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Social Corporate Responsibility and Non-Profit Fundraising - Made Easy

Fall DEMO 2012 interview with GIVINGtrax co-founders

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Please tell us, what is GIVINGtrax is all about and what do you do?

Hungerford: GIViNGtrax provides all businesses a shared, cloud-based, marketplace for giving, engaging employees and customers in the process, along with each other.

What are you launching at DEMO Fall 2012?

Titus: GIViNGtrax is launching in beta at DEMO Fall 2012, proving business the ability to manage their own giving, to create employee giving programs, and to increase customer loyalty, to offer customer match giving.  Businesses are able to easily publish their giving in real-time, allowing them to leverage their community giving to increase and promote their business.  Along with hero images, businesses can showcase customer match offers, nonprofits supported, and a transparent view of their giving.

Individuals are able to create a profile, manage donations and optionally, connect with their employer to take advantage of employer to matched giving programs.

Nonprofits are able to register, create a dedicated microsite and seek donations from businesses and individuals.  For the first time, nonprofits are empowered with tools to share and bring value back to businesses that support them.  If approved by a business, they can say "thanks" and share for impact stories in GIViNGtrax and across other social media sites, such as Facebook.

Who is your target audience and how do you intend to reach them? What is the biggest challenge you face right now in telling your story and winning over new clients?

Hungerford: GIViNGtrax works for all businesses, large and small.  For larger companies, we are partnering with Global Impact, the largest facilitator of workplace giving in the U.S.  we are also pursuing partnerships with United Way starting in the Pacific Northwest as a pilot.

For smaller businesses, our sweet spot is consumer facing, multi-unit entities, such as franchise groups and retailers.  GIViNGtrax allows these organizations to manage their giving at the local level and the ability to selectively roll up their giving within their organization or across organizations, such as to a franchisor or industry association.

I'd be curious to hear any general thoughts you have on market trends...

Titus: Online giving is growing exponentially, but it is fragmented and disconnected from the workplace.  If you think about consumers, they give at events, online, at work and by text.  GIViNGtrax bridges the gap across these diverse ways to give and puts the consumer in charge of their giving from one dashboard.

What is the viral aspect of your product?

Hungerford: Our business members will pull in both non-profit members and employees.  Customers will also be engaged through business members.

Non-profits will bring the community of business and individuals connected to them onto our marketplace.

For the first time, nonprofits are empowered with tools to help them be more effective.  The network among non-profits is strong and we already have many nonprofits participating in GIViNGtrax.

How will you make money? What's the business model?

Titus: Businesses pay a nominal subscription fee based on the number of locations they want to manage and how many employees they have.  Nonprofits, employees, and individual consumers use GIViNGtrax at no charge.

How does your technology differentiate from the competition and can you elaborate on the different technology deployed?

Hungerford: GIViNGtrax is unique in that we offer a shared cloud-marketplace, embracing business giving, employee workplace giving and consumer giving in a collaborative fashion.  In bringing these diverse users together, we are able to facilitate some really interesting interactions between them benefiting nonprofits, such as capturing employer matched giving at the point of donation by an employee.

What business or technology could yours disrupt?

Hungerford: GIViNGtrax is disruptive to both traditional workplace giving and to the methods nonprofits use to raise money.

Traditional workplace giving takes place manually or with isolated internal tools.  In GIViNGtrax, employees are empowered to enjoy workplace giving, but for the first time, can also enjoy inter-company workplace giving with friends and family.   My friends work at IBM, Microsoft and my husband's restaurants.  Now, we can all share our favorite causes with each other and share our giving even though we are also participating in our employer’s sponsored workplace giving.

If you later change employers, you can simply disconnect from your current employer, and when ready connect to your new employer.  In the meantime, all your giving history, photos, video and stories from your favorite causes remain intact on your dashboard.

Who founded the company, when? What can you tell me about the story of the company's founding?

Hungerford: GIViNGtrax has three founders and first began when my husband encountered a problem with our own giving at Round Table Pizza.  Although we were giving nearly $100,000 every year, no one knew.  We were bombarded with donation requests all the time and had no way to manage our giving, let alone engage customers and employees in the process.

What is your distribution model? Where to buy your product?

Hungerford: To subscribe to GIViNGtrax, prospective members simply go to  GIViNGtrax has a strong network effect and we will be using social media to create awareness.  Additionally, we have partnered with Global Impact and are pursuing partnerships with other traditional workplace giving providers, along with membership-based associations.  Agent Ambassadors will be focused on selling subscriptions in key geographies as we roll out to augment our partnership strategy.

What's next on your product roadmap?

Titus: We have a lot of exciting enhancements rolling out over the next few months, benefiting employees and non-profits.  The most impactful for non-profits is the ability to allow them to submit a donation request to the “cloud” and be matched with businesses that have budget and are likely to approve it.

Are you targeting a first VC round?

Hungerford: Yes, we welcome funding to help us accelerate our product development, particularly mobile enhancements.

What else would you like to add?

Titus: By using a shared marketplace, GIViNGtrax allows all businesses, large and small, to band together making a collective impact to benefit non-profits.  Simple by using a shared system, we are able to streamline the process for nonprofits and eliminate tremendous waste.

Partnerships, collaborations or affiliations: We have partnered with Global Impact and look forward to partnering with United Way of Pierce County, as a pilot project.

Market size being pursued: 27M businesses are inundated with donation requests from over 1.5 nonprofits in the US alone.  When you consider the sheer volume, we have a massive opportunity, well over $1.0 B.

Who are the likely competitors, direct or indirect?

We currently have no direct competitor for the shared marketplace.  There are several isolated internal systems in use today for workplace giving, and of course there are many consumer donation sites, but no one offers a holistic approach seamlessly tying it all together.

Is the company profitable?

GIViNGtrax is launching in beta this week at DEMO Fall 2012 and we do have a plan to profitability within a year.

GIVINGtrax's platform for collaborative & transparent philanthropy seamlessly taps into $400 billion in advertising & marketing, while connecting businesses, employees and customers via social media. Businesses can manage their own giving, along with offering matched giving programs for employees and customers.

After donating hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, in-kind, and labor to nonprofit organizations throughout their community, founders Karrie and Lance Hungerford had to reevaluate their giving in the face of the economic downturn. As nonprofit board members, they understood the devastating impact to nonprofits of reduced business funding in the face of government cutbacks and growing social need, and looked for a way to divert traditional advertising and marketing funds while still growing their business.

GIVINGtrax addresses these challenges by overhauling a manual and cumbersome process, enabling local businesses to give more, engage customers & employees, and showcase the impact of their gifts in their local community.

More Stories By Xenia von Wedel

Xenia von Wedel, Tech blogger and PR Consultant in Mountain View. She mainly writes about B2B solutions, social media and open source software. She is an SVP with a full-service PR agency, serving clients in a variety of industries worldwide. The agency is focused on thought leadership content creation and syndication, media outreach and strategy. Buy her a coffee if you like her article:

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