Givevia is a matrimony of two pastimes that have skyrocketed within the last year; online shopping and giving back to the community. Started by Tina Fisher in 2020, the platform has quickly grown as a way to help shoppers in Columbus and beyond support their cause of choice from the click of a button.
Fisher, who launched Givevia as a side gig during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, explains the platform as proof of the vast impact that technology had on businesses during COVID-19.
“Technology has helped us all,” Fisher says, noting that during the last year, most people experienced having to rely on technology like Slack and Zoom for working from home.
“Look how that has helped so many businesses continue to thrive and stay in business,” Fisher says. “They were able to use Zoom and different technology to engage with their clients and supporters. I find that technology really makes a difference in our lives.”
Givevia, which started as a “shop to give” platform, does just that. The platform helps online shoppers donate to causes of their choice, while purchasing items they already need, from stores they already love.
“We have over 1,500 retailers on our platform right now, where anyone can go and shop and support a non-profit that they care about. So that non-profit may be an animal shelter. It may be a furniture bank, or a veteran’s program.” Fisher explains. “Maybe you care about human trafficking, maybe it’s a children’s charity. So many things we care about in our communities and Givevia makes the donation to the non-profit for every order that shopped.”
The “secret sauce,” Fisher also notes, is that not only is giving back easy through Givevia, but it’s also free of charge.
“It’s free giving to the non-profit from their supporters, for something they’re doing anyway,” she says. “People are shopping everyday online, more than ever. So we knew Givevia being a funding source for the non-profits would be valuable.”
But the platform aims to be more than just a funding source for non-profits. For Fisher and her team, drawing awareness to businesses and the community on a fundamental level remains a core priority.
“We know that non-profits in our community, they all touch all of our lives and lift up our communities in ways that make a huge difference,” Fisher explains. “Some of the mission critical non-profits, like a food pantry, why that’s so important is because people during COVID found themselves at a food pantry when they never thought they would need that level of help. The food, the personal care items from the pantries, they make a difference in our communities and we want to do everything.”
In addition to the shop to give model that Givevia initially operated on, the platform is working on utilizing search engine optimization to connect community members with non-profits they feel passionately about.
“We’re building technology around listed discovery tools to help online seekers discover charities that they care about,” Fisher says.
Through this technology, Givevia aims to help match cause-based searchers with charities of their choice, opening the door for volunteer opportunities and more.
“The generation today is very cause-aligned, but they may not know what non-profit to help,” Fisher says. “And so, this is where we come in because we’re helping match, if you will, a particular individual who is cause-aligned that may not know how to help a non-profit, we’re helping bring them together.
“That individual may have talent and skills to be on a committee to help that non-profit, so they volunteer, they may donate, they may shop to give again, there’s all these opportunities to bring together the non-profit and the people who were causing line supporters for that non-profit.”
What started as a side project for Fisher, now has the power and potential to be a major source of funding and upliftment for non-profits and social enterprises.
“When we lift up our non-profits, we lift up our entire community,” Fisher says. “And I can’t say that enough and more proudly because what we do as individuals makes a difference. So, if you’re an individual and want to help your community, think about what matters to you. Is it helping people with food and personal care items or helping a veteran’s organization? Reach out to the non-profit community and help them.”
Founded in 2014, SocialVentures is a non-profit organization that advances remarkably good businesses—businesses that intentionally integrate social impact as a non-negotiable component of their business model. To contact SocialVentures, send an email to [email protected] or visit socialventurescbus.com.
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