Sometimes the only way to make progress is to leave something behind.
Although FundingFactory isn't the kind of program that can raise $15,000 for a school in a month or two, it does provide an additional revenue stream through which a school can meet its goals, says Sean Michaels, co-president of Environmental Reclamation Services, which administers the program. Some of FundingFactory's biggest beneficiaries — those that have been adopted by local businesses, for instance — have earned close to $40,000 in new technology.
Springfield (Ga.) Elementary School hasn't achieved that level of success through FundingFactory just yet. But the staff members who spearhead the school's recycling and fundraising initiatives say that they are ramping up their efforts to get the word out to stakeholders.
Instructional Technology Teacher Rebecca Allen already promotes the school's participation in the FundingFactory program in school newsletters and on the school's website. As more people have become aware of its involvement in FundingFactory, donations to the school have increased considerably, she says, adding that doing more outreach with area businesses is high on her priority list.
21 million The number of pounds of e-waste diverted from landfills through FundingFactory
Getting local businesses to adopt a school can be especially lucrative, Michaels says, because they are higher volume users of printer cartridges and cell phones. Often, businesses save their cartridges and ship them directly to FundingFactory on behalf of a school or schools in their area.
"Schools don't even have to touch the stuff," Michaels says of the old equipment that makes its way to FundingFactory on their behalf. "It's like an annuity for them. The funds just keep rolling in, and they don't even have to do anything."