Des Moines entrepreneur Matt Ostanik has launched a new startup designed to help nonprofits raise money. The new platform, Given, connects individuals and businesses interested in donating with nonprofits that need additional help.
“I feel like in the tech space we spend a lot of time talking about new products we can build and don’t spend as much time talking about how we can have a positive impact on society as a whole,” said Ostanik.
The first version of the Given app launched in March 2019. “I launched an MVP last year and initially did testing to see if individual users would get value from the app. Then I did a pilot program with six local businesses starting late last year to have them use it with their employees,” said Ostanik. “After those two testing rounds were complete and successful I put together a team of people to work on it.”
Since then, the Given team has grown into a passionate group of nearly 25 software developers, marketers, and business strategists, Ostanik told Clay & Milk. Nearly everyone on the Given team has another full-time job and is working on Given on the side.
“We’ve basically built a ‘virtual side hustle’ team,” said Ostanik. “Earlier this year I put out a call looking for people who might be willing to help with this. I thought I might get two or three responses and instead had more than thirty people respond. Over the summer that team built a new version of the app, significantly upgrading our technology and spent a lot of time talking to nonprofits to grow the number of nonprofits that are involved with the app.”
Through the app, businesses can create ‘virtual giving cards’ within the platform that they can share with their employees and customers, giving them money that they can choose how to donate.
“It’s really a way for a business to engage with its people and give them a voice in how they want to distribute charitable giving,” said Ostanik.
There are currently more than 100 nonprofits active on in the app, with more than 50 those being based in Des Moines.
“We intend to roll it out more nationwide next year,” said Ostanik.
Prior to launching Given, Ostanik founded three other companies: Submittal Exchange, a SaaS company that serves the commercial construction industry; FunnelWise, a sales and marketing software company that assisted provided marketing analytics; and Charette Venture Group, a consulting and investment company for architecture and design firms.
The app officially launched earlier this month and is now available to download on Apple Store and Google Play.