| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter LinkedIn RSS Feed

Innovation & Job News

Twitter platform for #giving takes off

tinyGive, a platform for making charitable donations via Twitter, is growing, thanks to a strong word-of-mouth campaign and concurrent bicoastal pitches by the D.C.-based company's cofounders. Karan Jain, who is also the founder and CEO of Clovest, pitched tinyGive at the most recent D.C. Tech Meetup, while Clarence Wardell III was explaining how tinyGive works in San Francisco.
"[tinyGive] wants to have the fewest barriers possible if someone wants to give," Wardell, reached by phone, explains.

Setting up an account on the platform takes about three minutes; users enter their Twitter handle, email address, credit card information and birth date. tinyGive securely stores the information and users just tweet an amount (between $1 and $500) at a charitable organization that is registered on the platform, along with the hashtag "#tinygive," and their credit card is charged. The site is free for donors; organizations that register on the site are charged 4.9 percent plus $.30 per transaction, a fee Wardell calls "average or lower than average" for the industry.
One donor perk of using tinyGive? The platform doesn't ask for a snail mail address, so users aren't inundated with follow-up mailings (and the associated wasted resources). 
As for the perks for nonprofits, Wardell points to the social capital power of Twitter. "Even a really small donation can be impactful for an organization, if it comes from a user that has 100,000 followers," he says. "We're changing how individuals view philanthropy."
Roughly a hundred charitable organizations are currently registered on tinyGive—many are local or are national organizations with headquarters in D.C. Wardell is okay with the numbers so far. "We want to work with our initial customers to see what works and what doesn't," he says. "We'll expand the number [of organizations on the site] over the next year."
To help with that expansion, tinyGive will announce that it is raising a seed round in the next few months.

"We'd also like to build a community of givers," Wardell says.

Building community should come naturally to the growing startup. Its third cofounder, Garlin Gilchrist, is the national campaign director for Moveon.org and works on tinyGive part time. Wardell recently brought Padden Guy Murphy, who manages public policy for car-sharing site Getaround, into the fold to round out and advise the team.

"Every friend I have is involved with a nonprofit," Wardell says. "People are asking for $10 here, $15 there. It adds up to a lot. There are tons of platforms for giving out there. We're looking to partner with other online platforms and create an aggregate."

Read more articles by Allyson Jacob.

Allyson Jacob is a writer originally hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is the Innovation and Job News editor for Elevation DC. Her work has been featured in The Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati CityBeat. Have a tip about a small business or start-up making waves inside the Beltway? Tell her here.
Signup for Email Alerts
Signup for Email Alerts

Related Company

Related Content