SwipeGood Works to Make Giving So Easy, It’s a Rounding Error

5/9/11Follow @wroush

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their checkout, so their own customers could round up. It’s a social good component. Merchants say, “I don’t want to deal with a non-profit, you guys seem like a great organization, I just want to use your technology.” That’s an API that we are currently working on and will introduce in the next three months.”

On how SwipeGood is affecting non-profits:

“Once we started sending non-profits monthly checks, we learned that most non-profits have very bad habits in terms of their finances. They’re used to raising a big chunk of money every three to six months and then sitting on that capital until they figure out how to use it, and then fundraising again. But everybody knows that subscription revenue is better than big one-time events. A lot of organizations thought in the past that getting month-over-month donation revenue was impossible, but once they see the kind of impact we can have on their bottom line, they tell us they hope SwipeGood is going to become one of their largest fundraising sources. It allows them to deploy more time and energy to their actual missions.”

On how SwipeGood chooses which non-profits to feature on its home page, and whether organizations might end up in a zero-sum competition for SwipeGood users’ money:

“There are two different streams of users and incomes. Every non-profit has an established donor base, and what we offer is an additional way for their donor base to support them in their daily lives. The second stream of donations happens through generic users who come to SwipeGood who have not already decided what cause they want to benefit. There, you are absolutely right, we are not going to be able to support millions of non-profits with the same amount of money equally. But to be honest we don’t think that’s our responsibility. Nobody entitles a non-profit to win from every new website out there. We will focus on those who do the greatest work and those we think our users will be most excited about.

“But we believe that if you are a non-profit, you should have access to a better funding source. We won’t charge for the platform, we are not going to turn this into a CRM system and start adding features and tools and charge them for that. It will always be free and every non-profit can participate. It’s a level playing field.”

On whether the SwipeGood team members think of themselves as technologists or philanthropists, and whether charitable giving is a field ripe for more innovation:

“We see ourselves as product people. We love beautiful products. And we like to work on things that are not just beautiful products, but are things that can have a big impact. I don’t know if I would go so far as to say we are philanthropists. SwipeGood is a company that unites those things.

“We think there are a million things left to do. The product is very simple, and we love it that way. But there are a million things we can do to make it easier and more accessible and improve the cycle from information to donation flow to what that donation causes and letting users know what the impact of their money was. We want people not just to enroll and forget about it, but to be able to see what kind of impact they are causing with their daily purchases. We think we are just getting started.”

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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  • Joe

    DonorCharge (www.donorcharge.com) launched in 2008 and does exactly this, allow merchants and shoppers to donate either a percentage or cents to charity. It’s tough for something to get national recognition when something is not based out of the valley, but something that allows merchants and shoppers to donate already exists and can be used along with SwipeGood in many instances. Micro-Giving is a great new, concept and there is room for more than one in my opinion.

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