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Fundraising app debuts

Posted: August 12, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: August 12, 2011 1:55 a.m.

EdRover Founder and CEO Tania Mulry, left, and Ben Hope, senior vice president and chief information officer of Fox Networks Group, at the offical launch reception of edRover at The Paseo Club in Valencia on Wednesday

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With seemingly nonstop cuts to school budgets, a new smartphone application fundraising tool debuted in time for parents to help staunch the bleeding and preserve programs for their children.

A fundraising packet from her 6-month-old’s day care inspired Tania Mulry to design a free, location-based mobile phone app that drives funds to local schools.

Launching the application in time for the school year, Mulry officially launched the high-tech fundraising tool Wednesday night for educators, parents and business leaders in Santa Clarita.

EdRover, developed by Mulry, allows consumers to earn funds for teaching supplies at the school of their choice, while using their cell phones to “check in” where they shop, eat and play – at stores, restaurants, libraries and more.

No purchase is required to trigger a donation from a participating business. However, each time a shopper makes a purchase from participating retailers’ e-commerce site or checks into a sponsored location, edRover directs funds to its partner, ClassWish.org.

Educational leaders and teachers can build wish lists of the materials they need for their students, whether it be classroom supplies, art, music, science, gym, sports and after-school programs.

EdRover users control which school and wish list they want to support by entering their preference. EdRover supports a national database of 100,000 schools.

“EdRover effectively allows every parent and school supporter to become ‘pocket philanthropists’ as they support their children’s education, while supporting businesses that give to schools, with no purchase necessary,” Mulry said.

Fast track
A former banking executive, veteran mobile marketer and Santa Clarita Valley mother of three, Mulry moved quickly to develop a solution for schools suffering devastating financial cuts. Existing fundraising programs were not always productive, she said.

Mulry designed the initial application in November 2010 and attracted the attention of Ben Hope, senior vice president and chief information officer for Fox Networks Group.

Hope, a Stevenson Ranch resident, joined edRover’s board of directors.

By March, Mulry was awarded $10,000 by AT&T, taking the top prize in its “Social Good” competition category, beating out more than 80 contestants.

Wednesday night, Mulry celebrated the launch of the edRover fundraising app at The Paseo Club in Santa Clarita.

“I was excited about what this app could do from the moment Tania told me about it,” said Ann Unger, executive director with the SCV Education Foundation.

“EdRover allows businesses, schools and consumers to work together in a way that’s simple, logical and fun,” she said.

National retailers
Designed to increase traffic to participating businesses and raise funds for schools, the high-tech smartphone app eases the endless fundraising cycles for weary parents.

The app is currently available for iPhone and Windows Phone platforms, and will be coming to Android and Blackberry phones later in 2011.

Shoppers can also enlist support for the school of their choice from more than 100 national retailers. By shopping on edRover.com/shop, retailers will donate 1 to 25 percent of consumer purchases.

Participating retailers include: AT&T, Barnes & Noble, Foot Locker, GameStop, iTunes, JCPenney, Microsoft, PetSmart and more.

Recognition
Mulry was also awarded a Certificate of Commendation Thursday from state Sen. Tony Strickland’s office.


“Like any dream, bringing edRover to life required hard work, passion, and unfaltering dedication,” said Scott Wilk Jr., Los Angeles County district representative for Strickland.


“Through tenacity and leadership, Tania was able to pull it off in less than a year, but the dream won’t be complete until every school in America is benefiting from the funds that edRover is on track to generate for education,” Wilk said.


A California public benefit corporation, similar to a nonprofit organization, edRover aligns business marketing goals with parents’ dedication to meeting school fundraising needs.


“Parents are overwhelmed by the constant flow of fundraising requests, and not everyone is able to participate due to their household budget,” Mulry said.


“But studies show that 80 percent of consumers are more likely to buy from companies that support a cause like education. We believe edRover is a triple win for parents, schools and businesses.”


More information on edRover can be found at http://edrover.com/# or by calling 800-838-5648.

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