I enjoyed attending the 11th Annual Bridge to Integrated Marketing & Fundraising Conference last month. While there I had a chance to discuss CharitySprout with a number of nonprofits, and many were surprised to learn that rounding-up has been around for a while. So here is your short history in five paragraphs!
Banks have been offering round-up for decades. Bank of America was one of the firsts to offer “automatic savings” through its Keep the Change program. When you enrolled your Bank of America debit card, BofA automatically rounds-up your purchase to the next dollar and transfer the difference to your BofA savings account. Let’s face it though, savings accounts don’t really earn any interest to speak of and … some banks not-to-be-named have a reputation of opening accounts for their customers without even their knowledge!
Rounding-Up also made its emergence for building retirement savings. Among the most well know is Acorns, which is an app that rounds-up every purchase you make to the nearest dollar and invests the difference. Acorns helps its users find stock market based investments through the app, and charges a small monthly fee. Newsflash, even in a booming stock market, your nickels, dimes and quarters won’t propel you into a luxurious retirement.
Surely, there is a better use for all those nickels, dimes and quarters from rounding-up.
It was only a matter of time before rounding-up would make a debut for charitable giving. We are thrilled that CharitySprout is on the forefront of leveraging this technology for nonprofits across the country. Although supermarket chains, restaurants, and even rideshare services have rolled out round-up giving programs to engage their customers for charitable giving … these programs have their downsides. Namely, the nonprofit doesn’t own the donor relationship and, these programs only capture a fraction of the charitable giving potential of rounding-up. We’ve solved this by putting our client nonprofits at the center of the donor relationship and also building a tool that allows donors to round-up every single transaction.
During a time when nonprofits are struggling to retain current donors and acquire new ones, we are excited to be building a new fundraising channel to support charitable giving. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in learning how our tools can help your nonprofit.