TeacherLists can be a great tool that works with—not against—existing school supply kit fundraisers and benefits your district’s staff and parents.
by Emily Graham
TeacherLists makes it easy for parents to find classroom supply lists and order school supplies online or shop for them in stores. If PTOs or PTAs at your district schools sell prepackaged school supplies to parents, you might be concerned that posting your lists on TeacherLists will cut into profits from those sales. In fact, TeacherLists can be a great tool that works with—not against—existing school supply kit fundraisers and benefits your district’s staff and parents.
We’ve talked with a lot of district administrators and communicators, and we’ve heard your concerns about appearing to compete with school supply kit fundraisers already in place at your schools. One way to avoid the appearance of competing with fundraisers run by school parent groups is to post your lists to TeacherLists after school fundraisers have ended in the spring.
To make it even easier to do that, we’ve added a scheduling tool to the site. You can send us your lists as soon as they’re finalized in the spring but delay posting of the lists on TeacherLists until after school parent groups have wrapped up their school supply kit fundraisers.
PTOs and PTAs that sell prepackaged school supplies typically take orders in the spring, but this year many groups’ plans have been upended by the coronavirus and resulting school closures. The financial difficulties many families are facing have made some parent groups reluctant to ask parents for money in any way, including school supply kits. If a previously planned school supply kit fundraiser at your school has been canceled, TeacherLists provides an easy way to share what back-to-school supplies students need with your school’s families.
Parents who order school supply kits do it for the convenience, but what happens if they miss the order deadline? Then parents may end up viewing not-so-mobile-friendly PDFs from your website on their mobile phones, waiting for paper lists to appear in stores, printing out lists at home but forgetting to take them to the store, or calling each of their children’s schools to ask for the information—talk about inconvenient! TeacherLists is a convenient way for districts to share supply lists with parents, and an easy way for parents to access the lists when and where they need them.
When you post your supply lists on TeacherLists, they’re automatically shared with our retail partners. For parents who want to avoid shopping in brick and mortar stores, TeacherLists offers a safe, touchless way to buy school supplies and have items delivered to their doorstep. Lists on our site link directly to prefilled shopping carts at leading retailers like Target, Walmart, and Amazon. Parents shopping in stores can pull up a checkable list on their mobile phones and mark items off as they go.
About half of parents at schools that offer school supply kit sales choose to buy school supplies elsewhere, according to industry sources. Some parents prefer to shop back-to-school sales or save their school supply shopping for their state’s sales tax holiday. Then there are the students who insist on picking out their own cartoon character lunchboxes or unicorn notebooks.
Plus, families move in and out of your school district all year long. Even if the majority of your district’s current parents order school supplies in the spring, new families will need to find supply lists as they enroll their children in school. Sharing your supply lists online makes a good impression on parents new to the district and gives them one less thing they have to track down in the midst of a stressful time.
We’re living in a digital world. Most parents will look for their child’s school supply list online first, and if they don’t find the lists there, they’ll call or email school staff members. Posting your classroom supply lists on TeacherLists is a simple step that can reduce the number of calls and emails staff members have to respond to during some of their busiest times of year.
Get help adding your lists by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us at 800-644-3561 ext. 6.