Meet Andrea
Montclair, NJ

PTA Board Member &
After-School Enrichment Coordinator

HOW SHE USES CHEDDAR UP

Northeast Elementary School

  • After-School Enrichment
  • Soccerthon
  • Geography Bee
  • Mum Sale
  • Talent Show Videos & Tshirts
  • Gala Corporate Sponsorship
  • Spirit wear

FAVORITE CHEDDAR UP FEATURES

CHEDDAR UP USER SINCE

2017

NUMBER OF COLLECTIONS

35

TOTAL COLLECTED

$190,000+

When Andrea Fraser took a pause in her career she was quick to step into a PTA volunteer role. Since then she hasn’t stopped. Andrea is now a long-time PTA volunteer former vice president and after-school enrichment coordinator and is thankful to Cheddar Up for making her role easier over the years.

How did you get started in this volunteer role?

I had stopped working and my son was entering kindergarten. And at that time, the PTA was looking for someone to help with the after-school enrichment program. I wanted to advocate in my community and this seemed like a great place to get involved where I could make an impact that would also benefit my kids. Shortly thereafter, I became a Vice President on the PTA.

How were you introduced to Cheddar Up?

Our PTA had been using Eventbrite for different things, including after-school enrichment and our soccerthon—two of our biggest money makers. We basically used it any time we had to collect money…and it was messy. So, I went on a hunt for a better platform. One of the first things I did was ask a friend who was running the after-school program for another nearby school. I was like, “Hey, what do you guys use over there?” And she was quick to respond “Cheddar Up”…also mentioning that everyone on their after-school enrichment board loved it. I did some additional research and talked to other PTAs. The consensus seemed to be, “We love it. It’s easy!”.

What were your priorities when picking a platform?

Our biggest priorities were cutting back on paper and manual process—and first and foremost—creating a great, efficient paying experience for our community.

Like so many schools, we have a lot of different types of family situations to accommodate. We have parents who both work, parents who are busy entrepreneurs, parents who stay home with multiple children across a wide age range. Everyone has a different lifestyle. So the goal was to make paying easy…allowing them to pay on-the-go from their mobile phones. Cheddar Up’s ability for parents to just “click and pay” without having to create an account or download an app while providing a great mobile interface fit that bill!

How has Cheddar Up made life easier for your treasurer and other volunteers?

The ease in which data and information is available has been huge. Being able to collect detailed registration and order information and then download it into one report that can easily be manipulated has been a welcome change…and with zero data entry required to get it. For example, for our soccerathon, we collect everyone’s t-shirt size. And for after-school enrichment, we have to collect signed waivers. With Cheddar Up, collecting payment plus that information is simple.

Having information dynamically tracked by the platform also means less human error and less busy work. Another thing we appreciate about Cheddar Up is being able to add and record cash/check payments. While we discourage them, when they do come in, we can simply enter them into the system and keep all information in one spot. That has been HUGE for us.

The banking is also easy for my treasurer. You have one report for the accountant to back up your transactions. And it’s not wrong…it’s never wrong.

As I see it, you’re only as good as your data. Having easy access to information and reporting has saved our treasurer and volunteers hours of time.

“As I see it, you’re only as good as your data. Having easy access to information and reporting has saved our treasurer and volunteers hours of time.”

What do you always mention when you recommend Cheddar Up to others?

It’s just easy. When I first started using it, I didn’t even go through the tutorial. I just got in there and set it up. It was so simple. It’s SUCH a clean platform.

You mentioned you were using Eventbrite before? What made you switch from Eventbrite to Cheddar Up?

Eventbrite didn’t meet our needs from a fees ($$$), flexibility or reporting standpoint. But at the time, it was the only option we thought we had. So I was tasked with assessing whether we could make Eventbrite work better for us while also looking into new platforms.

Cheddar Up was so sleek and sexy that I immediately knew I wanted to present it to our PTA board. Not only was it flexible and meant for group collecting, but the fee structure also worked well for us. We liked how we could pass fees on to our community and feel okay about that since there’s a low, flat fee option. We also liked how transparent the fee options were for the community. With Eventbrite, fees were so high that we had to pass some fees on to the community, plus eat some fees at the PTA level. It was sort of a lose/lose situation. Cheddar Up’s fees worked for us. We liked that the PTA could keep 100% of what it collected. It was an easy decision for the board.

“If I have an idea, the suppport team will  add it to the product suggestion box and I’ll see the feature I requested come to life. They’re support staff is so good…they’re so good.

What problems did Cheddar Up help you solve?

Cheddar Up allowed us to go paperless. Hands down, we were able to significantly reduce our use of paper forms.

Prior to Cheddar Up, the paperwork was becoming overwhelming. And since we’re constantly working to keep and recruit new PTA volunteers, we knew the more streamlined we could make the work, the easier that would be! No one wants to sign up for mundane tasks like dealing with stacks of checks and manual entry. That’s a great way to scare people away! Cheddar Up helped us innovate our process, which meant less work for volunteers.

And as it applies to after-school enrichment, we’ve always had a “first-come, first serve” policy in terms of sign up. When we used paper, that was really hard to implement accurately, because a parent might drop a form off with a teacher, but the teacher might sit on it for a day or two. When we moved to Cheddar Up, that policy really shined— because if there’s one thing technology does well, it’s time stamping!

What’s something you love about Cheddar Up that was unexpected?

Well, aside from seeing increases in after-school enrichment and soccerthon participation—which I attribute to moving online—I’d actually have to say it’s the Cheddar Up chat. 

I love the chat feature. It’s so nice to not have to file a ticket or call some random number. I know if I put the chat in and if nobody is around, one of their staff will email me later with the answer and I can rest assured. I know that’s kind of a funny one to pick, but I so enjoy talking to the people at Cheddar Up. They’re really collaborative and we sort of problem solve together. If I have an idea, they add it to the product suggestion box—and oftentimes within a matter of weeks or months—I’ll see the feature I requested come to life. They’re support staff is so good…they’re so good.