HGN: Non-profit platform aims to streamline parent volunteer programs in Memphis schools

HGN: Non-profit platform aims to streamline parent volunteer programs in Memphis schools

ORG Connect is a non-profit online platform that connects schools and their associate parent organizations. Founder and CEO Aaron Prather, like many Americans, is a parent volunteer acting as President of Partners in Education at White Station High School. “When I took over, they handed me ‘the book’ – – all the paperwork, including paperwork from 20 years ago. If I lose that, we might not be able to function as a group. We had no technology to keep us together. ORG Connect helps us do that by allowing parent groups to collaborate and share information with each other,” Prather said. ORG Connect will feature both a desktop version of its platform for education administrators and a mobile version for parent volunteers.

Prather joined the first cohort of StartCo’s Seed Hatchery accelerator in 2011. Five years later, Prather is participating in SkyHigh, an accelerator designed to support non-profits that have funding or are not currently seeking it. Prather has witnessed firsthand the growth in support for the startup community in Memphis. “We were the first ones shot out of the cannon. We thought, ‘are we gonna go through the wall? Or is the wall going to win?’ Now, there is a lot more community support. There is more of an infrastructure built around us. The right ingredients are there now,” Prather said.

Ultimately, Prather wants to give back to Memphis. He hopes to keep ORG Connect free for Memphis schools to utilize through selling the platform to school districts outside Shelby County and funding the program with grants. “Everything I’ve gained in my life is because of what Memphis gave me. So now it’s my turn to give back,” Prather said.

Prather and ORG Connect currently have 15 schools committed to testing the pilot. Prather is raising $100K to fund the development and administration of the pilot platform.

HGN: Non-profit platform aims to streamline parent volunteer programs in Memphis schools

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