Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

How is SuccessFund used?

SuccessFund is how schools raise money. Coaches, teachers, PTA leaders, and other educators use SuccessFund to create their own fundraisers, accept donations and payments, track results, and get funds deposited directly to their school bank account. School administrators and districts use SuccessFund to more easily approve and track the fundraising that happens in their districts to ensure policy is being followed.

How is SuccessFund better than traditional fundraising platforms?

SuccessFund doesn’t run your fundraiser for you. It’s a tool that helps you run your fundraiser, get approval from administrators, share online, accept modern payment methods, including venmo, and track your results. Traditional fundraising platforms take anywhere from 10% to 50% of the contributions and we don’t.

Will my program receive more using SuccessFund?

Yes. Just like with any fundraiser, the amount of money that you raise depends on the level of effort that you put in but SuccessFund makes it easier for you to run your fundraiser, and for your supporters to contribute. Most programs raise more money on SuccessFund and keep all the money that comes in.

Who is SuccessFund for?

SuccessFund is designed for educators. Teachers, coaches, club leaders, and parent organizations (PTAs) all use SuccessFund to better run their fundraisers. District accounting and school administrators use it for approvals and to ensure policy is being followed.

How much does Successfund cost?

SuccessFund will not charge a subscription or an upfront, monthly, or annual fee, nor will schools or districts be invoiced. Creating fundraisers, and getting them approved online is free. A $1 + 5% fee is applied to every payment. Here’s how it works: A donor makes a $100 donation to your fundraiser. As they check out, they will see a $6 fee. If they would prefer to deduct the fee from the donation, they have that option. Donors opt to cover the fee over 90% of the time.

If you sell a product, the fee is still $1 + 5% but it works differently. The 5% is subtracted from the price of the product and the $1 is paid at checkout by the purchaser. Say you are selling gourmet cookies for $20 and need to get $20 from each transaction to cover your costs. We would encourage you to raise your price to $21 to cover that fee.

How is this different from GoFundMe?

SuccessFund was built for educators. Other fundraising platforms send money to individuals which is against district policy. SuccessFund only sends funds to bank accounts owned and managed by schools, districts, or foundations.

What payment methods do you accept?

Venmo, Apple Pay, Google Pay, credit or debit cards, and Paypal are all accepted. Cash and check payments can also be logged in SuccessFund for tracking purposes.

Is there a transaction fee for offline payments (cash or check)?

No. Transaction fees only apply when the payment is processed through SuccessFund. Logging payments made offline is free.

How and when will we receive the money we raise?

SuccessFund will only send funds to bank accounts owned and managed by schools, districts, or an approved organization. Money is deposited on a weekly basis. Access to the funds can vary by district, but in most cases, you can put donation dollars to use immediately following the deposit. Every district follows its own use of funds process, so be sure to follow the process outlined by your district for requesting funds.

SuccessFund will aggregate contributions over a 7 day period and then initiate a transfer. Transfers can take 12 days from when they are initiated to when the deposit arrives. On average, the time between a transaction and a deposit is two weeks. SuccessFund does not invest or utilize your funds in any way.

How do you accept Venmo without violating policy?

SuccessFund can accept Venmo because money is routed to an approved bank account, and not to an individual. Donors do not open their Venmo app to make a payment; instead, they checkout on the fundraising page and select their payment method. If they select Venmo, the payment is pulled directly from the user’s Venmo account. This approach maintains a paper trail, allows oversight and visibility, protects against fraud, and enables refunds.

FAQs for those raising money

How do I run a fundraiser through SuccessFund?

Go to successfund.com to create an account (you’ll be matched to your school). From there, you can create a fundraiser and submit it to your administrator for approval. Once approved, you are ready to go live and share your fundraiser and start accepting donations and payments.

How do I get my fundraiser approved?

After creating your fundraiser, you can submit the draft for approval. Your approval will be processed online without a paper form. You will be notified via email once your fundraiser has been approved.

Do I have to accept money through SuccessFund?

Even if your district uses SuccessFund for approvals, you might be authorized to collect money in ways other than through SuccessFund. Handling school funds is a matter of district policy which will vary by district. Please consult the policy in your district to understand what alternatives are available.

How do I share my fundraiser?

Select Share from the toolbar at the top of your fundraising page. There you can download flyers, QR codes, get sharing links, and share your fundraiser on social media. Use the leaderboard to track progress by student. Unique links can be used to credit contributions to individual students automatically.

What kind of fundraisers can I run on SuccessFund?

Can I run a donations-only fundraiser? 
Yes, you can run a donation only fundraiser. Any kind of fundraiser you do, we will always keep a donation button on the page for those interested in donating without receiving a product or service. 

Can I sell products or services?
Yes, you can list any product or service for sale as long as it follows district and SuccessFund policy, and abides by federal, state, and local laws. You can configure prices, quantities, and product variations. Supporters interested in donating without receiving a product or service can do so using the “or donate” button listed on your fundraiser.

Can I run a pledge or “athon”?
SuccessFund does not currently track and aggregate pledges. If you are collecting contributions based on a variable outcome, you can use SuccessFund to process the payments after the amount has been decided. 

Can I sell tickets to an event?
Yes. SuccessFund works best for pre-selling general admission tickets that attendees can purchase in advance and then pick up at will-call. Tickets can also be sold at the door. SuccessFund does not support individually assigned seating. 

Can I sell concessions?
You can sell any product including concessions on SuccessFund. Remember that the buyer will pay a $1.00 convenience fee at checkout regardless of their cart total.

Can I sell banners or other sponsorships?
Yes, you can sell sponsorships in any form. SuccessFund will track all of your sales so that you can provide them to your suppliers to fulfill orders related to banners or other sponsorship products.

Can I run an auction?
SuccessFund does not manage a bidding process through online, silent, or live auctions. When a winner has been identified for any given item, they can enter the amount of the winning bid and complete the transaction on SuccessFund.

Can I sell PTA memberships?
Yes, you can sell PTA memberships on SuccessFund. Remember that a $1 fee is added to the entire purchase at checkout. This is considered a convenience fee, and does not change the price of your membership.

Can I sell registrations to an event like a golf tournament or skills clinic?
Yes, you can sell registrations for any event such as a golf tournament along with any other products associated with that event.

How do supporters receive the products they purchase? (Fulfillment)

Once your fundraiser is complete, you can find a list of supporters and their contact information on the Supporters tab. If you need an address, make sure to add it as a checkout question on your fundraising page.🛈

Can I edit a fundraiser once it is live?

Yes. Select Edit from the toolbar at the top of your fundraising page. There you can edit any details of the fundraiser.🛈

Can I pause a fundraiser once it is live?

Yes, although there is usually no need to. A live fundraiser can accept contributions, but supporters will not find it until you’ve sent out the link. If you need to pause a fundraiser, please use the chat function on successfund.com to request a pause. You can stop a fundraiser right away by closing it.🛈

Can I replicate last year’s fundraiser?

Yes. On the My Campaigns page, find the three dot menu on the campaign you’d like to duplicate. Duplicating a campaign will make an exact copy of your fundraiser.🛈 All of the fundraiser details will be copied to a new fundraiser draft without any prior approval or results.

Can I add collaborators to my fundraiser?

Yes. Select Collaborators from the toolbar at the top of your fundraising page. There you can add other SuccessFund users to collaborate with you. You can also add collaborators who do not yet have a SuccessFund account by entering their email address.🛈

Can I see my fundraiser results in real time?

Yes. On your fundraiser page click on Supporters to see a current view of all transactions. On the leaderboard section of your fundraising page you can aggregate results by participant (student, class, grade, etc.) to see how they compare. To add a list of participants select Leaderboard on your fundraiser page and click on the green Add button.🛈 Here you can paste in a list of students, classes, or anything else.

Do contributors get a receipt?

Yes, every contributor is sent an email receipt automatically detailing their transaction.

Can a supporter’s contribution go toward a specific student?

Yes. If you add a leaderboard to your fundraiser and populate it with a list of student names, supporters will select a name at checkout. The results will be aggregated by student so that you can give the appropriate credit.

When can I use raised funds?

Funds take two weeks on average to deposit. In most cases, you can put donation dollars to use immediately following the deposit. (For more details see How and when will we receive the money we raise?)

Can you provide the financial documents the PTA requires?

We can provide these upon request. Please email support@successfund.com

FAQs for those managing policy and process

Why is SuccessFund better for districts?

SuccessFund online approvals gives districts the ability to ensure their policy is being followed. District accounting has clear visibility into how much is being raised in each school including data on supporters, products sold, and when money was collected and distributed. Districts also can give fundraising faculty the tools to run more successful fundraisers including accepting Venmo and modern payments, fundraiser tracking, and online sharing

Will SuccessFund work with my accounting system?

Yes. Every deposit made to your bank account is accompanied by a detailed report which can be uploaded to your accounting system. These reports include account codes needed to appropriately receipt or allocate funds into the correct budgets.

Can we set our own approval process?

Yes. The fundraiser approval process will be customized by the district. Districts determine which questions are asked and which administrators have rights to review and approve. The SuccessFund approval process allows for a back-and-forth discussion between the faculty submitting the fundraiser and any reviewers so that any needed adjustments can be made and documented. Reviewers and approvers are notified by email when a fundraiser needs their review. Fundraisers are often reviewed and approved in minutes. 

Can I add multiple bank accounts?

Yes. Each district can add and manage multiple bank accounts so that each school or organization can receive its own deposits. To add a bank account, on the left hand toolbar, under Administration, select Bank Accounts.🛈 

Can I determine what certain users can and cannot do in SuccessFund?

Yes. On the left hand toolbar, select Permissions. There you can create user roles, and assign specific permissions to each role. Then on the left hand toolbar, select Users to add users and assign them the appropriate roles. 🛈