We seek a world where anyone can lead and make a difference directly in local schools.
The need is significant.
Public school students are unprepared for college and careers, and don’t have money for sports teams, clubs, enrichment activities like field trips and arts programs, and decent facilities.
(The difference of expenditure from K-12 between an average prep school student and an average public school student is $373,841!)
Public schools lack an easy way to campaign for and receive donations and other types of support.
(At the average private school, the alumni giving rate is 23%. At public high schools, the rate is 0.1%. Statistically, you are more likely to be able to smell sounds than donate to your high school alma mater!)
We say enough.
Alumn.us makes it easy for students, alumni, parents, and teachers to launch targeted fundraising campaigns, develop college and career mentoring programs, and build enduring relationships for their schools.
Alumn.us’ online platform brings together students, alumni, parents, and staff, offering them the tools to support the schools they care about.
through a simple online fundraising platform, students, alumni, and others promote the causes they care about, from computer labs to sports to arts; donors to this campaign will be able to redeem gift vouchers to use in future fundraising campaigns of their choice when we launch
Q&A forum focused on college questions and career preparation; Algorithm-based mentor-matching connects students with alumni based on interests
Lifelong community engagement
Additional channels for volunteering, internships, and business sponsorships, with rewards and recognition to encourage ongoing participation.
Our founders have led nonprofits, worked in education, and understand budget constraints. Unlike enterprise products that demand high upfront costs and extensive staff time to manage, Alumn.us is free to use and requires minimal staff time.
We sustain our efforts by taking a small commission in fundraising campaigns. As such, we are proud that our success is aligned with the success of the schools we serve.
We are building Alumn.us because we believe entire communities must be strengthened around under-served schools.
Since winning Startup Weekend-EDU in October 2011, parents, teachers, students, and alumni from forty-five schools from across the U.S. have signed up to bring Alumn.us to their campuses.
In March 2012, we will launch in closed alpha at two pilot schools in the Bay Area, including a fundraiser at a high school in San Francisco that lacks a computer lab, music teacher, art supplies, and adequate sports equipment. Future pilots will involve fundraising, mentoring, and engagement support, and will be selected in part by contributors to this campaign (see $1000 reward).
Prior to Startup Weekend-EDU, Kevin had been working on Alumn.us for about a month, and thinking about the idea since 2009 as a grad student studying social capital and community life at Cambridge. After SW-EDU, Dan quit his job the next day to join Kevin full-time as the technical co-founder.
Prior to Alumn.us, Dan was building an online language learning startup, doing web development consulting, and dancing bachata in Mexico. At the same time, Kevin was serving as a Rotary Ambassador of Goodwill (also in Mexico), running an education nonprofit, and learning Spanish.
We’ve been at it full-time since SW-EDU.
We have faith in the motivation and ingenuity of volunteers to make a huge difference. Few education technology startups are as focused on community empowerment and social capital cultivation as we are, unfortunately.
After demonstrating the strength of our volunteer-led model for alumni networks where they are needed the most, we plan to disrupt how alumni networks are managed work at colleges, nonprofits, companies, and everywhere else.
Today, we are asking you to invest in our cause, share it with your friends and colleagues, and tell us why this matters to you. For more information, please visit our blog or read our recent coverage in KQED MindShift.