*Please note: this information is for employees of Columbus City Schools and does not apply to outside organizations.
In Columbus City Schools, we are fortunate to operate in a city full of generosity. Countless examples in classrooms all across our District prove that when businesses, organizations, and individuals are asked to donate in support of our students or our schools, they often give generously and without question.
As a District and as individuals, we have a responsibility to ensure that all donations and online crowdfunding efforts are safeguarded. We must protect against mistakes that might compromise student confidentiality, divert donations for private use, bring on federal scrutiny of educational programs, or create poor publicity for a school if a crowdfunding campaign is mishandled.
The Columbus Board of Education has adopted a crowdfunding policy that requires any staff member to get the Superintendent’s permission to engage in crowdfunding. We have made the procedure for getting approval easy, but there are some important rules staff must know first:
- The only approved website for online crowdfunding is DonorsChoose.org. Donation campaigns through other websites (such as GoFundMe.com) must immediately be stopped. Please report this to your principal/supervisor so we can document that you’ve stopped your campaign.
- If you want to start a DonorsChoose campaign, you will need to review the new Board Policy and Administrative Guideline. There is an application process that requires information about your campaign, what items will be asking for and their cost, and what type of images or descriptions you plan to share as part of your request. Depending on the information you share, you may be asked to make changes should there be any legal concerns.
- If you choose to launch an online donation/crowdfunding campaign without following the proper approval process, you will be required to immediately stop your campaign. You may be liable for any funds that have been donated, and your violation of this Board Policy could lead to disciplinary action.
If you have a DonorsChoose campaign running and did not get prior approval, you should immediately report your campaign to your principal/supervisor. You will need to fill out the crowdfunding application linked below.
If you’re ready to start a DonorsChoose campaign, please click here.
We want our young people to benefit from the generosity of our community. These rules are not meant to discourage online donations but instead protect all of us from even the appearance of impropriety.
The Office of Strategic Communications will be monitoring the crowdfunding efforts in our District. If you have any questions, please call 614.365.5680.