Students show off their talents through online WiddyUP fundraisers. Trevon pours ground up food scraps as a super food for his fruit garden, Joshua bakes cinnamon muffins and Virginia fly fishes.

Candy bars, cookie dough and catalog sales are familiar school fundraiser items, but for the students who have knocked on countless doors and the parents who still have the last fundraiser’s cookie dough in their freezer or drawers of miscellaneous, unused kitchen items, there’s a new fundraiser in town.

Founded by former schoolteacher Carter Higley, WiddyUP is an online platform that flips the script on the usual fundraisers by allowing students to showcase their abilities in an online talent show of sorts, raising money in a way that’s more relevant to them than going house to house selling popcorn or magazine subscriptions.

“I grew up in public schools, and a talent show was a bit intimidating because I didn’t have the talent to get onstage and perform in front of 300 parents,” said Higley, a Jackson Hole resident. “Something we’ve done differently with WiddyUP is that we encourage all interests, all talents or a passion.”

The way it works is students make a pitch to share that certain talent or passion — coding, hula-hooping, baking, photography, etc. — with donors and set a goal to raise a certain amount of money for their school to buy new computers or fund a field trip, for example. Their friends, family members and neighbors donate, and the students follow through with a video showing their skills to the donor within the two-week fundraising period.

Read the full News&Guide story to learn the unique ways that WiddyUP is changing the usual fundraising routine and the locations across the country where the platform is already operating.

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Contact Danielle at djohnson@jhnewsandguide.com or 732-5901.

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