A startup website that allows you to give while you save…
Twenty-six-year-old John Mitchell always knew he wanted to work for himself someday. He also recognized his passion revolved around giving back, whether by supporting the Shriners Hospitals for Children or Children’s Dyslexia Center of Peoria, or participating in mission programs at his church. So when he saw an opportunity to pair his career and personal interests, he seized it, founding GiveviG (“Give” spelled forwards and backwards, pronounced “giv-ig”) in March of 2012.
Launching into operation this past April, GiveviG is a Peoria-based company that encourages the community to support local businesses and nonprofits by offering discounted deals to area restaurants and retailers and donating a portion of each purchase to a local charity of the customer’s choice. Mitchell designed his “bootstraps startup” to especially appeal to the younger, tech generation, who he believes have withdrawn from community involvement and immersed themselves in social media.
“I was seeing my generation… sort of taking a step back in terms of getting involved,” Mitchell says. “We’ll ‘like’ something on Facebook or we’ll ‘retweet’ something on Twitter, but when somebody asks for our Saturday morning to go to the soup kitchen or $20 around the holidays, that’s where we sort of back off. So I was trying to figure out a way to get people more involved from a business model standpoint. That’s how I came up with this—so you can get and give at the same time without going out of your way.”
In fact, the process is so simple it only takes a few keystrokes and clicks of the mouse to complete. After navigating to givevig.com, customers can click on one of a dozen nonprofit organizations currently partnered with GiveviG that they would like to support or learn more about. After selecting a charity, available deals—like $10 worth of food at Haddad’s Downtown for only $5—will appear at the bottom of the page. After selecting their desired deal, customers can complete their purchase online with a credit card and print out their deal voucher, conveniently sent to their email and redeemable the following business day. Each time customers snag a deal through GiveviG, between five and 15 percent of their purchase goes to their charity of choice.
“You actually save money while you’re giving money,” Mitchell explains. Drawing from his sales and marketing background, Mitchell hopes his cause marketing campaign will both bolster GiveviG’s revenue and get more people interested in supporting area nonprofits and small business—organizations, he says, that illuminate “the personality of the area” and “make up the backbone of the Peoria community.”
“I’m very passionate about local business owners and local charities. It’d be great to have a catalyst to build some sort of excitement, and I’m hoping GiveviG can do that. But I also want to help blur the lines between the for-profit world and the not-for-profit world. They don’t necessarily need to be mutually exclusive—they can benefit one another.”
GiveviG is seeking to add both nonprofit and for-profit partners to its operations. Nonprofit community organizations can create a profile for their charity online at givevig.com. Interested local business owners should contact Mitchell at [email protected]. Follow GiveviG on Twitter (@GiveviG) or learn more at facebook.com/GiveviG. iBi