Couchange develops innovative fundraising technologies to help nonprofits meet their fundraising goals by converting abandoned digital assets into cash donations.
The company’s initial technology offering is an online platform that taps into the $8 billion market for unwanted gift cards. The platform is currently undergoing testing, but once launched, will provide a “universal” donation tool to enable average American families to donate unwanted digital assets, such as unused gift cards, frequent flyer miles, and other digital currencies, to over 1.7 million charities worldwide.
With its online tools and other services, Couchange hopes to assist nonprofits who have been negatively affected by the economic recession. While the demand for the services provided by nonprofits has increased during the economic downturn, traditional funding sources have dried up or scaled down.
Couchange’s founder Jia Ji, a serial entrepreneur, witnessed this problem firsthand when he traveled to Chengdu to assist with disaster relief following the Sichuan Earthquake of 2008. His stint as a relief worker coincided with the collapse of the global financial markets, prompting him to found Couchange in order to develop new technologies to help resource-strapped nonprofits solicit small donations, or micro-donations, from a wider pool of donors, thereby enabling them to continue service provision.
Within a year, he teamed up with Pian Shu, a doctoral candidate in MIT’s economic program, who was studying incentives that motivate people to donate to charities and was in the process of developing a fundraising analytics company based on her research.
Couchange predicts that unwanted gift cards have the potential to be a significant source of revenue for nonprofit organizations. The average American family, for example, accrues an average of $300 worth of gift cards that goes unused annually. Because these gift cards are not perceived of as “cash,” people who would otherwise be unable to make charitable cash donation (and people who just cannot find a use for their holiday gift cards) can easily donate them to charity without feeling it in their wallet. When aggregated, the small sums on unused gift cards add up to a tremendous source of new charitable funds.
In addition to its online gift card donation tool, Couchange runs mobile "text to donate" campaigns and designs analytics-enhanced fundraising strategies. Since the founding of the organization, Couchange has completed a number of successful fundraising campaigns, including the administration of a “Drink for the Cure” fundraising event for the Komen Foundation in Pittsburgh, which raised over $2,000 in under two hours, using cutting-edge text-to-donate technology.
Learn more and find out what Couchange can do for your organization at: http://www.couchange.org.