Solana Beach: provides discounts while raising money for schools

By Marlena Medford

Staff Writer

Once upon a time, consumers had to clip coupons — but now, they’re just a click away.  A wave of companies has now mushroomed after figuring out how to harness the power of the Internet in a new way: Customers can go online and browse exclusive daily deals for all sorts of local businesses, pre-purchase vouchers for the promotions they like, and then use the vouchers when they want.

Solana Beach resident Steven Jung has now discovered a way to take that concept of online group-savings one step further and use it for a greater good: He recently launched, a website that allows people to score those discounts while helping to raise money for local public schools

“The original concept was truly born out of idea of creating something that’d be able to help public schools,” Jung said. “I am a product of California public schools, but with recent budget cuts, I wonder if the same will be true for my kids.”

Jung — who has an infant daughter, and another daughter at Skyline Elementary — put his years of finance experience to work, and after crunching the numbers, realized that could indeed help public schools by steadily funneling money to PTA groups.  Ten percent of the net proceeds that are generated after running promotions are given to the participating school’s PTA group. The PTA group then distributes the money to the school how it sees fit.

“Volunteer fundraising at public schools has about a two-year turnover because people move on when their kids get older, or they simply have other things on their plate. I realized this could be a regular stream of funding for PTA groups, something they could occasionally promote and then sit back and let the checks roll in.”

So far, several North County schools have signed on, though ultimately Jung would like to establish a foundation that helps schools all over the state and, perhaps one day, the nation.

“I’d love to grow this concept, and stay committed to fundraising to help public education so we can help even more kids,” Jung said, adding that bolstering the local economy was another nice built-in feature of this concept. “Kartmob is built on a socially responsible business model, and it feels really good to be a part of it. I’ve long held the belief that if you find something you’re good at, something that really gives back in some way, you’ll be happy. So far, that’s proven to be very true. And so far, people are excited about the concept. I think they can see that this is something that’s really special.”

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