Change Donations

Founders: Lizzy Hayashida and William Conaghan
 
Number of Staff: 8
 
Start Date: 2018-11-04
 
Tell us what your business does?
Change Donations helps charities fundraise in a cashless society and connect with a younger generation of donors. The platform gives donors the ability to link their credit or debit card, round their card transactions up to the next Euro, and donate digital spare change to their favorite charity. Donors can set weekly or monthly limits, choose to round up only on select purchases, donate to multiple causes, and turn round-ups on or off at any time. Our platform makes the donation process simple and straightforward so it becomes second nature. Imagine you go for your morning coffee, it’s €2.85 we round that up to €3 and donate that 15 cent to your favorite charity. It’s that simple!
Where did the idea for your business come from?
It all started in a Trinity classroom. We have always been passionate about giving back to the communities & organisations that have helped shape who we are today. As digital finance platforms added freedom to banking, we knew donations could do the same. Headquartered in the center of Dublin, our team comes from diverse backgrounds and experiences. We have a global team, to help us spread the power of positive change across international boarders. We are creating a community of everyday philanthropists helping individuals inspire positive change through their everyday spending.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
Yes
What planning did you do before you started up?
The original concept for Change Donations originated during our MBA at Trinity in 2017. With access to industry experts and great professors, we were able to refine our idea with the help of our professors and classmates. We then began working through pitch competitions, accelerator programs, and incubators. We immersed ourselves and our business into the Dublin start-up scene and learned all of the great founders and companies here in Dublin.
Which entrepreneurs do you admire?
Jane Goodall
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
COVID-19 presented challenges for businesses of all shapes and sizes. We bootstrapped our business for the first 18 months and were raising our seed round of funding in April 2020. Prior to COVID-19, we had growing pains similar to most other tech startups.
How have you promoted your business?
Yes, we have Google ads and Facebook ads, and we try to promote our business organically as well.
Where do you see the business in 3 years’ time?
We just launched in the US on January 4th, 2021. We hope to have 15,000 donors on our platform by the end of the year, and 50,000 users in three years’ time. We hope to add Canada, the UK, and Australia to the platform in three years’ time. Our goal is to create a community of everyday philanthropists and help individuals change the world with their daily spending.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Experience is the best teacher, but you have to be willing to learn from your experience. It’s easy to say “just get out there and do it”, but before you get out there, you need to have a well thought out plan. More importantly, once you execute your plan, you need to reflect on why it worked (or didn’t) and how to improve.

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