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General Mills unveils Box Top collection app to encourage mobile fundraising

General Mills? popular Box Tops fundraising campaign is getting a mobile makeover this fall with the release of the new Box Tops Bonus application.

The app, which is available on all major smartphone devices, offers a faster, easier way for students to scan the Box Top tabs from General Mills boxes to raise money for their schools. To celebrate this release, all Box Tops scanned through the app will be worth double throughout the months of September and October.

?General Mills is bringing convenience and ease of use to its Box Tops fundraising initiative, making the app an excellent way to connect with millennials and an even younger audience,? said Todd Miller, vice president of global sales at Cheetah Mobile. ?It's important for brands to be accessible where their audience spends time with a heavy emphasis on mobile device and in app usage.?

Box Top collection
General Mills Box Tops have been helping kids raise money for their schools for years. Each Box Top, taken from the packaging of General Mills? goods, is worth 10 cents when collected by the school and submitted to General Mills for reimbursement.

For the next two months, each Box Top will be worth 20 cents if scanned through the new Box Top Bonus app. This could incentivize schools to move away from hand-counting and mailing the Box Tops to General Mills and towards digitizing the entire process, making fundraising easier for both the students and faculty and General Mills.

The Box Tops Bonus app will also allow users to search for bonus offers from specific brands and products, helping them get the most fundraising bang for their buck at the grocery store.

When the app is opened, users are presented with three pages. There is an Offers page that shows deals such as two-for-one Box Tops on Cheerio?s boxes as well as a receipt scanning option, an Activity page where users can monitor how much money they have raised through their Box Tops and a Profile page to apply those earnings toward projects.

Along with the app, General Mills is also launching the Clip Board. Clip Board is a digital crowdfunding tool that allows fundraising coordinators to organize their projects and solicit help from outside the school in reaching their fundraising goals.

For example, faculty from a school can set up a Clip Board project to help raise money to renovate the school gym. Scanned Box Tops can be put towards that goal specifically, so coordinators can monitor in real-time how close they are to achieving it.

This also allows Box Top collectors from other communities to contribute to schools that they aren?t geographically near, by scanning excess Box Tops and directing them to go towards a specific Clip Board project.

Double duty
General Mills? Box Tops program has performed the dual duties of helping schools raise money and raising brand profile and awareness for years. Branded fundraisers are a great way for brands to have a positive effect on their customers? lives while still encouraging sales.

In fact, General Mills is not the only company to employ such a strategy. Earlier this year, Heineken sponsored Indiegogo campaign?s for civic projects, encouraging their customers to support projects that would improve their cities (see story).

General Mills is also taking some notes from other fundraising and non-profit initiatives that have used mobile and location technology to support fundraisers. Compare the Box Tops Bonus app to Oxfam?s targeting of users nearby donation centers last year (see story).

?With the Box Tops app, brands now have the ability to collect valuable data about their customers who have installed the app,? Mr. Miller said. ?With that information, General Mills can put the data to work to drive revenue.?