Apex Leadership Franchise Achieves Remarkable Growth

Growth Surges for Apex Leadership, a School Fundraising Brand

CEO Jamie Krasnov’s Strategic Decisions Led the School Fundraising Brand to Unprecedented Success

Since Jamie Krasnov purchased Apex Leadership Co. about two years ago, he has poured resources into strengthening and growing the franchise. Apex Leadership helps Pre-K through eighth-grade students raise money via programs that motivate and teach children while also promoting fitness and the development of positive character traits. Students and franchisees enlist sponsors and donors for fitness-focused, customized events that are coached by Apex Leadership Co. athletes. 

APEX Leadership CEO Jamie Krasnov
CEO Jamie Krasnov

The potential market for companies that assist in school fundraisers is large. Some 35% of schools – more than a third – average zero to $5,000 in annual earnings from fundraising; only 27.1% bring in more than $75,000 annually, according to Nonprofitssource.com.

Krasnov, 32, has drawn on his decade of experience in private equity as he guides the Apex Leadership franchise. His ownership of the company sprang from a personal quest to shift into a career with a more meaningful focus. And the franchise business model appealed to him because it spans so many industries while providing entrepreneurs with wide-ranging support and opportunities. 

Of course, Krasnov did his due diligence before investing. He built a team of 15 interns from top U.S. universities to analyze franchise disclosure documents, interview executives with more than 4,000 franchises and then rank them in order of growth potential. This in-depth approach led Krasnov to Apex Leadership, a company that provides excellent support to its franchisees and serves franchisees’ communities. 

Krasnov’s Changes Pay Off 

One key decision by Krasnov was to double the size of Apex Leadership’s executive team. Key hires were Blair Burdette, Vice President of Marketing, and Tony Nicholson, Vice President of Franchise Development. Burdette has experience in boosting children’s-focused brands across multiple industries, including franchised child care. And Nicholson hopes to repeat his success with his former employer, Self Esteem Brands, where he helped launch hundreds of franchises. Krasnov also brought in top-notch investors to nurture the growth of the Apex Leadership franchise.  

His moves have led to big dividends:

  • Apex Leadership has experienced 200% revenue growth since 2021. By early December 2023, Apex had hosted more than 1,700 events, a noteworthy bump from the 1,400 events it held during 2022. More than 874,000 children have participated in those events.
  • The franchise is projected to raise $70 million for schools this year alone. Its programs generate an average of 70% more money than traditional product-sales school fundraisers that have kids hawking candy bars and cookies, gift wrap, greeting cards, magazine subscriptions and the like.   
  • Apex Leadership is expanding from coast to coast. The brand has recently opened two locations each in St. Louis and Phoenix, and it debuted single units in Portland, Ore.; Barrington, Ill; Montgomery County, Md.; and Seattle. 

“These achievements attest to the hard work of our franchisees, athletes and Apex’s executive team. All of them work tirelessly with schools to prepare future generations for success,” Krasnov says. “We have big plans for 2024, too. We plan to expand our service into more communities and empower even more students around the U.S.”  

Apex Leadership Fundraisers 

Apex Leadership franchise
Apex Leadership collaborates with parent-teacher support organizations and school faculty members to host hassle-free, turnkey events that promote learning, leadership and fitness.

Apex Leadership collaborates with parent-teacher support organizations and school faculty members to host hassle-free, turnkey events that promote learning, leadership and fitness. “Apex makes it easy to raise tens of thousands of dollars in a single event. Our fundraising platform is efficient and easy to use, streamlining the effort needed. The technology increases our reach to donors inside and outside the community to maximize results,” Krasnov says. “Putting on an Apex event takes only two weeks from beginning to end, with sponsors’ payments collected immediately after the event concludes.”

Krasnov describes the preparation process as uplifting. “During those two weeks, a team of athletes works with the school to teach and model leadership lessons tailored to each grade and classroom. Teachers coach and encourage their students in the lead-up to Apex events, and the individual classes are rewarded for their results, with a proportional amount of the proceeds raised by the class being given to the teacher for him or her to use for enrichment curriculum and materials,” he says. 

Apex events blend fundraising, fitness and leadership growth into one educational event that involves every student. “Apex athletes, who serve as masters of ceremonies, shoulder most of the work, with a PBIS [positive behavioral interventions and supports] approach. These emcees pump up students with music before they compete. We hold pep rallies and team days to ramp up enthusiasm and preparation before the contests, and most students do two to three dozen laps during our runs,” Krasnov adds.

Ideal Apex Leadership Franchisees 

Apex Leadership franchise

Sales, marketing and operational experience along with a desire to serve their communities are important assets for potential Apex Leadership Co. franchisees. They will need a strong network within their communities, and they benefit from joining local civic and business groups.

Apex Leadership franchisees nearly always work out of their homes, which keeps their overhead low. Franchisees enjoy a healthy work-life balance because they have firm control over their schedules. On non-event days, they focus on marketing to spread the word about Apex events to potential clients. Apex Leadership’s tools help franchisees with sales to new and current schools, connections with school system leaders and managing and leading staff. The franchise also oversees inventory management and financials and helps to monitor KPIs.

The average franchisee operates 2.5 territories, and during the first year in business, he or she typically hires three employees. An Apex unit usually ramps up quickly, opening for business just three to six months from the date its franchise is awarded. An Apex Leadership owner-operator’s earnings are a percentage of fundraising event proceeds.

About Apex Leadership

Apex Leadership franchise

Apex Leadership Co. currently serves 122 communities in 33 states and is growing steadily. Its portfolio of events can assist clubs and sports teams as well as elementary and middle schools. Founded in 2011, Apex Leadership Co. began with one key activity, the Apex Fun Run. But the brand’s activities now include Apex Virtual, Glow Run, Remix, Apex Games, Color Games and Anython, which are explained on its website. Apex, which has been franchising since 2012, has served almost 6,000 schools and 5 million students, raising a net total of $165 million for children’s educational enrichment. To learn more about franchise opportunities with Apex Leadership Co., please visit https://franchise.apexleadershipco.com/.

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Mary Vinnedge is an award-winning journalist who has served as editor in chief, managing editor and senior editor at national and regional publications, including SUCCESS and Design NJ magazines. She also held reporting and editing roles at The Dallas Morning News and Charlotte Observer newspapers.

Before Mary began covering franchise news and trends as a staff writer for FranchiseWire and Franchise Consultant Magazine, she developed articles on topics ranging from lifestyle, education, health and science to home projects, horticulture, gardening, interior design and architecture. These articles included her reporting on academic news at her alma mater, Texas A&M University, when Mary worked in the marketing department of the Texas A&M Foundation. She continues to be a news junkie and subscribes to several publications.

Today Mary and her husband are empty nesters living on Galveston Island near Houston. The couple’s blended family – scattered around the United States – includes five children, four grandchildren and two very spoiled, very barky miniature schnauzer rescues.
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