Want to help raise money for your child’s school, or help one of his or her favorite teachers fund a special project? Well, now there’s an app for that.
Frustrated with the lack of supplies inside local classrooms, Tania Mulry set to work on a mobile phone application that could change the way we do fundraising.
Don't miss a thing. Get breaking news alerts delivered right to your inbox. 
“I wanted to put my skills to work to solve a personal problem I had,” said Mulry, a mother of three who has a lengthy professional history in the mobile marketing field. “I know speaking to other parents it’s very hard in this economy to write all those checks to school fundraising and get schools the supplies they need while also helping out the local economy.”
The way edRover works is quite simple, and if enough businesses end up participating won’t alter the way most parents shop. First, businesses enlist in the edRover database, and decide how much an individual visit to one of their locations is worth. When a parent who has downloaded the app then visits the store, the respective business will donate a chosen amount into the parent’s fund on edRover’s partner site, classwish.org . In accessing this account, the parent can then select the teachers, schools or educational programs they’d like to help.
It’s not only fundraising in a digital world but for a cash-strapped educational system as well.
“For brands or companies that want to get involved, aligning with some sort of fundraising effort is really a successful business strategy, but it’s not always easy to do,” she said.
Several companies are already on board, including The Body Shop, Lego, New Balance, Foot Locker and Vans.
“It benefits stores because they get foot traffic – people coming to their stores and seeing that they’re aligned with a good cause. It benefits consumers because hopefully they’re encountering good deals from merchants.”
And most importantly, it benefits the schools and teachers trying to fund interesting programs by putting needed supplies in their classrooms.
“We really tried to construct it so that any teacher or PTA could take advantage of it, or any parent could use it fairly privately to help the teachers or programs they care most about.”
The app is a novel idea, but not far from having a significant impact. AT&T sure thinks so, recently awarding Mulry and edRover $10,000 for finishing first in the “Social Good” category in its “Open Call – Apps for All” contest.
The edRover app was just released for free download on the iTunes store. It is still in its beta version, and Mulry said she’s open to suggestions. To learn more about the app, visit edrover.org .