We all know the stats about charitable giving after the presidential election: record-breaking donations to the ACLU after President Donald Trump’s Muslim travel ban, a surge in gifts to Planned Parenthood right after Nov. 8, and unprecedented support for all kinds of nonprofits across the country.
But in those early days of Trump’s America, the question was: Could this outpouring of goodwill last?
An eclectic group of entrepreneurs wants to make sure it could. Creative agency founder Emmett Shine, designer Samantha Orley, restaurateur Mat Kliegman, rapper Himanshu Suri (stage name Heems), and tech employees Dmitri Vassilev and Hugh Francis have developed Give One, a new platform for charitable giving that aims to make donations regular and manageable.
Give One users set their accounts to donate between 25 cents and $2 per day to six possible causes: education and arts, the environment, homelessness and poverty, equality, health and relief, and violence and bullying.
The program is kind of like Digit which approaches financial planning through small amounts of money in a way that feels manageable and like any subscription service. The startup’s founders want you to subscribe to Give One for charitable giving like you subscribe to Spotify for music.
“It’s something you forget about. It’s a regular, daily occurrence,” Orley said.
Give One is closely tied to the tech world. The service builds on Kickstarter cofounder Perry Chen’s 2014 charitable project Dollar a Day. Give One used that open-source code to develop its platform, and plans to open up its own code base as something other nonprofits could use later this month.
“It’s something you forget about. It’s a regular, daily occurrence.”
Give One’s donations are processed by Stripe, which takes a 2.2 percent and 30-cent processing fee. The charitable giving service is also partnering with Sweetgreen and Glossier on donation and volunteer opportunities for those companies’ employees.
And while users choose their donations based on how much they’d like to give per day, the transactions are processed once a month to save on processing fees (so you’d actually see a charge for $30, not 30 separate $1 charges).
The nonprofits associated with each of the service’s six causes will change quarterly. Right now, the selected organizations are the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the Environmental Defense Fund, Feeding America, the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and the Trevor Project. You can change the cause you’re supporting at any time. Users also receive emails once a month, updating them on exactly what their money’s been supporting.
Those nonprofits are national, but Give One is also working with local organizations on volunteering. Users in New York, for example, can participate in weekend volunteer opportunities with local nonprofits, and the program has plans to introduce those IRL volunteer options in three more cities by the end of this year.
The program started with a soft launch in April with about 100 users, who are mostly friends and family of the founders. All six cofounders are working with Give One as an unpaid side gig.
The service aims to get to 2,740 users at an average of $1 a day, which would mean facilitating $1 million in donations every year.
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