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Photo by Chris Young.

Ottawa startup GoGive-back makes life easier for charities and donors alike

By Fiona Tapp on June 23, 2016


The modern world is moving fast, and sometimes you have to run in place just to keep up. We are all multi-taskers, overburdened workers, or frazzled parents just trying to keep up before the next onslaught of demands. Enter a range of apps and products designed to save us time, help us organize ourselves and maximize our daily schedules.

When it comes to donating to worthy causes, the will to help is often not enough. As wallets become more and more cashless, charities have been slow to develop technology to accept electronic donations. We end up not giving at all, and this not only hurts the charities we care about, but also ourselves. In fact, a 2008 study by Harvard Business School professor Michael Norton found that giving money to someone else lifted participants’ happiness more that spending it on themselves.

If remembering to make a single donation is taxing to most of us, consider the potential burden on those who organize large-scale fundraising campaigns. Anyone who has tried to fundraise anything from huge workplace projects to a simple sponsored swim for your child knows how difficult it can be to coordinate all the donations and make sure the worthwhile cause gets the much-needed funds. It’s easy for many people to fill in a sponsorship or pledge form, without having to supply payment information, but then tracking down all those dollars can give the most methodical event planner a headache.

A new Ottawa startup company, with a young female entrepreneur at the helm, has developed an app that aims to help donors simplify the process of contributing to charitable organizations, while allowing charities to track transactions and view detailed analytics to ensure that they never miss another donation.

The co-founders of GoGive-Back, Liora Raitblat and Lemuel Barango, have developed their a technology to allow for more “in the moment” donations, create a seamless way for supporters to engage with the cause, and donate instantly from their phones. Liora Raitblat, CEO, first saw the need for such a platform when attending a charity event a couple of years ago. The event was only accepting cash donations, and as she had forgotten to get money out, she realized that the cause could potentially be missing out on thousands of dollars from other guests in the same position. How much easier would it be to just tap something on your phone and donate?

The idea was sparked for an app that would allow seamless instant giving, especially when you’re inspired in the moment.

The GoGive-Back mobile app allows charitable organizations and causes to collect donations on the spot. In an instant, people can support a cause at events, festivals or during campaigns. From a charities perspective it makes sense to strike while the iron is hot- if your message has touched someone’s hearts, give them an opportunity to instantly click and send essential funds at just the touch of the button. GoGive-Back provides a smooth platform for supporters to donate one-off contributions or provide ongoing support.

Ottawa charities already benefitting from the concept are the Ottawa Network for Education and Causeway Work Centre. Recently Young Makers – a social innovation venture which introduces at-risk youth to the fun of 3D-printing – used the app to reach their fundraising goal. This fall, Young Makers will be working with The Door Youth Centre to 3D print prosthetic hands for people in need. According to Kristina Djukic, program manager at Young Makers, the app has already made an impact on their operation.

“Go Give-Back provided and continues to provide us with a seamless donation platform to help us achieve our goal in fundraising to keep our project alive. The team is always extremely supportive, personable and great to work with. Thanks for allowing us the opportunity to bring our project to the next level!”

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