FundMonkey Helps Central Iowa Schools to Raise $240,000


Shannon Godwin
Executive Director

FundMonkey™ partners with central Iowa schools to help PTO/PTA groups raise over $240,000 dollars.

Launched in 2012, FundMonkey is the second generation of campaign management software designed to help fundraising groups raise more money with event-based fundraisers such as Walks and Fun Runs.

Typical fundraisers consist of food and product sales where schools keep from 40 to 45% of the proceeds.  FundMonkey customers typically keep between 90 and 95% of their fundraising proceeds (after expenses) and usually double or triple their total fundraising revenue.  FundMonkey helps schools raise more money for technology, field trips and learning materials.

Shannon Godwin states, “The events by themselves, don’t raise money, it’s the fundraising campaign behind the event that raises money.”

“Parents and friends usually prefer to donate money rather than buy food and products from school children.  FundMonkey shows fundraising groups the process for raising money in a campaign with our proven software, social media, emails, in-person donations, a fundraising web page and tracking online donations by student, teacher and grade level.  PTO/PTA leaders can log into their management screen and see which classroom has raised the most money online and motivate students through prizes or special privileges”, Godwin concludes.

FundMonkey wants to thank all the parents and volunteers who invest their time and talents to help the children in their local schools.  FundMonkey was created for them.


School Fundraising Page Event Date
Norwalk Elementary Schools – Norwalk, IA 9/20/2016 & 9/27/2016
Prairie Trail Elementary – Ankeny Wednesday – 10/5/2016
Webster Elementary – Urbandale, IA Thursday – 10/6/2016
Woodland Hills Elementary – West Des Moines, IA Friday – 10/7/2016
Clive Learning Academy – Clive, IA Friday – 10/7/2016
Grant Ragan Elementary – Waukee, IA Friday – 10/14/2016
Woodward-Granger Elementary – Granger, IA Friday – 10/14/2016

Assumption Celebrates 10th Anniversary Bike Ride

A little k-8 school in Granger with around 65 students held another successful Bike Ride Around Granger (B.R.A.G.), raising over $30,000 in total donations on what happened to be their 10th anniversary of the ride.

At FundMonkey, this was our first school, as a matter of fact, Cindy and I built the FundMonkey campaign management software after being on the B.R.A.G. committee in 2008 and hosting a successful fundraiser.  Somebody came to us and said, “we should find a way to help other schools do this”.  That encouraging phrase led to a startup software company Empowerment Solutions, LLC and FundMonkey was born.

In 2009 we beta tested our original platform at Assumption School and a few weeks later at Nodland-Sunnyside in Sioux City.  After a shaky start, we started seeing the true potential of our unique, campaign-management approach.  We learned several lessons from our own event and we continue to learn from our customers resulting in new upgrades every year that enhance our service and better serve our customers.

The most important lessons, however, were the following….

  1. The event is for fun and it’s the campaign that actually raises money with this formula… Communication + Motivation = Participation = Donation
  2. The event planning and the campaign management are TWO different activities.   Fundraising committees need to split into two teams, the event team and the campaign team and approach each of their respective duties with the end in mind – a fun interactive campaign followed by a fun event.
  3. Schools that switch from food and product based fundraising have been known to double and triple their fundraising proceeds – we continue to be blown way by your success.
  4. Schools that add FundMonkey to their existing fundraising event will make donating easier for donors and safer for participants while adding as much as 30% or more to their total fundraising proceeds.

So, congratulations to Assumption Elementary School in Granger, Iowa and thank you for being our inspiration, our initial “guinea pig” and for letting me be the DJ for the last 8th years of the bike ride.  It’s not everyday I get to play my favorite music outside on my loudest speakers, at full volume and get a thumbs up from the police officer controlling traffic at the intersection.   We’re very blessed here at FundMonkey!

Way to Go Pine Creek Elementary

A shout out to Pine Creek Elementary.  They added FundMonkey to their already successful Walk-a-thon and collected 30% of their total donations online through our secure transaction server.   Final count’s aren’t in yet, but rumor has it they will beat their goal.  Visit their fundraising website to see how they did it!

Nodland Sunnyside Case Study

Group Name: Nodland-Sunnyside PTA
Event Type: Walk for Pride
Challenges:  First ever Walk-a-thon
Opportunity: Make a Change from Catalog Sales
Goal:  $18,000 from students

When Nodland-Sunnyside PTA decided to host their first ever Walk For Pride, they did so with hesitation.  Their two schools, Nodland Elementary and Sunnyside Elementary, really depend on the proceeds from their annual catalog fundraiser to meet their financial needs.  Risking that revenue would strain their already tight buNodland Walk for Pride Photodget.

After their PTA group held a conference call with Pride Fundraising’s support staff, they made the decision to move forward.

With the tools, advice and know-how provided by Pride Fundraising, Nodland-Sunnyside started with a focus on community and parental involvement.   Emily, event co-chair, shares her experience below.

“We started by soliciting donations from area businesses.  Some of these businesses were owned or managed by parents of students; we also concentrated on businesses located near our school and the college track where we would be holding our event.  These businesses were given advertising space on ourPride Page and on t-shirts.

We raised nearly $5,000 in cash from local businesses, enough to easily cover the costs associated with the event, such as participant t-shirts and bounce houses. We had many other businesses donate prizes, water, food, and items for the goodie bags.

We kicked off the event with a rally at both elementary schools. The kids were told that if we hit our school goal, Principal. Hansen would get a pair of green shoes that he’d have to wear for a whole week to all of his meetings.  As an incentive, the kids all received their own little green high-top sneaker keychains.

The packets were sent home with all the students. These packets were ready for pledges and included several of the templates downloaded from Pride Fundraising’s Event Know-How page.  Each packet had letters for the parents, t-shirt order forms and “Employee Matching Gift” forms for parents’ employers to potentially double their contributions.

Parents were asked to help primarily with the event itself by volunteering to mark off laps, man the first aid station, sell water & snack mix, register participants. Other parents assisted with sorting t-shirts and filling the participant goodie bags.  A select group of parents were needed during the campaign.  Each Friday morning and afternoon they would tally weekly pledges for two schools.

During the campaign, each week for 3 weeks leading up to the event, we collected packets on Fridays.  Volunteers collected money, tallied pledges, marked the pledges tallied, on the envelopes, with highlighters and handed the packets back.

We held a contest every Friday for the most packets turned in for each classroom, not the most money raised.  We announced the winners on Monday.  The winning class got a prize, like granola bars.  The kids really enjoyed hearing their class announced over the loud speaker.

We also drew names from each school from the list of kids who turned in their packets. We drew 5 names per week from each school for a variety of prizes.

In Summary, the response from the parents and community was fantastic.  The event itself was held on a beautiful September afternoon – everyone in attendance had a great time and enjoyed the day and activities. Students were awarded a participation certificate with the number of laps.

Our first year participation was around 40%.  I was a little disappointed by that number, but am reminded that as this event grows each year; our numbers will increase as well.  Even with 40% participation, we met our fundraising goal.  I don’t have the data to compare this participation level to previous years.

Because we hit our goal, Mr. Hansen was “awarded” a pair of green Converse shoes.  He proudly wore them to all of his meetings and even our holiday programs in December.  We also had a “pie eating contest” wherein Mr. Hansen got green pie in the face. The students participating in that event were randomly selected from all the students who achieved their $100 goal. We even had local news on hand to record the event.  The video was aired on the evening and morning news.

The FundMonkey staff was great to work with and we are already making plans for next year.  Our goal is to get our business sponsorships sooner, before the kickoff.  We will also get more e-mail addresses from parents and use the Event Management tools for informing parents of the easy-to-use, online donation tools.

We’re very excited about the potential for next year’s Walk for Pride.”

Emily (Event Co-Chair)

Nodland-Sunnyside PTA