Windsor, Ontario, Canada
Vice President of Finance, University of Windsor, Student Law Society
HOW SHE USES CHEDDAR UP
Student Law Society
- Student formal dances
- Graduation events
- Law school merchandise sales
- Raffle collections
- Sports and other events
FAVORITE CHEDDAR UP FEATURES
CHEDDAR UP USER SINCE
NUMBER OF COLLECTIONS
When Toronto-native and recent law school grad, Mike Cappabianca, was elected VP of Finance for the Windsor Student Law Society, which oversees activities for nearly 70 different clubs, he knew the only way he could manage the role on top of his studies was through automation. After finding Cheddar Up and realizing the efficiencies and oversight it brought to the organization, the law society added a clause to its bylaws mandating that Cheddar Up be used whenever funds are collected.
Congratulations on earning your law degree. Can you share a little background on how you got where you are today?
Sure! I was born and raised in Toronto apart from the three years I spent in Windsor for law school. I went to Ryerson for my undergrad. While I started college thinking I would end up in a creative field, after taking my first business law class, I knew I wanted to focus on law. I loved how it combined both creativity and logic. My law program, which I just finished, is unique in that it allows me to practice law in both Canada and the US. I’m currently studying for the Ontario bar exam, and after that, I’ll start my first position as an attorney. It’s been quite a journey.
Can you tell us about your role in the Student Law Society?
The Student Law Society is the student council that governs and oversees all activities at the law school. I was elected to serve as the Vice President of Finance for two years. School alone is a big commitment, so I knew I was going to need a convenient and transparent way to collect funds, especially with the large budget I was overseeing. Right as I was coming onboard, my predecessor had discovered Cheddar Up, and she recommended I look into it. I haven’t looked back since.
What are some examples of ways the Student Law Society uses Cheddar Up?
Our Student Law Society oversees anywhere between 60-70 different clubs and committees. These clubs and committees hold events and initiatives, oftentimes requiring an admission fee. Cheddar Up was used for these types of activities.
We also used Cheddar Up to sell merchandise. Prior to Cheddar Up, this was all done manually with cash, order forms and data entry. Setting up what was essentially an online store on Cheddar Up was easy. And it provided a great online shopping experience for our members. I was able to add items with pictures along with the colors and sizes available. Our online Cheddar Up store helped us make more sales because it was so easily accessible. We would add our Cheddar Up store to our Facebook page, and it would catch the eye of so many law students who probably would not have normally purchased something.
“Cheddar Up allowed us to publicize events and merchandise sales more broadly, expanding our reach both on and off campus.”
How did your clubs and members respond to the use of Cheddar Up?
Honestly, they loved it. My predecessor was primarily relying on cash, so the simpler, online way of paying was welcomed. And the individuals running the events loved the transparency and always-there reporting. The reporting is available in just a few clicks—with zero manual effort. In fact, by the end of my first year in the VP of Finance role, we amended our bylaws to make the use of Cheddar Up mandatory for any club that wanted to hold events or collect money.
“After finding Cheddar Up and realizing the efficiencies and oversight it brought to the organization, the law society added a clause to its bylaws mandating that Cheddar Up be used whenever funds are collected.”
You mentioned the importance of Cheddar Up’s transparency. Could you talk more about that?
Sure. I think most folks just learning about Cheddar Up might initially focus on its ease of payment for their community, and I understand why, because that is crucial. It’s amazing that Cheddar Up provides this easy way to collect funds. But the experience for the organizer is also a huge value, because it makes record keeping so much easier, particularly around the way it generates automatic reports.
It also creates transparency around the refund process. For example, if someone claimed they had purchased a ticket for an event and wanted a refund, all I had to do was verify that the purchase was made via Cheddar Up and initiate a refund. Prior to Cheddar Up, validating a purchase to know whether someone could receive a refund was not as straightforward. On Cheddar Up, once the refund is made, the organizer and the payer know the refund is in motion through automatic refund confirmation emails sent to each party. Everyone is in the know.
Outside of reporting and refunds, how has Cheddar Up made your life easier?
Cheddar Up has saved me loads of time and helped our law society collect more. For a student balancing a full-time course load while overseeing the activities of every single club, it was tough to find time to make deposits at the bank. Cheddar Up allowed me to avoid that almost entirely. Because our collections were gathered in one place, they could be deposited into our bank account with the click of a button. In my second year in the role, when Cheddar Up was made mandatory for every club and committee, it changed my entire job. I’ve already introduced my successor to my contact on the Cheddar Up Support team, who is incredible. Since day one on the platform, my contact there was a huge help. She understood our organization and its goals.
In addition, Cheddar Up definitely helped our law society earn more revenue. This was simply because of Cheddar Up’s online nature. It allowed us to publicize events and merchandise sales more broadly, expanding our reach both on and off campus. And the simpler way to pay—online with a credit card—also brought in more sales. This was huge for us. Even though we’re a non-profit, maximizing revenues is a big goal of the organization, because our revenues are what we used to cover our expenses and fund events.
“I’ve already introduced my successor to my contact on the Cheddar Up Support team, who is incredible. Since day one on the platform, my contact there was a huge help. She understood our organization and its goals.”
Do you have any favorite Cheddar Up moments you would like to share?
Actually, I do. Every year the law school has a formal party, which is essentially like our prom. As it turns out, the event fell amid the early shut down caused by COVID-19. Because of this, the day before the event we decided to cancel it, which meant we needed to refund over 450 people’s ticket purchases. Because the funds had already been deposited into our bank account, it made refunds a bit more involved. I reached out to Cheddar Up Support for help because I really wanted to avoid having to write 450 checks! It’s something we certainly never anticipated so I was preparing for the worst. I was delighted to learn that Cheddar Up had a solution for these types of situations. We were able to make the refunds quite seamlessly via the platform, and in a matter of days, people’s refunds simply showed up on their cards. I greatly appreciated the hands-on assistance from their team.
Is there anything else you would like to share about your use of the platform or interaction with the Cheddar Up team?
I would just reiterate that as amazing as the Cheddar Up platform is, their customer support team is even better! Cheddar Up is not difficult to use. Sometimes I would go months on end without needing any help, but in the instances when I did need a little help, their team was always available and would help me solve issues right away. I’ve worked in customer service before, so I know good customer service when I experience it!