteers to take up the cause themselves.

3615Dawson was introduced to the PledgeStar online fundraising system by her co-chair on the Eaglethon board. After extensively comparing PledgeStar’s pricing and features to other fundraising companies, the Cypress Elementary parents knew it offered the most bang for their buck. “The fact that PledgeStar costs a maximum of $695 made the decision easy,” reveals Dawson.

In preparation for Eaglethon, Dawson and her staff set up a unique prize system designed to maximize student donation requests. “We gave prizes to the kids, but what really helped us was awarding prizes to the teachers who motivated their students to seek the most donations.” Massages, facials, and other rewards were raffled off to the Cypress Woods faculty members whose classes sent the most donation requests.

This year’s Eaglethon was a massive success, earning the school over $45,000, more than doubling the previous year’s profits. The fundraiser’s success initiated a multi-year project to completely revamp the school’s recreation area. Shaded spaces, basketball courts, athletic fields, and playground areas will soon be enjoyed by the student body of Cypress Woods; a massive victory for Dawson and the parent volunteers that worked tirelessly to make the 2017 Eaglethon fundraiser the best one yet.