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School charity online – Web nets $47M for schools

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Schoolpop, an e-commerce site that raises money for public schools, has generated $47 million so far — proving that school fundraising can be big business, the Industry Standard reports.

“We have not seen any private funding of this magnitude for a company that is in fundraising,” said Bob Wann, Schoolpop’s CEO.

Investments in Schoolpop value the site at well over $100 million.

The nine-month-old online shopping mall – with investments valued at more than $100 million — sends 3 percent to 7 percent of a shopping tab to the shopper’s choice of schools.

Consumers select from more than 200 merchants featured on the site, fsuch as Amazon.com and The Gap.

Schoolpop also takes a cut that is typically much smaller than what the school received.

So far, Schoolpop has signed up 16,000 schools – and hopes to boost that number to 50,000, the Standard reports.

A modest $600,000 was raised for the site’s affiliated schools in the latest quarter, and backers who believe the site can raise much more hope to take the company public.

“People who have kids in school are a motivated and loyal group of consumers,” said Schoolpop Chairman Bob Colligan.

He dismissed concerns that the site’s public service image will be tarnished if it becomes too profitable, saying that dramatic changes in school funding will be accepted regardless of how much money the site makes in the process.

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