(BPRW) Atlanta, Georgia — Although spare change technology, also known as round-ups, has been around for a few years, Dominique King, founder of I Heart My HBCU, was the first to bridge this technology to Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) via a single mobile app.
“I Heart My HBCU became the first platform where users could donate spare change to any of the 104 HBCUs in one place,” says King.
King launched this groundbreaking funding platform three years ago, in 2017, joining an elite group of Black women tech entrepreneurs. This technology could have been directed towards many other areas of need, but her plan was to preserve the rich heritage of HBCUs and combat challenges that lead to the closures of some of these great institutions, such as Concordia College in Alabama. King is passionate about her efforts to preserve the viability of these institutions; being an HBCU graduate herself, of the prestigious Howard University in Washington, D.C., she knows first-hand the importance of not only the cultural significance of HBCUs but the vital role that the education she received at Howard has played in the many successes she has earned in her life to this point. In her consistent and constantly evolving spirit to give back, she toiled tirelessly to develop a novel way to support HBCUs in their efforts to continue producing scholars and leaders of today and tomorrow. It was out of this spirit of selflessness that I Heart My HBCU was born.
How It Works
In as little as two minutes, users can download the I Heart My HBCU app in iOS or Android stores and link their bank account. The I Heart My HBCU app rounds up each credit or debit card purchase to the nearest dollar. The spare change will then be donated to the user’s five favorite HBCUs.
“When creating this app, it was important for me to encourage HBCU alumni to support all HBCUs. Users can easily adjust how much or how little of their spare change they share to their five favorite HBCUs,” says King.
Always innovating, King is continually updating the app to attract more non-HBCU alumni, in an effort to help HBCUs expand their donor base beyond its students and former students into other segments of the Black community and all supportive communities in general. While HBCU alumnae are large in numbers, preserving our HBCUs will take a community effort. I Heart My HBCU’s chat integration creates a virtual community for HBCU alumni, the Divine Nine, and friends of HBCUs to network, exchange ideas, support other black-owned businesses and, most importantly, support HBCUs. During a time when people are increasingly isolated due to the pandemic, we need a tool that fosters community. Recognizing the dire need for communal interaction, I Heart My HBCU intentionally goes beyond a “set and forget” platform and attempts to attract new users and keep them engaged with features such as chatrooms, in-app challenges, and even the chance to get your student loans paid!