WINTER GARDEN — Among guesses for the first place for company heads from Winter Garden and Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, to meet, San Diego might not be near the top of the list.
But early this year, at a National Association of Secondary School Principals event there, Sandra Englund, executive director of Winter Garden-based Parent Booster USA, met Chris Johnson, co-founder and CEO of Permission Click, National Angel Capital Organization’s 2014 Most Promising Start-up of the Year.
By March, the two met in Florida while Johnson was on vacation, and they knew by then that their organizations would form some sort of partnership, Johnson said.
They officially announced their partnership May 27, with Permission Click providing digital records management opportunities for the more than 2,300 booster clubs and other nonprofit community associations Parent Booster USA trains in proper and legal operation and organization.
“Permission Click is a great advantage for parents, because we’re trying to relieve volunteer parents of what really is a full-time service of collecting money and all that goes into it,” Englund said. “Permission Click is just one more tool that we found would be helpful for parent volunteers and schools. We do a lot of training sessions and cash events, so doing that on paper is more than you expect. So the more tools you provide, the more it helps the schools and parents and students.”
Although its focus had been schools and their parent councils, booster clubs have been on Permission Click’s radar for some time, because their major fundraising focus presents many situations that could go awry, Johnson said.
“With so much money going around, you never want to think someone might steal money, but in cash, it’s a real thing and a high risk,” he said. “We just saw the opportunity for them to have the ability to transfer funds securely and easily and avoid situations where undesirable events might happen.”
Instead of having to worry about transitions of documents and money matters such as embezzlement, all information can be tracked online through Permission Click, with selling items and digital permission slips among other capabilities, Johnson said. Moreover, it is a free tool that can allow such processes to occur instantaneously, as opposed to the costs and time typically involved in paper-based fundraising, he said.
Permission Click is Payment Card Industry-compliant and protected by Stripe, which makes it even more secure for transfers. This approach is the best Englund has seen and should make organization management and IRS compliance as smooth and easy as possible for Parent Booster USA’s members, she said.
One such member is Titans Band Boosters, which raises funds for the band program at Olympia High School. Englund noted fundraising for West Orange High School’s new turf field as another type of instance in which this partnership could be helpful.
Englund and Johnson are eager to see the results of this partnership and possible future partnerships, with Permission Click already working on a big play in Florida. It is also the first partnership of Parent Booster USA’s “Showcase” initiative, which will feature solutions and providers of relief and added value to members.
As for this partnership, the two have been working to get thousands of organizations up to speed.
“One of the things as recently as yesterday that we set on a path ... was doing some joint sessions with more of an educational flavor for some best practices,” Johnson said. “Parent Booster USA is going to put up some templates for access on Permission Click ... to help some of these groups hit the ground running.”
Contact Zak Kerr at [email protected].