Ursuline Grad’s PopUp Funds Makes Fundraising Easier

One of the latest trends has been the PopUp, whether a restaurant, art gallery, or shop, these innovative businesses turn up temporarily to provide goods or services.

(ABOVE: Lisa Tavares shows Elizabeth Simpson and Katie Gallagher how PopUp Funds can set up temporary online shops for fundraisers, crafts, and other ventures. Photos by Juan Lechuga)

PopUp Funds, created by Ursuline alumnae Lisa Tavares, takes that approach online to offer a simple way to fundraise.

Tavares was a stay at home mom for 12 years before her friend was diagnosed with cancer. Wanting to help raise money for her friend, Tavares wrestled with different ideas such as a GoFundMe, selling shirts, and designing bracelets.

Deciding on selling bracelets, Tavares asked, “How are we going to get the word out there?”

After receiving payments through CashApp, Venmo, and PayPal, another question concerned how to collect money easily.

Tavares created PopUp Funds to make setting up temporary web sales simple.

I basically created a way for you to create as many temporary store fronts as you’d like. -Lisa Tavares

“I basically created a way for you to create as many temporary storefronts as you’d like,” Tavares said, adding it takes 10 minutes to set up an account and five to create a PopUp.

Since launching in August, PopUp Funds has become popular among school groups, summer camps, church youth groups, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts.

“It’s really meant for the mom that doesn’t want to have to go in and set up an entire website for something that she’s collecting for, for only two weeks,” Tavares said. “It’s really just to make the person who does everything for the community, who collects and does all that stuff. It’s to simplify their lives.”

PopUp Funds makes it easier for both the person making a payment and the one needing to track the payments, she said.

Instead of parents receiving a piece of paper that eventually gets lost, parents now receive e-mail or Facebook reminders to pay or order items online.

PopUp Funds users have seen T-shirt sales double and payments for church activities come in much quicker than usual, she said.

PopUp Funds isn’t just for fifth-grade science field trips or band uniforms.

It has also been used for whiskey tastings, vendor shows, and other small businesses, Tavares said. “My hope is that it’ll be an easy go-to for families and moms to be able to organize any of their fundraisers or group collections.”

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