Fundertainment – Where Movies Make Money for Schools

fundertainment_155x259.jpgFundraising needs of schools meets marketing opportunity for studios in a program that makes it easy for families to add to their home DVD collections. Fundertainment, which launched this month, is the brainchild of Brian Boquecosa. “With [so] many schools out there losing funding … this would really help – and help the entertainment industry as well,” he says. Once the idea had gotten into his head – to help a good cause simultaneously with running a successful business – he left his position with Warner Bros. to develop it.

The billions of dollars consumers spend on DVD and Blu-ray copies of movies attests to the popularity of the product. Fundertainment’s program enables schools to tap into this established market – without any up-front cost or obligation. Students do the selling, as is common with school fundraising efforts, but the selling is done online – not door-to-door. “We want to keep kids safe,” says Boquecosa.

What movies are available? That’s part of what the schools can determine on their own Fundertainment landing page – they can limit the selection to PG-13 or whatever ratings they feel are appropriate. Schools receive up to 50 percent of the sales.

Studios involved at launch are Warner Bros. and Sony, with Ingram Entertainment helping to fill in the gaps with other studios. Boquecosa believes that, now that the site is launched and studios can see how the program works, more studios will join. “We’re trying to go direct, so we can offer better pricing [to the schools],” he says.

Schools sign an agreement to participate as a year-round fundraiser, and Fundertainment helps them explain the program to the students – including the additional incentives it offers them for meeting different sales goals. Each school aggregates its orders and, twice a month, submits the order to Fundertainment. Fundertainment then sends the product back, packaged per student to make it a hassle-free distribution for the school administration. Boquecosa’s ten years in the home entertainment industry and five years dealing with fulfillment and distribution gave him the logistical savvy to build the business model, and bouncing ideas around with friends heavily involved in fundraising for their children’s schools gave him the insights to make the process easier for the schools.

Presented at the California State PTA Convention in April and the National PTA Convention in June, the program generated tremendous interest.

“U.S. consumers spend an estimated $2 billion annually on purchasing products to support school fundraising initiatives,” Boquecosa says. “We feel we are a great option for people who are looking to get the most attractive product for their charitable dollar.”

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