Startups that give us hope this #GivingTuesday and how anyone can make a difference

By November 27, 2018

If you didn’t know it already, today is #GivingTuesday. The first Tuesday after U.S. Thanksgiving in the United States, which was organized as a movement to create an international day of charitable giving at the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season. In this article, we will take a quick look at a couple of startups which are going the extra mile, along with some ways anyone can help and why every little helps.

COCObundle is a platform that lets nonprofits register for what they need, similar to a wedding registry, so donors can easily give to their favorite groups and fill specific needs. For Giving Tuesday, it has three new campaigns: Housewares for residents at Integral Care’s Housing First Oak Springs project; Magna Tiles and microscopes for Joslin Elementary School; and a new campaign with AIDS Services of Austin.

The Austin based nonprofit startup just came out of beta and since its initial launch earlier this year, COCObundle has worked with AIDS Services of Austin and Lifeworks.

Percent Pledge matches donors with charitable giving portfolios filled with a variety of nonprofits that support causes such as women’s rights, health care, and veterans. The Chicago based startup launched on Giving Tuesday last year and since then has helped millennials and their employers give back in a more seamless way while making the entire process more transparent. Users can enter their financial information and choose how much money they want to give on a daily basis. Percent Pledge then provides weekly or monthly reports to donors that allowing them to monitor the progress of the charities they’ve donated to.

While these grand projects from bold startups are making a big difference it is possible for anyone to make an impact, and the results of giving just a little can be bigger than you think. In a recent article titled “Think Small: The Giving Tuesday Strategy With Unexpected Impact,” the author, Shannon Farley, a co-founder and Executive Director of Fast Forward, an accelerator for tech nonprofits, talks about the impact that small donations had on a previous non-profit startup she pioneered following the 2008 economic crisis.

“My nonprofit had individual supporters around the world, but most of our early funding was from foundations. The crash meant our primary funding sources were about to disappear. Even worse, our individual donors, mostly Millennials, were likely about to get furloughed or lose their jobs. We prepared for the end knowing the women’s organizations we supported would suffer,” states Farley.

She adds “But then the checks started to come in. $25 here. $100 there. All from our Millennial donors. When they got the news of their layoffs, our supporters would later tell us, their first check (after rent) was to our organization. They knew that the women we served were going to be even worse off. Those gifts were a lifeline for my organization and our work amidst turbulent times. The checks were small, but they had a huge impact on me, our organization, and the women we served.”

To make an impact you don’t necessarily have to be a large foundation or philanthropist. As Farley demonstrates, small actions can have a big impact.

In a recent article on Non Profit Technology News, Steve Bernat, the CEO of RallyUp, a startup giving nonprofit organizations a single, comprehensive platform to run and manage all of their fundraising activities using a new generation of technology and tactics, advocates that online challenges can be a fun an exciting way to raise money stating “peer-to-peer fundraising that’s based on completing sponsored challenges raised $1.45 billion in the U.S. alone in 2017. Filmable challenges are a great way to generate content and connect people directly to your cause.”

He also argues that A-thons can be incredibly successful stating “A-thon” style fundraisers, where donors pledge to give a certain amount based on miles run, or days completed for example, can attract a significant amount of donations.” In addition to these methods, Bernat also advocates that “raising funds by offering a seriously impressive sweepstake prize is another way to attract donors to your cause, promising them not only the satisfaction of having ‘given’, but also the chance to win something cool.”

Clearly, there are many ways we can give this Giving Tuesday. From innovative startups to your average joe, everyone has something to give, helping to make this world a better place one donation at a time.

Disclosure: This article includes a client of an Espacio portfolio company