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Walmart, Unilever leverage mobile to drive school donations

Walmart and Unilever have teamed up to make it easy for shoppers to donate to schools via the new mobile application Shoparoo.

Shoparoo, which launched last month, turns grocery receipts into school fundraising dollars. The Walmart, Unilever promotion enables users can double their contributions to schools by snapping a picture of their Walmart receipt.

“Grocery receipt and product label collection programs such as Box Tops for Education are the most widely adopted school fundraisers in America,” said Jared Schrieber, CEO of Shoparoo, San Francisco. “The reason they’re so popular is that they’re a great source of free money to schools requiring very little time investment by parents.  

“The reason Shoparoo is becoming so popular is that simply snapping a picture of a receipt with your smartphone avoids all of the collection and coordination hassles experienced by most other programs – all of the tracking is handled automatically within the Shoparoo app,” he said.

“And, Shoparoo awards donations for receipts from any store that sells groceries, regardless of which brands a person buys.  This means that everyone can participate on a frequent basis without having to change their shopping habits.”

Supporting schools
Shoparoo helps consumers raise funds for schools by enabling them to snap a photo of any grocery receipt with their smartphone. Shoparoo awards “Roo Points” for every receipt submitted which are then converted into a cash donation to the school of the shopper’s choosing. 

Receipts from Walmart containing Unilever brands will be worth twice as much to schools as other receipts.

Unilever will make a cash donation to users’ local schools when they purchase a Unilever brand at Walmart and snap a photo of the receipt with their smartphone. When they do, a donation is instantly made to the school of their choice.

The list of eligible Unilever brands includes Ragu, Skippy, Country Crock, Knorr, Breyers, Hellmann’s, Dove, Axe, Degree, Suave, Vaseline and Ponds products.

Shoparoo was launched last month and is working with more than 500 schools in 43 states. The app is available for free for the iPhone and Android devices.

Mobile fundraising
There are other programs enabling parents to donate money to schools with their everyday purchases that typically involve cutting a small coupon from the packaging of a participating product and then handing in collected coupons to the school. Many schools also raise money by selling candy, wrapping paper and other items.

Shoparoo is designed to make it easy for schools and parents to raise money by using mobile technology.

Users are also rewarded by brand sponsors with coupons, freebies and recipes within the app.

 “Shoparoo works for absolutely any store that sells groceries, from big chain supercenters to local ‘mom & pops,’” Mr. Schrieber said. “This includes club stores, mass merchants, grocers, dollar stores, drug stores, convenience stores and even pet supply stores.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York