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Shop Your Way to Fundraising Dollars
By: Jennifer Graber
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Fundraising can be a taxing challenge. Sometimes people are so inundated with requests for this charity or that event, and that does not make any one charitable organization more or less worthy than another. It just can be overwhelming. Factor in that we are all incredibly busy, and it makes it even more difficult to get the necessary funds to operate. Therefore, charities are faced with coming up with new ways to reach donors. It is crucial, for many, that these donation opportunities also are easy to interact with and contribute to.
Shoparoo is one of those easy donation opportunities that you may never have heard of. Shoparoo was founded in 2011 by Jared Schrieber and Jon Brelig. Schrieber and Brelig, Silicon Valley veterans, created the Shoparoo app as a simple way to raise funds for schools. The two place a high value on the worth of an education. But Schrieber and Brelig also recognize the difficulties that schools face in dealing with inadequate local, state, and federal funding. Shoparoo was their answer to that.
Shoparoo is easy-to-use app in which users simply shop, snap, and earn. Upon downloading the app users first must select a school for funds to go to. After that, all Shoparoo users have to do is upload pictures of their receipts into the app. The receipts are then converted into Roo Points, and the Roo Points add up to real dollars for the school of your choice.
The Shoparoo app categorizes receipts into two categories: grocery and non-grocery. Grocery stores, convenience stores, supercenters, club stores, drug stores, liquor stores, and dollar stores all fall under the grocery category. Grocery receipts are the only ones that are converted to Roo Points and thus end up as real dollars. But non-grocery receipts are not a total loss for fundraisers.
Restaurants, hardware stores, department stores, electronics stores, sports stores, office supply stores, bookstores, cafes, and arts & crafts stores are all categorized under non-grocery. When non-grocery receipts are scanned, users are entered into a giveaway for the school of their choosing. The giveaway is for Shoparoo’s monthly $1,000 and yearly $15,000 prizes.
A school using Shoparoo must have converted Roo Points to a certain dollar amount to have a check cut and sent to them. So if the school is small or has little parental or community involvement, it can be challenging to rack up fundraising dollars. Also, users are required to answer short surveys regarding their shopping experience after uploading receipt photos into the app. It is my educated guess that Shoparoo then sells this data back to retailers and stores. The sale of data likely allows Shoparoo to give back even more. After all, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. And the fundraising dollars have to come from somewhere.
But in terms of usage, Shoparoo is simple and easy. The user just has to snap pictures — something many do every day. And a school earns real dollars for real needs. There is no monetary cost to using the app, only an opportunity cost. And if you could give back to a needy school, why would you not do that? I encourage you to check out Shoparoo to help a school near you today.

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About the Author
Jennifer Graber is a Business Development Manager and marketing enthusiast. Her specific interests include branding, consumer behavior, development, integrated marketing communications, and new & social media.
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