With the season of giving upon us, people are looking for ways to give money to and raise money for their favourite charities. Chimp, a local donation management website, is hoping to make giving more accessible and transparent than ever.
The year-old Canadian company is seeing rapid success with individuals and charities. Ignite Giving, Chimp’s latest campaign, wrapped up at the end of October and raised over $540,000 for charities across the country, with people donating a total of over $46 million since Chimp’s inception.
Recently, Chimp joined forces with Hootsuite to cover all administrative fees on behalf of donors, which means every cent donated through Chimp will make it to the charity. This also means that Chimp maintains the lowest fees in Canada on charitable donations and ensures the largest portion of any donation actually makes it to the charity, compared to other organizations that need to take a cut of each donation for their own overhead.
While charitable donations often come under consumer scrutiny for lack of transparency on where the money trail ends, Chimp insists on keeping an “open book policy” for all fund transactions, as well as the latest statistics available on each charity, including charity revenues, expenditures, a breakdown of programs and where the money goes.
Chimp also allows donors different options to give, whether it’s individually, as a group of friends, workplace contributions or by starting a Giving Group and inviting friends and families to join in the giving.
According to a 2012 Statistics Canada report, there were 692,040 charitable donors in B.C. giving a total of $1.25 million. In 2010, the total amount of financial donations that Canadians made to charitable or non-profit organizations stood at $10.6 billion, about the same amount as in 2007.
Vancity Buzz did an interview with John Bromley, CEO & Founder of Chimp.
1. Why did you start Chimp? What gave you the idea?
I grew up with charity at the core of my family’s values. After I completed my Bachelor of Commerce degree from McGill University, I worked in corporate finance with RBC Capital Markets and PricewaterhouseCoopers. I learned a lot of about the economy and what drives it. After banking, I stumbled accidentally into working with my dad on a finance side project: a merchant bank for charity. My dad is one of the world’s leaders in charity law/finance. Working with him, I learned the complex world of charity very broadly and deeply.
Over the years, I got more frustrated that the robust advice we gave on charity didn’t scale to the majority of us who aren’t all multi-million dollar donors or people needing to start our own charities. So I created Chimp to give the average person the same kind of access to tools for making charitable impact as are available to the rich. With Chimp, anyone can have their own online bank account that’s just for charity, something that empowers you the same way Bill Gates’ private foundation empowers him and Melinda.
2. Why should people use Chimp this holiday season?
Chimp lets you give on your terms. Throughout the holiday season, you may receive dozens of requests from charities to give to their causes. What Chimp empowers you to do is to be thoughtful and purposeful about the causes you’re supporting. You can deposit money into your Chimp account whenever you want, research the charities you’re interested in, and then give to any charity in Canada, anytime you want. When you give to and from one central location, you’ll always know when, where, why and how you gave your money away.
You can also give the gift of giving this holiday season and send money from your Chimp account to your friends and family. Then they can choose the charity or cause they want to support.
3. What are some ways people can use Chimp? (Corporate campaigns, matching groups, etc.)
There are many ways you can use Chimp beyond giving directly to your favourite charities. You can start a Giving Group so that you can fundraise or pool money with your friends and family. A Giving Group acts like a fundraising page, but you can use it to support one charity or multiple charities you care about. If you have kids, you can even use Chimp to give them a charitable allowance, something I do for my two sons.
For companies wanting to engage their culture in giving, there are many ways to do this with Chimp. If your company wants to choose a charity to support, you can run a fundraising campaign, and automatically match donations. If you want to let your employees or key customers choose the charity, send them charitable dollars. Either way, the company gets good brand recognition.
4. How does Chimp help make informed donating choices?
Chimp helps you make your charitable giving more thoughtful and purposeful in two ways. First, Chimp aggregates data on every charity in Canada, including a breakdown of their latest financials and programming information. So you can get details on where your money is going.
Secondly, we separate the giving process into two distinct steps. The first one is putting money into your account and get a tax receipt immediately. Then, you can leave the money in your account until you’re ready to give it away — whether that’s to a charity, to a campaign, to a friend or to a Giving Group.
5. What makes Chimp different?
Having a Chimp account is like running your own foundation on a smaller scale — and without all the costs that go along with having a foundation. Your account also gives you access to easy-to-use web based tools to help you manage and amplify the charitable impact you want to create.
And Chimp does both of these things while being the most affordable way to give to or fundraise for charities in Canada… heck, our partnership with Hootsuite means there are currently zero fees. The charities you give to will get 100% of your gift, even the credit card costs are covered. It’s free to sign up for an account and get started!
For more info, visit chimp.net.
To enter to win $60 in Chimp dollars, do at least one of the following:
1. Tweet the following on Twitter: (1 entry)
- Win $60 to give to charity via @wearechimp & @VancityBuzz http://ow.ly/GlGAK RT to enter!
2. Leave a comment below telling us your favourite charity. (1 entry)
Contest ends December 24 at 11:59 p.m. One winner will be drawn at random and contacted through the platform they entered by.
Featured Image: Charity via Shutterstock