GiveShop: Where being charitable costs nothing

- March 27, 2014 2 MIN READ

Eight months in the making, a new community fundraising platform is inching closer to its launch date. Best described as ‘a kind of Kickstarter with a philanthropic twist’, GiveShop is set to enliven the non-for-profit sector of Australia by leveraging the second-hand exchange market.

In the face of declining philanthropy, GiveShop offers a trifecta of benefits to donors, buyers and charities. Donors are able contribute to a cause by offloading belongings they no longer want. They simply put their items up for sale on GiveShop and the money they make goes straight to a charity or social project of choice.

Buyers are able to purchase low-cost second-hand items in their local area with proceeds supporting a charitable cause; and non-for-profits are able to raise money through non-monetary donations, with little time, effort and resources.

Elliot Spiegel, Co-Founder of GiveShop says, “Instead of people selling their excess stuff on eBay and Gumtree or giving it away on platforms like Zilch, we hope they start thinking about their stuff in a philanthropic way by donating to non-for-profit organisations on GiveShop.”

The Melbourne-based entrepreneur is well versed in the industry, having previously worked at a profit-for-purpose startup. Although he left, he wanted to continue supporting socially driven programmes. He spotted a gap in the community fundraising space that he knew he could fill, and began working on his own social startup.

“I had a clear idea from the beginning of how it should look and the functionality required. Then the development was outsourced,” says Spiegel.

What’s particularly clever about GiveShop is that it allows people to support worthwhile causes without having to dig into their hip pockets. Essentially, GiveShop leverages poet Tom Zart’s philosophy that ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure’. Donors get rid of unwanted belongings, buyers get products for cheap, and charities get the proceeds.

Although the business has been bootstrapped to date, Spiegel says they plan on raising funds in the future to help expedite the growth of the business.

While the business model is not set it stone, currently their plan is to have GiveShop making money off landing page setup and transaction fees, with the help of third-party digital fundraising platforms.

The marketing strategy is fairly simple: Spiegel says they plan on gaining traction through online advertisements, word-of-mouth and social media.

The biggest challenge, Spiegel admits, has been coming to terms with the fact that “Everything takes twice as much time and money.” What he’s learned from that is how important it is to prepare and plan regardless of the situation or challenge.

In the mean time, the plan is to have 40 organisations fundraising on GiveShop within the next six months.

For more information, visit www.giveshop.com.au.

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