Pictured: William Conaghan and Lizzy Hayashida of Change Donations.
In our Ones to Watch section, we highlight some of the top up and coming businesses in Ireland. This week we feature Change Donations.
What is it?
“Change Donations is a micro-donations platform helping charities connect and engage with a younger generation of donors, by, giving donors and an easy, flexible, and new donation method that aligns with their lifestyle. Change Donations lets donors link their cards, round up their purchases to the next euro, and donate their digital spare change to the causes they care about most. We are building a community of everyday philanthropists, allowing donors to inspire positive change through their daily spending, giving every purchase a purpose. “
Who’s behind it?
Change Donations was founded by William Conaghan and Lizzy Hayashida. Lizzy comes from Silicon Valley, where she worked in the enter of the startup world for eight years before moving to Dublin to pursue her MBA. William has a background in finance and worked on Wall Street as an analyst for Nasdaq.
“We’ve recently expanded the team to allow us to really focus on building out our offering to our charity partners. We’ve added a marketing team, which has allowed us to focus more on helping our partners tell their stories. We’ve also begun to build-out our internal development team, bringing on two in-house developers who have been working hard to create more charity focused features.”
How is it funded?
“For the first two years, we relied mostly on competition money and personal savings. We also had phenomenal support from the Local Enterprise Office, Dublin City Council, and EI’s New Frontiers. We raised over €50K in government grants and prize winnings, which helped keep us afloat since inception in 2017. While financial support was necessary to our continued existence as a company, the support from so many others was critical to our success. The Dublin BIC, Dogpatch Labs, TCD Tangent, and so many others have provided, guidance and support that has helped us reach this point. Thanks to the help of so many, we are thrilled to announce that after two long years of bootstrapping, we have just closed our seed round of funding.”
“We’re live with our web-app and are currently working on building out Change Donations 2.0 which will include the launch of an iOS and Android app. As we build out our platform, we have also been working to improve our offering to our current partners. It will take time for round-up donations to become normalized, so as we try to build out our donor community, we wanted to provide immediate value add for our charities. Our charity partners have been fantastic and have expressed a desire for more of the custom content we have provided. We are thrilled to announce that we are building out our charity partner center, a one-stop-shop for custom, co-branded, digital marketing content. The charity marketing center will help simplify the social media management, as our team will provide custom copy, co-branded images, and a full-scale marketing plan for our charity partners. We’re also talking to US partners, and will be launching a pilot in early 2020. We have interest from 18 schools in the US, and two schools in Washington DC, have agreed to launch a pilot in Q1 of 2020. We are incredibly excited to explore all of the potential opportunities that lie ahead for Change Donations.”