Riverview High parents group offers innovative way to raise funds

Published on: July 2, 2014

By KEVIN BRADY

Cheering on the Sharks at a baseball game earlier this year were  Riverview High PTSA members, back row, Susan Shapiro, left, and Maria Ortiz and, front row, Dabney Whitt, left, and Michelle Battle. Photo courtesy of Michelle Battle.

Cheering on the Sharks at a baseball game earlier this year were Riverview High PTSA members, back row, Susan Shapiro, left, and Maria Ortiz and, front row, Dabney Whitt, left, and Michelle Battle. Photo courtesy of Michelle Battle.

School may be out and the kids running around like banshees but members of the Riverview High Parent Teacher Student Association are already thinking about school. And the group has come up with an innovative way anyone can help raise funds for the school.

Do you eat? Then you can help.

Parents are encouraging anyone who wants to help the school to use Shoparoo, a free iPhone and Android app that turns pictures of shopping receipts into donations to any school or charity. There’s no need to fill out any forms or spend any extra money, something that attracted Michelle Battle, president of Riverview’s PTSA.

“I was just doing a search online for quick, easy ways for us to raise funds without having to buy anything when I came across Shoparoo,” Battle said. “The only thing people have to do is just continue to do their shopping at their regular retailer like Publix, Walmart, Target, CVS or Walgreens and take a picture of their receipt. There’s no equipment to purchase or no particular amount they have to buy.”

Every dollar spent is worth one point for the PTSA, with the points translating into cash at the end of the fiscal year. Every 500 points equates to $1. “We already have 25,000 points,” Battle said.

“It’s easy to use and we all buy groceries, so it’s really a piece of cake,” said Maria Ortiz, the PTSA’s social media director. “We already have 25 parents using it, so we are hoping to increase that to at least 100 if not more.”

While elementary- and middle-school parent-teacher-student associations can rely on selling candy and cookies as fundraisers, that’s just not realistic for high-school students, Battle said.

“Our kids are so involved in academics and sports in high school that they just don’t have the time to go out and knock on doors and sell, so this is such an easier and simple way for us parents who already shop to help.”

Battle would like to see the program, already popular with PTSA parents,  run throughout the year. “It’s definitely something we would like to continue year round.”

She said, “We have only been doing this for two months so far and have collected enough points for $50, but if it was year round we could perhaps collect thousands and use that money for things the school really needs.”

Last year, among other things, the PTSA bought tanks with lamps, heaters, dishes and seeds for the biology department, provided financial support to buy two iPads for an Exceptional Student Education class and paid for 28 copies of Romeo and Juliet. The group also funds scholarships for college-bound seniors, provides classroom staples such as pencils and notebooks, and stages breakfasts for teachers.

For businesses, Shoparoo offers a retailer purchase histories, a chance to build brand loyalty, a measurement of trial and repeat purchases as well as an analysis of promotions.

“In addition, participating brands can leverage Shoparoo to generate targeted offers and incentivized calls-to-action such as trying new products, viewing branded videos or visiting and liking your Facebook site,” according to the Shoparoo website. “It was developed by retail data analytics experts to provide a comprehensive set of cross-retailer, omni-channel shopper insights.”

The Riverview High PTSA also plans a fundraiser at the school’s Open House from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 14. Students will receive their schedules, meet teachers and be able to sample offerings from food trucks and local business vendors and participate in raffles as part of the PTSA’s fundraising efforts.

For more information on the Riverview High PTSA, call Michelle Battle at 813-380-4608.

Help out Riverview High
The school’s PTSA has received requests,  primarily from teachers, for items such as bookcases, beanbag chairs (for special-needs students to sit on the floor), a computer desk, pens, pencils, notebooks, book bags, folders, highlighters, food for teacher appreciation week and gift cards when students go out of town for academic conferences.

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