Social networking site links fund raisers with donors
November 23, 2009
Before Kristeen Hudson ‘09 went on a mission trip to Jamaica two years ago, she typed, printed, stamped, and mailed out dozens of support letters to raise funds. The effort paid off, but Hudson wondered if she could employ 21st century technology to make the job easier the next time. And so MissionMatchUp was born.
Last February, Hudson and her partner, Brian Paplaski ‘09, took their idea to the Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition, where they received a $20,000 prize.
Now renamed MissionMixUp, the site allows fund raisers to post their appeals online. Through Share-this links, supporters can easily forward mission details to friends via e-mail, text messaging, Facebook, Twitter, and more. Once on the journey, teams with Web access can post daily blogs along with photos.
Sponsoring organizations also can use the site to recruit participants and monitor fund raising efforts. The database is searchable by individual names, trip locations, and dates.
Hudson and Paplaski founded the site while earning their entrepreneurial certificates. They later were joined by Joshua Hall, who is studying computer information technology with a focus on network engineering.
Hudson and Paplaski graduated last May with degrees in computer graphics technology and accounting. All three are now living in different cities, and Hudson and Paplaski have full-time positions, but they’re keeping in touch via video and face-to-face meetings. ”Because of our distance, Skype has been a great tool to stay in touch,” Hudson says. “We also recently started having development field trips where we spend a weekend at someone’s place.”
The team is now working behind the scenes to upgrade their site. An interactive home page, simplified registration process, increased database functionality, resource page, and an interactive blog are all part of their short term strategy.
“These are exciting times for us, and as long as we keep the communication going, plan accordingly, and work together, we will continue to balance our outside obligations and grow MissionMixUp,” Hudson says. “Brian, Josh, and I are all very passionate about the mission of MissionMixUp. We feel that the Web site is not just useful for mission trip participants, but also beneficial to society.”
- Sascha Harrell