Help Wanted

I’m revisiting the Kiwibank Fintech Accelerator ( It was a big deal last year, doing the market validation exercise, and it’s a bigger deal this year. I also have work commitments in the New Year that are not exactly flexible. There were many spent hours fitting around work and life trying to get hold of fundraisers and make time for interviews, as well as understanding the answers. This is not a one-person job.pexels-photo-303040.jpeg

So I’m asking for help.

There are several things going on here:

  • Market Validation Course (budget $0, time required manageable)
  • Fintech Accelerator (budget $x available as part of the accelerator, time required 35+ hours per week)
  • Equity v hourly rate v set pay (all negotiable)

You get to go through an accelerator with an existing MVP, so if you want to influence strategy without getting bogged down in technology, you absolutely can.

You get to work with a pitch that is genuinely of benefit to all parties to the product: everyone can win with Givahoy.

You get to help everyone be more generous.

There are two kinds of people needed here especially, although they might just be a solitary individual. A Hustler and a Peopleperson.

The Hustler needs to own the talking to prospective recipients of gifts, such as charities, marae, churches, entertainers, museums and so on. And they can bring their needs to the Peopleperson and me.

The Peopleperson needs to own the relationship with givers, listening to opportunities they identify and bringing them to the Hustler and me.

It’s pretty loose, because it’s too small to define things, and the right people pretty much won’t snugly fit into whatever I might think.

One thing: you need to work with me. Which, if you have an interest in learning about SQL, databases, Excel and fighting fraud especially, might prove fruitful. You might need a tolerance for terrible jokes.

Clubs and Societies

Clubs and societiesSome time back, I met up opportunistically with the remarkable @vivster. She was cautiously positive (in my opinion!) about Givahoy. Her background in charitable activity gave her excellent and relevant experience.

But there was one thing especially that stuck with me and has been worming away since then. It’s a completely valid and consistent use of Givahoy, in a way that hadn’t occurred to me – which is how I like it: Givahoy is a platform/channel rather than a solution.

So what does this look like, and how is it different?

From a club-goer’s point of view, it is pretty much standard Givahoy: they attend the meeting, and when prompted for attendance fees, they run the app. It shows the club or society being attended, using the beacon or location as set up. They hit the fee due and that’s it.

For the club it’s a bit more subtle. They obtain a Givahoy beacon as usual, of course. Then they provide a list of the email addresses of the members. This means that whenever one of these members makes a Givahoy transaction to them, they can see that it was done – the usual Givahoy gift is anonymous by design.

The club can immediately identify attendees (and non-attendees), they can operate a trust system (where people pay when they can), and they get the usual benefits of supporting members who might otherwise be late because they are getting cash out, as well as minimising their cash handling.

Putting cash and running a POS terminal to one side, the options would be operating a spreadsheet and encouraging people to pay, along with more expensive and complex online payment options.

A fee of, for example, $2 per email could apply. That would be a one-off charge which would enable that real-time notification and reporting. A single payment per event covering all attendees will simplify the banking as well.

So this is of benefit to clubs, and convenient for members. For Givahoy, it offers a compelling motivation for people to install the app and give it a try.

And that is my focus.

Three Messages in One

I find myself revisiting what I am saying to try to communicate clearly what Givahoy is. But it isn’t one thing to one group.

So here’s an overview of the three main groups:

If you are a fundraiser, perhaps organising a campaign or event:

Take your collecting with you
Easily set up locations and portable beacons so you can fundraise anywhere, any time
Change them as needed to differentiate campaigns and activities

If you are a charity, overseeing multiple activities:

Get access to casual donors who have been historically invisible
Deeper understanding of donor activity
Reduced overhead of donor management

If you are a donor:

Givahoy is fast, easy and fun
There’s no cost to you or the charity
Faster to use and easier to set up


Posted this on Facebook and it reminded me that, for a casual event organiser, this really is all you need to do!

Running a fundraising event and concerned about people not having enough cash? Have a look at Givahoy. As a fundraiser, just tell me when and where is your event. 
Easy as that!
Then you can let people know that they can give to your cause by just running the app.
It’s completely free, and I don’t collect any personal information from donors (beyond email address).

A Quick Word

We have had commitments for campaigns. Yes, a big deal. A Wellington regional one in May and a national one in July.


So the Beta is out in the Android Play Store. I will get an iOS one out before too long as this is too big an opportunity to waste.

Try it out. Especially in Wellington, but I can put charities wherever you are in NZ. Go for it. Tell your friends.

Why not, eh?

From the news

Letters.jpgSome interesting stuff around, some of which I actually missed. But here are a couple of articles and comment:


The numbers in the article are interesting (and the comments a typically mixed bag) but there is a clear feeling that fees should be on the merchant, and, in juxtaposition, that fees should reflect the work and benefit. Contactless is easy for everyone, but uses expensive facilities. EFTPOS is cheaper, but a bit slow. Cash is cheapest, but something of an issue for the merchant.

Putting aside the issue of integrating into POS systems, it is certainly possible to envision Givahoy specifically replacing some cash transactions. If the customer is in credit, they could just enter a cafe, order their coffee on the phone (run a Givahoy app and pick their drink, attaching their name to the transaction) and wait patiently. Better for both customer (easy, no queuing) and merchant (no costs, potential for customer awareness).


Very cautious in this area, as it is extremely sensitive, but there is a question as to whether it might be worth evaluating an aspect of this. If a person were advocating on behalf of the shelter in which they stay, would people give to that charity knowing it benefits the person whose story may have touched them? And would that aspect add to the authenticity of the person?


Among other things, this demonstrates the potential benefit of cheaper transactions. Even a tiny cost reduction means a significant proportionate increase in funds reaching the intended goal.


This is a strong argument in favour of centrally-coordinated communications. Protection for donors via contact rules and content review, as well as a clear and effective opt-in/opt-out process will simply prevent this sort of thing which is bad for everyone.

And the implication of sharing mailing lists is not a good thing at all.

Change Agents

match-1100912_960_720Who am I doing this for?

This is not the same question as “why am I doing this?”, nor “who is Givahoy for?”. I’ve answered that in other places. This is also not a market analysis question, since, while there is always a need for focus in specific opportunities, the market is everyone.

Instead, I am thinking about those people that I want to benefit from this. Not their causes, but who they are.

People who want change. People who want to enable change. People who want to change.

Relevantly, I fit in each of these groups. And there is, of course, some crossover.

People who want change

Cause-based activity. Many charities, for example, exist to effect change. They are not looking for sustainable and managed processes. They want to resolve an identified problem, and meet the needs of those disadvantaged by it. Givahoy wants to help them get what they need, both financially and in terms of engagement.

People who want to enable change

Helping others. Giving to individuals and groups facilitates their goals and we give because we want the recipient to make this change as they are in a position to do so and we may not be.

People who want to change

Becoming more. There are many people who want to express themselves, creatively or otherwise, but cannot do so owing to many pressures, including the difficulty/costs of payments. One fewer hurdle is a start.

For me, I want to give more freely, I want to empower those who are doing incredible things, for themselves and others, and I want to be in a position to actively engage with them in achieving their goals. Givahoy can do this.


The Co-Founder Conundrum

I don’t currently have any co-founders. Clearly I could not have come as far as I have on my own, but as yet no-one has stepped into that further commitment to making this real.

If I had a co-founder, then I might have entered the pitch selection for the Kiwibank Fintech Accelerator, but I had to withdraw without that. Not only was a co-founder a requirement, but also any high-intensity work would be impossible to for one. At least, this one. I believe I need between one and three co-founders. And here’s why.

I bring vision and flexibility, having conceived this and with a technical awareness enabling me to build a bit of everything. I can also add a lot of value to the actual revenue proposition: targeting, analysing and segmenting.

There are clearly holes in my skillset: experience in business-building, design skills for product use, deep technical skills to enable scaling, and customer/market engagement. At any given stage of the business, those skills can be bought, but there needs to be a significant presence from day one to ensure they are not overlooked.

Then there are the attitudinal traits. This is not a ticket-clipping business. Givahoy only works when we add value. We earn trust and we deliver on it. If we oversell, if we mislead, if we bias our outcomes, then we fail. Equally, if we don’t become profitable, then it’s not sustainable. There is a hard edge to the positive results. A co-founder needs to have that focus.

A co-founder must also not “be like me”. Diversity is hard, but essential, and it is proven to constantly develop when it is pursued. Agreement must be through honest truth, not just echoes.

And in return? In theory, Givahoy could make everyone wealthier and more generous. We are massively scalable in both channel and geography. We can make an impact that disproportionately advantages the less well-off, without taking a political position (much as I, personally, might like to). This is a real chance to guide and challenge.

Maybe you, like me, might be thinking that if this is real, then I really need to make this happen. I hope so. Because that’s incredibly exciting.