- Business professionals have a desire for more meaning in their workday.
- Companies can form stronger client relationships and close business through giving back.
- The business community has the power to revolutionize the way nonprofits fund their mission.
These are just a few of the many reasons we formed Givsly in 2019. Our vision was to be the catalyst for the above changes to happen in business. We wanted to provide various tools that would empower businesses to make this purpose-led transition and be able to drive impact that could truly change our world. Little did we know, 2020 would serve as a wake up call and bring the message Givsly had been evangelizing to partners overnight.
As a business community, we found ourselves facing never-before-seen challenges. From our employees’ physical and mental health, feelings of isolation in a remote workforce, and the overdue conversations and action plans around how we diversify our workforce and create authentic cultures that promote equity and inclusion for all employees. Businesses could no longer hide from these needed changes by “checking the box” with an annual volunteer day for employees. Making an impact and having a purpose beyond profit is something that businesses need every day of their existence.
As with many businesses in 2020, this year created challenges for us. I attended a conference the first week in March, and as I watched people bump elbows to greet each other, I called my co-founder and said, “Have a plan ready if we need to cancel all of our second quarter events. This is going to get bad.” One week later, New York City shut down. For most of mid-March and early April, we spent the time revising plans to continue our mission of creating impact. As a team, we could see that this was going to have a significant negative impact on our nonprofit partners. If people did not feel safe eating in a local restaurant, they definitely would not feel safe volunteering in the community. We needed to revise our impact plans and get to work.
While in the midst of figuring out how to pivot to 100% virtual, we launched the Givsly Platform. The plan was always to launch in April 2020, as we had been quietly building it since July 2019. We could have never foreseen launching in the middle of a major health crisis. The Givsly platform would not only provide more meaningful connections in business, but also create a new donation stream for nonprofits.
When we launched, businesses responded to the relevancy of the solution in our new virtual world. Over 750 people organically signed up to volunteer time via virtual business meetings, and more than 150 nonprofits integrated with the platform to receive donations. Donations organically grew almost 10% month over month, with tens of thousands of dollars being donated to nonprofits in the first 9 months.
By the time summer rolled around, we were busier than ever. As we all sat in our homes and continuously watched acts of social injustice across our screens, companies started to reach out and say, “We have to do something.” So we did and we used our resources to help make a long term commitment to ensuring an equitable future for all. Our events business implemented 14 experiences for 20 nonprofits. We increased our event nonprofit donation volume year over year by 348% percent. Although our events business was initially disrupted by the pandemic, we pivoted and picked things right back up when our partners realized that purpose and giving back was an action they needed to take.
This past year, we set out to change the way companies showed client appreciation. In January, we began concepting a sustainability initiative, Season Without Swag, and the relevancy of the campaign took on a whole new meaning as we progressed throughout the year. As more leaders showed their support of the initiative, companies answered the call. We had 22 companies donate over $341,000 to over 30 nonprofits in need. This industry wide initiative changed the way companies show appreciation and helped many nonprofits in need of additional funding this year.
At the end of last year, a friend sent me a text and said, “2020 is a Capricorns emerald year! This is your year to shine. You will enjoy love, travel, and a year that is simply awe-inspiring.” While the travel part still makes me laugh, I kept thinking about that text throughout the year. While this year has been tough for so many, it has also brought many moments of awe-inspiring generosity and love. Throughout some sleepless nights to make our vision work, I couldn’t help but feel that this year was setting the business community up for something greater. To move forward with a greater focus on how community impact creates business impact. To truly start to look at how to create a more mission driven culture. To simply realize we all have a greater calling to create a positive impact for our world through our business successes.
Whether you are down the path or just taking the first step to do this, we look forward to walking with you – arm in arm.
Chad Hickey, Founder & CEO
Founder & CEO