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Startup connects businesses and charities

A new Alameda startup is taking a unique approach to supporting local charities and small businesses.

Launched May 18, GiveGoods is a unique rewards program that allows customers to donate to various charities and then receive the entire dollar amount back in rewards from local businesses.

Here’s how it works: You go on GiveGoods’ website and pick out a company you would like services from or a charity you want to donate to. For instance, you can donate $20 to the Alameda Boys & Girls Club and receive $20 off at Little House Cafe. Or donate $25 and get $25 off at The Clothes Line.

Think Groupon, but with charities.

The company already has 29 participating local businesses and four charities on board. And since customers receive reward certificates worth 100 percent or more of their donation, it ensures that local dollars stay in the community.

Christopher Grant Ward, founder and CEO of GiveGoods, said in a press release:

“Everybody wins. Our mission is to support the entire community and also provide a very compelling reason to give to charity.”

Ward expects to add more businesses soon, noting that 98 percent of the businesses he has contacted have joined the site. Their first campaign for Alameda Meals on Wheels raised $200 in 20 hours.

Diane Cunningham Rizzo, the Alameda Boys & Girls Club’s director of development and community relations, told The Alamedan:

“I think the upside for us is exactly the way Chris has positioned it, which is to reward our donors. It really is a nice way to give them something back.”

There is no charge for businesses and charities to participate in GiveGoods’ program. Also, businesses have control over the rewards they offer, and can pause and adjust their campaigns at any time.

While the for-profit company does receive revenue from an 8 percent service fee on donations, the other 92 percent goes directly to your charity of choice.

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