Blog 23: Givz
Paving the way for charitable giving through online shopping
Company: Givz provides an API-powered platform that helps Shopify brands and other resellers by rewarding their customers with dollars to donate to a charity of their choice, driving conversion and increased order value.
HQ Location & Year Founded: New York, 2017
Founder: Andrew Forman is a financial professional turned entrepreneur with a mission to elevate charitable giving through profitable enterprise. Formerly with Portico Capital, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch, Andrew has also been Treasurer of a non-profit promoting literacy in Ghana. Andrew graduated from Hamilton College and Harvard Business School.
Funds Raised and VC Investors: $3 million from Accomplice, Eniac Ventures
Where did the idea for Givz originate?
The idea for Givz started formulating in my mind while I was treasurer of a non-profit organization. People were commonly using Venmo to make contributions and I was surprised that there was no “Venmo for charitable giving.” I then entered business school and decided that I wanted to go after this problem once I graduated. Based on some initial testing and feedback with a couple of brands, the business model evolved into a platform for allowing people to decide what charities to donate to as part of an e-commerce transaction. We did some A/B testing through Facebook and email, and discovered that retailers that promoted charitable donations as part of their purchase funnel performed 18-20% better. This was our “a-ha” moment.
What is the key problem that Givz intends to solve?
The Givz platform offers online retailers and other types of businesses to increase their sales and order value while at the same time increasing charitable donations by allowing customers to decide what cause their purchase will help to support. We create social impact and reduce dependency on discounts for sellers.
How are you most differentiated as a service?
We provide Shopify businesses of all sizes to convert sales and increase order value at a measurably increased rate by promoting charitable giving as part of the purchase process. Moreover, we provide a choice of over 175,000 non-profit organizations that empower the seller’s customers to determine what causes to support. Our platform is seamless to integrate with minimal technical effort.
What are the company’s key accomplishments to date?
We have hit over $1 million given in total to charities that people care about and will do another $200,000 this quarter. That represents over 7,500 charities supported. We have also demonstrated for resellers that Givz increases average order value by an astonishing 10-30%, which validates our proposition that charitable giving is not only good for society, but it is simply good business. We are now in active discussions about implementing Givz with several major brand name retailers.
What lies ahead in the plans for Givz?
We are planning to soon expand outside of Shopify. We’ve launched a platform-agnostic API where any industry can take action to allow their clients and customers to allocate dollars to a charity of choice. We will also be working to connect charities and brands in a much more efficient and effective way. Thousands of charities are getting unsolicited dollars, but our platform will allow brands to feature and partner more tightly with charities of choice. We want to send over one billion dollars to charity in the next couple of years. This is the driving force for our team, wanting to make “giving” profitable.
Promoting charitable giving hardly seems like a controversial idea. Individuals do it. Companies do it. We all have causes that we believe in. The innovation that Givz is helping to shed light on is that charitable giving is also a profit-generating initiative. As an e-commerce company or really any type of business, the more customers are empowered to help direct part of their purchase to a cause that they choose, the more they will engage and purchase. Amazon Smile is one of the most notable examples of this, but the idea should apply across the board to nearly any business, large or small. The need is immense and businesses will be well served by engaging more with their customers to direct capital and shine a spotlight to causes that their customers care about. The Givz platform is there to enable companies to do this.