How Startup GIVVN Champions Charitable Giving with Artificial Intelligence
The holiday season – amidst marathons of work parties and hitting end-of-year deadlines – is also a time to think about serving a piece of that gift-giving pie to those who need a little help. Charitable giving is now as simple as sending a Facebook message, thanks to startup GIVVN, a chat application that seamlessly syncs with nonprofits’ social media accounts.
For gift-givers, GIVVN makes donating to your favorite nonprofits fast and frictionless. For nonprofits, it’s not only easy to set up, but also improves communications to donors by allowing them to opt into details about upcoming events, volunteer opportunities, and how their dollars are making an impact.
Startup Sisters connected with Danica Hoppe, co-founder and CMO of GIVVN, about how she and her team are transforming charitable giving one chat message at a time.
The GIVVN Startup Story
Tell us about GIVVN. Who does your startup serve and what problems are you solving?
Before we built GIVVN, we talked to many nonprofits to see what challenges they were having. Almost all of them said they lacked the time and staff to keep up with online donations and engage with donors. We created GIVVN to solve these problems.
GIVVN is an online fundraising platform that increases donations and engagement for nonprofit organizations with smart technology. We built our tools especially for small to medium-sized nonprofits that need help growing and automating online fundraising with a social media-driven approach. By using GIVVN, nonprofits can reach more people and generate more donations 24/7 while saving time and resources.
What inspired GIVVN and where do you see its future going?
Our personal experiences and interest in nonprofits inspired us to start GIVVN. Our goal is to help as many nonprofits as possible. We want to make it easier for them to accomplish their missions. In the future, I see GIVVN as the go-to platform for nonprofits to grow their online presence.
How has the Florida startup scene supported you in your development of GIVVN?
We got our start in Tampa Bay. The idea for GIVVN was born at Synapse Summit and the team formed at Startup Weekend Tampa Bay. Since the beginning, the local startup community has supported and encouraged us.
We have been invited to pitch and present at many local events. And we’re currently in the Tampa Bay Innovates Tech Accelerator program.
I couldn’t imagine a more supportive and collaborative environment for startups than the one in Tampa Bay. The entrepreneurs here cheer for each other and sincerely want to see each other do well.
Founder Insights + Resources for Other Entrepreneurs
What advice do you have for those thinking about entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship is an alluring idea for most people. You get to set your own hours and schedule. You get to be a “boss”. But there is a very unglamorous side to it. There are a lot of thankless, unpaid, late nights. It can take a toll on your health and relationships. Being an entrepreneur is very demanding and requires sacrifice. You have to really want it to be successful.
If you are considering entrepreneurship, make sure you are able to thrive in uncertainty and are passionate about your goal. Otherwise, you’ll burn out or give up easily. And always celebrate the wins as often as you can. It will help you get over the setbacks.
What productivity tools do you rely on to get things done and take your business to the next level?
We couldn’t function without Trello – our project management platform. We use it to organize everything we do. We break up tasks and projects into one-week sprints. This keeps us agile, fast, and accountable.
And although we are a tech company, I use my Moleskin notebook every day. I’ve used moleskins to take notes and keep ideas for years. I feel like it’s much more acceptable to take notes in a notebook during a meeting rather than with a phone or laptop. My moleskin also gives me the flexibility to be creative and brainstorm. I would be lost without it.
Do you have any books, podcasts, or tips that you recommend to fellow founders?
Oh, where do I start? I regularly read business books and listen to podcasts. Learning is essential to growing your business and yourself. The key is to figure out how to build a habit around it and fit it into your day.
I listen to podcasts while I’m getting ready in the morning and while driving since they are mainly mindless tasks. I put the book I want to read on my pillow in the morning so I’m reminded to read it before I go to sleep.
- Recommended Podcasts: She Did It Her Way and This Week in Startups
- Recommended Books: Secrets of Six-Figure Women by Barbara Stanny (I recommend this to all women in business), Built to Sell by John Warrillow, and Atomic Habits by James Clear
What is the best career advice you’ve been given and would like to share with others?
This is advice I got in college that I’ve also applied to my career: Done is better than perfect. I used to focus on doing the absolute best or creating the best version first, but there always comes a point of diminishing returns. Being faster is, a lot of the time, better than being perfect. Of course, you still want to do a good job just don’t make perfection the priority.
Lastly, how can others help you with your goals and GIVVN?
At GIVVN, we are always looking for more nonprofits to help. If you know of a nonprofit that could use help with online fundraising, send them to our site to try out the GIVVN tools: www.givvn.org