School Fundraiser Uses Deals To Raise Money

Groupon-Like Site Helps Elementary School

By Keaton Fox
|  Friday, Feb 3, 2012  |  Updated 4:12 PM CDT
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Lakewood Schools is holding fundraisers with a high-tech twist, offering deals on goods and services in the community through a website called Schoola.

Keaton Fox, NBC 5 News

Lakewood Schools is holding fundraisers with a high-tech twist, offering deals on goods and services in the community through a website called Schoola.

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Shea Boothe-Wood just opened her second business called 2 Shea in Lakewood. Like any new business, she's looking for new customers and a way to support her community.

That's when her friend, and vice president of the local PTA, Meredith Manak told her she was organizing a school fundraiser---but she wasn't selling trinkets or wrapping paper.

"It's Groupon with a twist," Manak said. "It's savings for the consumer, it's increased revenue for your local business, and it's the much needed additional funds for these schools that they so desperately need."

Here's how it works, you log on to a special website for the school, you browse the selection of deals, like a discounted spa treatment or cupcakes, then buy one and a percentage of that purchase goes to the school.

Manak says the hardest part of raising money is always asking for money, but this makes it easy to ask businesses to participate.

"Now I am going to ask you to do a deal with us, but in return, I'm going to give you business, increased visibility, loyalty, so it was a win-win for us both," Manak said. "They were like, heck yeah, I'll do that. It's brilliant."

It's the first school to participate in the program anywhere in the country, something these parents are very proud of, along with the chance to help out a local school.

"It's a win-win," said Booth-Wood. "It benefits us at 2 Shea, it benefits Schoola, and it benefits the kids. And then their moms get all this great stuff. Jewelry, clothing, spa services. Win-win. Who wouldn't want to do this? (laughter)"

In two days, the school had already surpassed its goal of $2,000 dollars.

Visit the Lakewood Schoola link here.

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