Whydonate, a Dutch startup for managing charity donations, and ING are launching donate.ing.com: a platform where ING employees can create charity campaigns. For ING this is a good small step towards actual business with startups. For Whydonate, it is simply a big step towards more charity donations. Hopefully other large employers will follow.
Whydonate was founded in 2012 as a platform to make charity donations more efficient. Founders Niels Corver and Daniel Boham worked in the charity industry as fundraisers. They noticed how much money that was donated to charities actually ended up as fundraising costs. Using a digital platform, they help bring down the fundraising costs, delivering more money to charities.
Last year, Niels and Daniel applied to the ING innovation studio, an accelerator programme organized by ING aimed at fintech startups (other participants were Moneytis, Checkmetrix and Tabster). The studio itself is run like a typical accelerator: based on Lean startup, the startups get all the mentoring and support they need to get more growth and traction for their business. The official program ended in April 2016.
Collaboration with ING
One of the outcomes of the programme is this collaboration between a corporate and a startup. Whydonate discovered that corporates like ING want to promote corporate social responsibility. With the new platform donate.ing.com, ING and its employees are supporting UNICEF’s Power for Youth programme. For Whydonate, it is a major step to be an official ING partner: “To make a platform for ING, we needed to prove that we meet the highest security standards. This has been a challenge, but we have succeeded proving our security towards ING”. Hopefully other corporates will follow soon, and also chose for Whydonate as platform for fundraising.
The main value of this collaboration is that it is a concrete business results. Many corporates end up talking about startups rather than working with them. A corporate accelerator program in itself has no value: it only has value for startups if it helps them towards real business or at least serious funding. For Whydonate and for ING this has clearly worked. Hopefully the campaigns on the platform succeed in bringing more funds to UNICEF, and this example inspires other corporates to do more business with startups as well.