Begging for Bucks - how to fund school technology

No one needs more money than the technology program of a school. It is an never ending need, because even if you do get money to say; buy 10 laptops, those laptops will only be good for a few years. Every piece of technology you buy for your comes with an expiration date. So with this reality you need to be constantly looking for funding.

Here are a few things I do:

Sell DVDs:
I video record every performance at my school, I then offer DVDs to the parents at $10 a piece. It costs me about $1 for each one so I make about $9. Since I usually sell 20 to 30 DVDs of every performance this has been making the tech department in my school quite a bit of money. Parents like it because they can just sit back and enjoy the show without having to watch it all through a viewfinder. In addition I use a tripod and a hi-fi shotgun mic to get the best picture and sound. You will need to get permission for any copyrighted material, let's say your school is putting on Peter Pan, but this is usually pretty easy to get when you tell the copyright holder that it is a fundraiser for your school technology program.

Work with your PTO or PTA:
I love my PTO, they have been very generous to my department. When I get an idea for what I might need I sit down with the PTO to see what is possible. If they like what I am trying to buy, which will usually impact every student in the school like buying seven Flip video cameras, they go for it.

Apply for Grants:
Once a month I go trolling for grants, I look everywhere for any grant, big or small that I can apply for. I was able to get $2600 worth of LEGO WeDO this past fall from a grant that I applied for. Once you have the initial paperwork done for one grant you can do them all because they basically ask the same questions: "How will this improve student achievement?", etc.

Charge Student Fees:
I charge $40 for the before school tech class that I have once a week for a quarter. I open this up for only 10 students but this one program alone brings in $1600 to help buy new school technology.

When all else fails, beg for help from the parents.

I hope this helps and inspires.