By now, fallout from the unanticipated political divide has many looking for ways to mend cultural and social wounds. As collective uncertainty begins to give way to cautious acceptance right in time for the holidays, where do we sign up to live with purpose and feel good again?
Founder and CEO of Givkwik, Jason Rosado, can help. With the average Gen X and Millennial donating on average 4 times per year and a whopping 1.6M nonprofits in the U.S., he’s on a mission to ignite generosity and cultivate meaningful change. Rosado’s organization offers software and services to help companies give back through cause marketing and employee engagement campaigns.
It’s no surprise that Givkwik elected Giving Tuesday as the perfect day for GIV.NYC, its annual live pitching event and celebration that allows companies, causes, and communities to vote for the most deserving grant recipient. This year’s winner was selected after a live and live streamed audience voted on a series of live pitches from the curated non-profit and social impact finalists. A $10,000 grant to the Leave it Better Foundation was announced after votes were tallied.
Rosado anticipates an uptick in giving due to the current social climate, especially this holiday, “People are looking for solutions and there are already great nonprofits doing great work in the communities. We help them connect the dots.”
This year’s theme Building Bridges seems appropriate with a few game changing organizations and tech companies such as Tech Kids Unlimited, Footage Foundation, and Showered With Hope. The founders of Witness, eyewitness video technology designed to protecting human rights, are among the top ten finalists. The Brooklyn based organization provides training, support, and tools to activists who are on the front lines of challenging global injustice and have a vast network of international partners. Efforts have already impacted discriminatory laws and imprisoned warlords.
With tax-deductible ticket sales and 100% of the grant pool being awarded to the non-profit finalists, Givkwik’s aims are as high as they are deep. Life Vest Inside, founded by Orly Wahba, is a non-profit finalist committed to impacting global change through inspirational media, technology, education and engagement that is kind, upfront, and personal. LifeVest are the engineers behind World Kindness Day’s global Flash Mob/Freeze Mob that danced for kindness in over 100 cities, 50 countries, and 1,200 participants. Other LifeVest initiatives include Project Hope Exchange, the LVI Kindness Curriculum for K-5, and also allow members to become official LVI kindness ambassadors.
According to Rosado, “GivKwik was the subject of my Master’s Thesis at NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program at the Tisch School of the Arts. It was based on 2 concepts: 1) Impulse philanthropy – that we’d one day be living in a world of impulse commerce – where anything we want to purchase can be achieved with the press of a single button and that same infrastructure could and should support philanthropy, where anyone can donate to any cause at the press of a single button with as little friction as possible; and 2) Crowdfunding quarters – that one $0.25 online donation from one individual would be a nuisance to a nonprofit, unless you could aggregate hundreds of thousands of quarter donations and turn that into real money.
“From there I developed an iPhone app prototype that got me accepted into 2 accelerator programs out in San Francisco. I brought on 2 amazing co-founder focusing on tech and legal matters. A couple of years later, one pivot towards B2B leveraging the same concepts and a move back to New York City we are here. We have helped companies give away over $8 million to over 500 nonprofits in 4 years. Our major corporate client is a top 5 global consulting firm with 45,000 employees. We also have a Vodafone as a new client and a number of smaller organizations as clients.”
A number of major companies and tech brands have been involved with GivKwik such as Advowire, AuctionCause, FourSquare, Neqtr, TVP.NYC, Catchafire, PwC Charitable Foundation, Capital One, Denton’s, and Hilton Worldwide. Rosado anticipates Givkwik’s appeal and impact, “We believe our services are of keen interest to millennial employees who seek more purpose from their day jobs. We help companies better engage those employees through social media ready storytelling and online engagement (donations, voting, and social media sharing) campaigns. We believe more companies will want to follow the path of companies like TOMS which explicitly ties their product marketing to their philanthropy and CSR.”
To follow Givkwik’s lead, and this year’s winners, when in doubt go to the root of inspiration and cozy up to your favorite cause matchmaker, makes total sense. Here’s what also makes sense, since giving and feeling good can be contagious for companies, Givkwik is now in the final stages of its Matching Grants in-a-box platform, developed to enable an easy to implement social-media-ready matching grants program.