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Schools selling online ad space

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Wednesday April 21, 2010 )

Don’t be surprised if banner ads start appearing on your child’s school’s web site soon.

Schools are always on the lookout for fundraisers as they are so often under-resourced.

The Green Bay Area Public School District is considering offering online ad space on its web site to help generate revenue after the school district was forced to slash millions from its budget.

According to the WBAY article, a school in Fountain Hills in Arizona has already launched a program that should see it generate around $4,000 annually. Prince William school district in Virginia began selling web advertising in 2008 and generated $75,000 in its first year.

When I first read the article, I thought the idea was a little off; but then I remembered back to my school days. Thinking as far back as primary school, when the newsletters were printed out via mimeograph (I kid you not – and it was only in the 70’s), there would always be a few sponsor messages from local businesses.

So there’s nothing really new in this idea and “back in the day” these ads were generally considered a good thing as parents knew the business was helping to support the school.

It’s certainly an idea that is a lot less effort than coordinating lamington drives (probably only Aussie readers will know what that is) or the potential liability horrors of a walkathon, fetes and other forms of fund-raising.

So, if your children’s school is scratching around for cash – bounce the idea off them and if you have a business, offer to be a test case.

This could even be a good niche for a national ad network; but let’s hope we don’t see monkey punching ads popping up on these school sites though!


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