ATLANTA -- There's a new way for schools to raise money for major projects without having to turn to the same over-used funding source: parents.
It's called Uruut, an online crowd-funding firm.
"Uruut is an online platform for groups to post projects in the community," said Mark Feinberg, founder of Uruut. "It could be money from individuals, it could be businesses it could be foundations, all coming together to work to support the community.
Feinberg created Uruut to help non-profits connect with individuals, businesses and foundations who pitch-in whatever they can to help reach a common fund-raising goal.
"It's not just limited to schools. It's schools. It's trails. It's parks. It's programs within the community. It's church programs," Feinberg said.
Uruut's first project is to help Ashford Park Elementary in DeKalb County replace it's outdoor classroom and amphitheater.
"It's (made of) wooden railroad ties that have rotted out. It's more of a hazard," said Shawn Keefe, President of the Ashford Park School Education Foundation. "It's our goal to put in a new amphitheater that teacher can take classes out for class work. It can be used for student productions. It can be used for community events,"
The program is working.
Since launching in July, Uruut has snagged 157 individual project donors and 25 corporate sponsors combining to raise more than $82,000 toward the $100,000 pricetag for the teacher.
It includes a 35-thousand dollar platinum level sponsorship from Ed Voyles Honda and two silver sponsors: Brookhaven Orthodontics and Wood Partners.
What do donors get?
"Businesses and foundations have other needs: recognition needs, branding needs.
And, we've built that into the platform. They get a logo right on the project page," said Feinberg.
They also get to give back.
"People that live in this community, but don't have children in this school, they still have a vested interest in this community and the stronger we can make our school, the stronger the community," said Keefe.