For as long as they can remember, Raizzz founders Jack and Rich have been champions of school fundraising. Their business model relied on printing merchant deals on plastic cards and partnering with local schools to sell these cards. It was a successful and proven business model that allowed thme to service hundreds of schools. However, longtime friends Jack and Rich saw the opportunity in the digital landscape to further grow their business. They shifted their business model to add a digital platform for fundraising. This new digital platform adds simplicity, automation, and personalization to the existing school fundraising model. This allows schools to raise more funds with less overhead. With this new digital platform, Raizzz doesn’t have to manually manage the intricacies or large scale fundraising programs.The challenge now lies in turning an analogue business model into a digitized platform.
The Future of Fundraising
Fundraising has been one of the main ways that schools pay for programs, activities, and other school related causes. It’s always been a uniform process; school clubs would sell items like chocolate bars, do garage sales, or just ask for donations from parents and patrons. While this has been proven methods for schools, it is time consuming and tedious for both students and administrators. It is not a model that scales.
Raizzz offered a more efficient alternative fundraising method. Now students would sell plastic discount cards that include several deals from local merchants and restaurants. Students receive discounts at these restaurants that they already frequent and the school gets a percentage of what the students pay. For more than 20 years, this has been a successful business model. The problem was that plastic cards had a limited amount of deals and if the deals changed or expired, they could not reprint and distribute new cards efficiently. With the rise of the digital era, Jack and Rich realized the potential of smartphones to solve this problem. They approached Novvum to create a digital discount card aimed to fit in the current digital atmosphere.
Our clients range from entrepreneurs to established enterprises with million dollar revenues. Raizzz was somewhere in between these stages. They had a proven business model that didn’t need validation yet they were adding a digital platform with some degree of uncertainty. Prior to writing a single code, our team wanted to understand the users and the potential change in behavior.
Jack and Rich came to Novvum with a vision of what their business could be. With only rough pencil sketches to guide the team, we buckled down and had several ideation workshops until we could come up with a feature scope that fulfilled their vision. Afterwards, the team conducted extensive competitive analysis, picked apart competitor products and dissected best case features. It was a process that helped inform the team about product and technological features.
PROTOTYPING & TESTING
Once the Raizzz team was comfortable with the product features in the prototype, we set out to do more massive testing. The team trekked to CADA conference in San Diego, a conference for school administrators in the United States. The Novvum team alongside Jack and Rich set up a booth and tested out the early prototype with potential customers. This gave us more valuable feedback and even provided us with some early customers. This kind of traction helped validate the new digital business model.
After several months of iterations, we were finally ready to write code.
Before launching the product to a wider range of schools, Jack and Rich set up a middle school to serve as their alpha group. This would allow them to test out the product and tighten up the official launch of their app to other schools. Since then, their product has launched in multiple schools and districts. Now is time for growth!