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Crowdfunding Best Practices for K-12 Schools

Public schools have long used donations to enrich students' academic experience and to fund materials that system budgets cannot always afford. Crowdfunding is becoming a viable funding source, filling resource gaps and providing strategic acceleration for academic programs. However, because the practice is poorly understood, it may result in unexpected liabilities without the proper partners and safeguards in place.

This session will explain how your district can maximize your teachers' participation in crowdfunding while maintaining financial transparency and accountability, integrity controls, privacy, and safety. 

Log-in instructions
1. Visit at 9:30 AM on Sept. 20, 2019.
2. Select "Enter as a Guest"
3. When prompted, add your name in the box provided.
4. Enjoy the presentation!

This workshop will be moderated by Horace Mann, an OAESA corporate partner and a national sponsor of The presentation will be made along with a representative from, an organization with expertise in this area. Teachers at 80% of all the public schools in America have created classroom project requests on the site, and those 3 million donors have given more than $700 million to classroom project requests on the site.


Jim Yale, Vice President, Industry Relations, for The Horace Mann Companies

Jim Yale leads Horace Mann’s work with educational associations and school districts to deliver worksite programs designed to improve employee financial wellness, and help employers improve recruitment and retention.  He leads the company’s efforts to promote no-cost workshops designed to educate employees and help them understand what they need to do to plan for their financial futures, including topics such as managing student loan debt, retirement readiness, and using crowdfunding to reduce out-of-pocket classroom spending.  He manages a team focused on education and communication to educators through Horace Mann's partnerships with over 100 state and national educational associations.

Kirk Smiley, Principal Director, Advocacy and Public Partnerships, for 

Kirk Smiley leads's work with school districts, state leaders, and education associations, helping them leverage the platform to serve their educational priorities and bring the most support to their teachers and students. He joined in 2007, originally directing Indiana’s statewide expansion and then managing corporate and foundation partnerships for 10 years. Coming from a long line of public school educators, he is honored to be helping thousands of teachers and students.