Hi folks! I’m Spiffy, your interplanetary journalist reporting from Planet Earth, back with a new guest, Andrew Forman, co-founder, and CEO of Givz. Andrew is committed to making a difference in the world by creating changes in SDG#12: Responsible Consumption and Production. Let’s see how he’s doing it!
Spiffy: Welcome Andrew, thanks for joining me today! Can you start by telling me what challenge you’re addressing?
Andrew: It’s great to be here, Spiffy! Givz is making it financially imperative for companies to do good in society. Givz helps companies champion the causes their consumers care about most by converting discounts into donations. Not only do companies do good by sending more money to charity, but they increase sales while building their brand.
Spiffy: That sounds like a win-win! Now, what exactly motivated you to hone in on this?
Andrew: We created Givz to make charitable giving a part of everyday life. By disrupting the discount industry (and replacing it with donations), we have made it financially imperative for companies to do good with Givz. That’s how we are creating a new type of marketing—Purpose Driven Performance—to build the world’s largest charitable giving engine in the process.
Spiffy: I see, and how would you say you are working to make the world a more equitable place?
Andrew: The world would be a more equitable place with better-funded nonprofits and NGOs. Since these organizations are highly focused on their communities, they know better than anybody else what these communities need. With Givz, each consumer can donate to the organization of their choice (or the vetted charities the brand chooses). By sending money to thousands of different charities every week, Givz is democratizing giving and getting real money to where it’s needed most.
Spiffy: Have you reached any milestones recently? What kind of impact will it have?
Andrew: We recently crossed a big milestone—sending over $1 million to charity! Having the ability to make their own choices has clearly resonated with consumers, especially as we continue to move further into the age of personalization. It was amazing to see consumers endorse thousands of local charities—and we were able to facilitate the entire process.
Spiffy: Congratulations! Can you tell me about a time when you have faced failure? What did you learn from it?
Andrew: Haha, it’s hard to choose! As a first-time CEO and entrepreneur, I was bound to make many mistakes, and I did. One of the toughest moments was realizing and admitting that we needed to pivot the company—and getting my entire organization (colleagues, investors, etc.) on board with the shift. It was hard to “give up” on something where so many folks had put in so much effort. One of my biggest takeaways was to not be afraid of making a big change—to dare to move swiftly and quickly (even if that meant feeling like a lot of work got 'thrown away'), make the decision to change paths, and have faith in a new idea. Next time I will make that decision even faster because it was the best decision I've made to date!
Spiffy: What is something unexpected you’ve learned from someone recently?
Andrew: We had someone write to us to let us know that she not only donated to the cause of her choice after making her purchase from a partner brand but that she actually went and volunteered at that charity for the first time in five years. This struck me in a big way as I learned that what we were doing was not only getting much-needed funding to amazing nonprofits but also making people think about nonprofits more often in the course of their everyday life.
Spiffy: What an incredible result, Andrew! I hope you encounter many other wonderful surprises like this. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me, it’s been an honor!
Andrew Forman founded Givz, the first Purpose Driven Performance marketing platform. Prior to Givz, Andrew spent six years in finance (mergers and acquisitions investment banking), was the treasurer of a nonprofit with the mission of enhancing literacy in Africa, and loved playing any sport/game available. He now lives with his wife and two children, adapting sports and games to relay races and hide and seek. Andrew received his MBA from Harvard Business School and his BA in mathematics and economics from Hamilton College. (Nominated by Harvard Innovation Labs. First published on the Ladderworks website on May 4, 2021.)
© 2021 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Jill Landis Jha. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. Follow Spiffy’s stories of founders building a more equitable world at www.ladderworks.co/blogs/spiffys-blog