Startup Aims to Save High School Clubs
How does the future of philanthropy relate to high school student clubs? With her company, Support My Club, Amy Armstrong has linked the two fulfilling activities. Support My Club is an organization with a pay-it-forward mindset. The organization connects after school clubs around the valley that are in need of funding with donors to help launch the clubs and keep high school students engaged and occupied.
Donors can choose clubs and teams to support by their focus and categorized by the 4 A’s: Academics, Athletics, Arts and Activities. For every $100 of value received, the club performs 1 hour of community service, creating the full cycle of philanthropy, allowing the student to feel like they have earned what they have been given and strengthening the community connection. Support My Club sets students up for a future of support in philanthropy, education, and after school activities while keeping them enriched and focused in the present. Amy spoke with me to describe the organization and how it benefits the community.
How did you come up with the idea for Support My Club?
I came up with the idea while working with Social Venture Partners (SVP) and Camelback High School. I saw all these amazing students and clubs that weren’t able to implement all their great ideas or compete with other affluent schools. We started connecting a few specific club/team needs to people that we knew could help or pass on a connection. I asked the clubs to send me their “wish list” of anything they wanted/needed and then made a word document and passed it out and suddenly we had $4000 in donations. I saw the potential and began working on the site, launching our beta with Camelback High School in Fall 2012.
How do you explain Support My Club to someone who hasn’t heard of it?
It’s like a wedding registry for high school clubs and sports with a pay-it-forward mentality.
More in depth, Support My Club is an e-commerce solution where donors can support the needs of high school clubs and sports. Clubs post their specific needs, donors “shop” for items that speak to them. Items are added to the online cart, donors make a 100% tax-deductible purchase and Support My Club delivers the item directly to the club! After receiving the wish list item, the club continues philanthropy by completing one hour of community service for every $100 worth of purchases.
How do you connect with donors?
With the website we aren’t limited to only local funds. For instance, a law firm can support the gavel requests for Future Business Leaders of America, a local outdoor goods store could sponsor water bottles for the hiking club, etc.
In addition, when the clubs send a thank you note it includes a copy of their upcoming schedule, inviting the donor to a game, play or upcoming activity, hopefully further engaging the donor.
What do you see for the future of the organization?
We recently announced the expansion to all of Phoenix Union High School District (16 schools serving over 26,000 students). We are developing a new platform that will allow us to rapidly expand, eventually reaching a nationwide audience. It will also allow us to license the platform to private schools, creating a sustainable revenue model that will help support the non-profit side.
Learn more about Support My Club and begin supporting a high school here.
Support My Club recently pitched at SeedSpot Demo Day, find out what they won and about other startups in AZ here.
Photos courtesy of Support My Club