Dominique King, a Howard University graduate, created the I Heart My HBCU mobile app in response to low alumni giving rates for HBCUs. The magazine says the average rate of alumni giving for these institutions has been around 10% over the last few decades.
King believes that more HBCU alumni would donate more if it was easier. Here's how I Heart My HBCU works: your credit card and debit card purchases are rounded up, and the spare change goes to five schools of your choosing. You can also make one-time or monthly donations through the app.
The app doesn't just allow you to give money to your alma mater. It also cultivates an online donor community through chatrooms and other engagement tools.
"While HBCU alumni are large in numbers, preserving our HBCUs will take a community effort," King told Forbes. "I Heart My HBCU’s chat integration takes the app from just being a donor marketplace to a donor community for HBCU alumni and friends of HBCUs to network, exchange ideas, support other Black-owned businesses and, most importantly, support HBCUs."
Xavier University, located in New Orleans, Louisiana, recently partnered with the app to raise more funds for scholarships, academic programs, campus enhancements, and more. Officials also say it's a great way for alumni to give to the University without spending large amounts of money.
Lacrecia Jones, Xavier's Director of Alumni Relations & Annual Giving, says "Not only does the spare change app serve as a way to reach donors and raise money for the university, but it is also providing a way for Xavierites to reconnect and remain connected no matter where they are in the world."
I Heart My HBCU is available to download on iOS and Android devices.