Forget everything you know about giving to charity… throw out the pledge cards, the thank you receipts, and give your spam filter a break. uBack is promising to change the way you donate to the causes most important to you.
uBack co- founder Melissa Bodford left the corporate world to follow her passion. She launched the company in November, 2015 after an eye opening experience inside a YMCA.
“I was actually at a spin bike class at 5:30 in the morning. And our executive director walked in and asked for $20 for the Y readers program… I’m like this is great! He’s giving this appeal and then class starts, and then life happened, and no one gave.”
The reason for the lack of charity wasn’t the cause. Bodford believes it was the time commitment… “8 seconds is all you have for your altruistic impulse. So the impulse to want to do good or want to help someone.”
The on-boarding process for uBack is similar to Uber, and just as quick. You fill out your payment information then complete a profile. The app will offer suggested charities based on your answers and location, making giving just a simple click away. You can also choose to pay the charity’s processing fee.
The app allows each organization to interact with you through push alerts to show how your donation helped, or alert you to new initiatives.
But uBack is not simply a transactional platform like Mobile Cause or Text to Give. It allows corporations to see where their employees and customers are giving, then match it. “The donation [a company] makes is going to matter more…that translates to employee retention, reduced attrition and even customers,” Bodford said.
Right now, uBack is working out of three offices only one of which is in Charlotte. Bodford’s other co-founder, Kaitlin Reimann, is heading up a team out of Chicago. The company’s acting President, Andrew Somoza, is leading efforts in Atlanta.
The company started with just 15 non-profits and now includes nearly 200,000. Bodford expects that will soon increase to 800,000 watched non-profits thanks to their partnership with Charity Navigator, which is the country’s largest independent charity evaluator.
The New Year is upon us and Bodford has one goal, “Get it right.” A website redesign is in the works and the algorithm connecting you to the causes you care about is constantly improving. But the company’s goals don’t end there. Bodford’s passion showed through when she described uBack’s end game…
“Do you want to help us change the world? If we can get this right and change the giving conversation and change how the ecosystem works… this could really do good things.”