Home Feature Better Than a Bake Sale? Tech Startup Hello Donor Looks To Change The School Fundraiser

Better Than a Bake Sale? Tech Startup Hello Donor Looks To Change The School Fundraiser

by Maija Ehlinger

Alpharetta-based Hello Donor is out to change the face of fundraising.

The concept and technology behind its Changemaker Initiative, the digital change round-up, is familiar to most consumers. The idea of rounding up a transaction and donating the extra cents is common at point-of-sales retail settings and grocery stores. 

But as Hello Donor’s co-founder Chris Allen explained, those types of donations are “unheard of” in public schools and in the nonprofit sector. Traditionally, school fundraisers have consisted of “unpredictable” one-time donations (think bake sales, wrapping paper drives, and the like).

The change round-up program allows users to donate their spare change on a transaction to a cause or organization of their choice. The team launched during the pandemic and is currently focused on setting up fundraising opportunities within schools. 

Allen said the average donation is $19.45 a month to date. 



That type of reoccurring monthly donation is difficult for most organizations to get organically. “But that’s the heartbeat of our program,” Allen told Hypepotamus. “We’re making it easy enough for the donor and presenting it in a way that it doesn’t impact them as much…but it results in a very substantial donation for the school.” 

Spare pennies collected through Hello Donor’s platform have already made tangible changes inside schools in the Southeast. Schools in Gwinnett raised funds for student Chromebooks and a school in Jackson, Mississippi used funds to renovate a full building.

Hello Donor is being used by 70 schools in 17 states. Users are currently staying on the platform for nine months, according to Allen. 

The platform works with Visa and Stripe for payment security. 

The team closed a $2 million round his month from a group of angel investors. Hiring is a key focus right now, as the team will look to bolster up roles in sales, customer service, and product.

While focusing on school fundraisers at the moment, Allen said political campaigns, university alumni campaigns, and other non-profits could benefit from implementing a change roundup program.


Photo by Mark OFlynn on Unsplash




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