Meredith Manak spent many hours fundraising, organizing silent auctions and volunteering for her kids’ schools — Lakewood Elementary and J.L. Long Middle School. And then there are the sales: wrapping paper, cookie dough, candy and other stuff she didn’t want or need. “I don’t really like that stuff, so I would just write a check and either throw it away or give it away,” she says. Manak had an idea for a better way to fundraise for schools and nonprofits through online coupons. She and pal Courtney Black, also a mom and neighborhood resident, launched Mack Boost last year. The company works with nonprofits and local businesses to offer online deals. The businesses decide how much money from each sale goes to the designated nonprofit. For example, a recent Mack Boost offer for J.L. Long included a $350 wine party from Times Ten Cellars (a $450 value), and $87.50, 25 percent of the price, went to J.L. Long. That’s a lot of cookie dough. Mack Boost only sends the offers out to people on the nonprofit’s mailing list, which ensures that only people interested in helping will see it. The company also asks corporate sponsors to match funds raised through Mack Boost, which gives buyers more incentive, Manak says. The setup also brings awareness to local businesses, and no one has to pay anything up front. “We think we’ve combined the best of all worlds,” Manak says. The company has worked with Long, Rosemont Elementary in Oak Cliff, the Deep Ellum Community Association, the Friends of the Santa Fe Trail and several others. They’re working to land some bigger nonprofits as well, and Manak says the company has grown quickly because of high demand. Manak also owns a company that does litigation support, but she says she’s having fun running Mack Boost on the side. “I get up every morning, and I’m happy to be doing this,” she says. “I want somebody to be glad I was here on Earth.”
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