The Unofficial Shopify Podcast

Donations, Not Discounts

Episode Summary

Why Giving Back Is 2021's Hot Marketing Tactic

Episode Notes

In this episode, Shopify merchants will hear about the problems with discounting, how the modern consumer is changing, and one innovative way you can adapt.

As co-founder and CEO of Givz, Andrew Forman is helping Shopify merchants drive sales without discounts, while reaching an increasingly socially-aware demographic.

Prior to Givz, Andrew was treasurer for a nonprofit, where the pains of accepting donations drove him to start Givz.

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Episode Transcription

The Unofficial Shopify Podcast

Kurt Elster: Today, on The Unofficial Shopify Podcast, we are gonna talk about the problems with discounting. We’ve talked about this before, but we didn’t necessarily talk about okay, what do you do instead? So, in this episode that’s what we’re gonna try and get to. And at the same time, why does discounting not work the way it used to? Well, it’s because the modern consumer is changing and we’re gonna talk about cause marketing. Cause marketing, I have mixed feelings about, but I think we have a pretty good solution here, or at least certainly a person who can talk us through it and a better way to do it.

So, we’re joined today by Andrew Forman, founder and CEO of Givz. Prior to Givz, Andrew spent six years in investment banking and was the treasurer of a nonprofit. Okay, we got some good experience here. Has an MBA from Harvard Business School. Damn. A BA in mathematics. I can barely add. And an economics degree from Hamilton College. He lives in New York, proud dad of a two-year-old daughter and newborn son, and still tries to make time for recreational sports.

Okay, but he is the CEO of Givz. I think that is the relevant part here. That’s a Shopify app, correct, Mr. Forman?

Andrew Forman: That is correct.

Kurt Elster: All right. Give me the rundown. Plug Givz for me. Let’s get that out of the way first.

Andrew Forman: Sure thing. First, first things first, we see two huge trends happening in eCommerce right now. First, what you spoke about immediately at the open of this, Kurt. Brands want to get away from discounts for multiple reasons which we can dive into later in the episode here. That’s trend one. Trend two is that consumers are demanding some sort of purpose-driven activity from brands and doing cause marketing correctly is difficult. You have a lot of customers; they care about a lot of different things. How do you genuinely and authentically tell your consumer that you care about what they care about?

So, with that, Givz allows with the push of a button for a brand to tackle both problems with one solution, where you can offer donation incentive campaigns instead of discount incentive campaigns, manifesting itself in something like instead of spend $100, get $20 off, spend $100, get $20 to give to a charity of your choice, and we’re finding that the latter offer is often outperforming the discount, let alone performing the same. But all of the intangibles that come along with this driving full price purchasing and increasing loyalty, et cetera, et cetera.

Kurt Elster: Okay, so we’ve got our Givz plug out of the way. But it is relevant to this discussion, and we’ve got a special offer on it at the end. Okay, so people who listened to our episode with Kathleen Booth, three, four episodes ago, we talked about discount code abuse. And she referred to discount codes as the sugar high of promotions. So, let’s start with that. What’s the problem with discounting? Let’s recap that one.

Andrew Forman: Yeah, and there’s multiple things. I could go on on this for a while. I’ll try to limit it to three things. So, first things first, the immediate impact of just taking money off the top. That can crush margin. And so, senselessly discounting just crushes margin.

Kurt Elster: It just eats into your profit.

Andrew Forman: Right, right. From the beginning. Second thing, it attracts the wrong type of customer. Consistently we’ve seen this across many, many of the brands that we work with. They look at their cohorts, the people that were brought in initially by discounts are consistently the lowest lifetime value customers. Just looking at LTV.

Kurt Elster: Used to call this the Groupon effect, remember that? Years ago?

Andrew Forman: Yes. Yes. Exactly.

Kurt Elster: In restaurants. You get a ton of people in and then they’d promptly go out of business. It was the Groupon effect, because you had the wrong customer.

Andrew Forman: That’s right. That’s right. And then the third thing I’ll mention is that it ultimately degrades the value of your brand, right? If you’re sending consistent discounts to even the people that really do like your brand, they’re starting to train in the back of their mind, they’re thinking, “Price really shouldn’t be what the average advertised price here is. I should never pay full price.” It gives people a pause, a reason to pause and not purchase.

Kurt Elster: And then I think going further, assuming that you’ve got competitors in this space, like you’re a drop shipper selling similar goods and you’re not stuck to a minimum advertised price policy, the discounting can also turn into a race to the bottom. Where it’s like you’re just turning over inventory at no profit in the hopes that like, “Well, we’re acquiring customers and later we will monetize those somehow.”

Andrew Forman: That’s exactly right. That’s exactly right. And those people again are… You’re turning your loyal customers into price-conscious customers and now it’s just the race to the bottom is on and it’s who can go out of business first.

Kurt Elster: We’ve established the issue with discounts, and I think for a lot of people, they’re like, “We know, but what the heck else am I supposed to do? What do I do instead?”

Andrew Forman: Right. Right. And that’s why we’ve really built Givz the way we have. This is something that can be an alternative to a discount. The discount hasn’t been disrupted in 70, 80, since it came into existence. It probably hasn’t been disrupted ever.

Kurt Elster: Yeah. Historically, I wonder what the first coupon code is, like in ancient Sumer, are they clipping coupons out of clay tablets?

Andrew Forman: Yeah. You got a better bargain on your barter deal than on the cash deal. But yeah, I think that on our side, this is something that is actually, and we’ve seen it over and over again, we’ve seen that you can offer either a smaller discount with a give back incentive, or just the donation incentive in place of a discount, and even to me, the results were surprising. Consumers really care about this. And I don’t think this would have been effective 10 years ago. Definitely not for the boomer generation initially. I think they’ve maybe softened up a bit now.

But the millennial generation and gen z, they’re craving this type of offer and it’s something that we’re seeing over and over again can actually compete with discounts.

Kurt Elster: Okay, so consumers are changing is the thing we’ve seen. Harley Finkelstein, Shopify exec, says with especially in 2020, we’re really seeing the rise of conscious consumerism, meaning what… where I shop, I want to know who I’m buying from. Like there is guilt associated with my purchase and okay, so we alleviate that guilt through being more aware of who we buy from. Like I’d rather buy from a local mom and pop than Walmart is what’s going on here.

Andrew Forman: Yes.

Kurt Elster: And so, you have thoughts and data there. Tell me. How do you see consumers as changing?

Andrew Forman: People are making buying decisions based on how the brand is perceived not only by themselves, but also by others. And so, you’re seeing this new wave of consumer who truly, yes, they of course care about price on some level, but will they pay more for high quality? Always. That has been the case. But now will they pay more simply to feel better about their purchase? And we’re seeing that become one of the top three criteria that people are listing when they look to the brands that they’re buying.

The Wall Street Journal published an article this week, or last week, it was in the past couple of days, where the IPOs coming up in the fourth quarter all have a social good tint to them. It’s not just the numbers. They’re not touting just the numbers, but you’re seeing the Warby Parkers going, Chobani, and Allbirds, I few of these big IPOs, in their docs they’re touting the social good that they are doing and or promoting as a core piece of why their brand and products are so valuable.

Kurt Elster: And this is a requirement because increasingly this is the only way that you can drive cultural relevance, and ideally like bonus engagement with millennials, but even more so with gen z.

Andrew Forman: That’s right.

Kurt Elster: And the stat I just read this morning was gen z’s suggested total spending power currently, $71 billion.

Andrew Forman: Wow.

Kurt Elster: Whoa!

Andrew Forman: Wow.

Kurt Elster: So, this is not something we should be ignoring.

Andrew Forman: Seriously. Makes me feel a little bit old, but yeah, wow. That’s impressive.

Kurt Elster: Yeah. Corporate America does not want our millennial dollars. Now it’s about gen z’s $71 billion and how are we gonna get that.

Andrew Forman: That’s right. And that’s gonna last a whole lot longer. We’re old news.

Kurt Elster: So, do you have any thoughts on where, what caused this rise of conscious consumerism? My theory is just social media, Reddit, the internet, information has become more transparent. Less of the media we consume is controlled by the people who are selling us the goods. And it’s a lot more feedback from humans, other people, not brands, and so you start seeing issues and you start seeing problems. And then you start having guilt and you go, “Well, what can I do differently?” Well, if I’m already making a purchase, can I spend a little bit of extra effort to figure out, “Okay, who can I buy from that it’ll have some positive impact on someone?”

Money is changing hands here and I can vote with my wallet. Who gets the money? Is that the thinking here?

Andrew Forman: I mean, information is so readily available now, and I think you’ve nailed why this spreads so quickly. Somebody pinpoints, “Hey, there’s a brand out here touting that they donate 10% of their sales… 10% of their profits, excuse me. 10% of their profits to one specific nonprofit.” And somebody digs a little bit deeper, finds out that this brand is not profitable, hasn’t been donating but has been touting this for a while. I think things like that now spread, to your point, like wildfire. And somebody catches onto that and now people are saying, “Okay, well, we’re not gonna buy from that brand. What’s another brand that sells goods in this space that is doing this a little bit more genuinely and authentically or a lot more see through, and for people to be able to understand this is how this brand is helping impact society.

And so, what we’ve done on our side to help brands with that is put the choice in the consumer’s hands and really close the loop when a consumer shops. Let’s say the offer was spend $100, get $20 to give to a charity of your choice. The consumer shops. They spend $100. They get $20 to give to the charity of their choice. They now choose the charity that means the most to them. And it’s a lot of trust from brands to their consumers to say, “We genuinely are giving you the $20 to give to whoever you want.” There’s a lot of trust in that, especially with social media these days. But we’re finding that brands are being rewarded by customers for that trust. Customers are sending money to charities that they truly and honestly care a lot about. And then we close the loop by letting consumers know, “Hey, yeah, you’ve sent this $20 to the charity that your wife sits on the board of, or that your sister sits on the board of, or that you just genuinely love and care about,” or all of those things, and now you get a receipt that says, “Great, I sent this $20 there courtesy of my favorite brand,” and that’s something that can now be shared on said social media and start to bring out the authenticity that this brand is providing.

Kurt Elster: All right, so walk me through a… We are close to walking through an example there. I’m vaguely starting to wrap my head around it. Walk me through like a real-life example of how this would work, like all right, so I land on what website?

Andrew Forman: Yeah, so let’s take an example, so LOLI Beauty right now, beauty company on Shopify, they installed the Givz app, so a consumer lands on LOLI Beauty. Right on the header they have a little banner that says, “We’re donating 10% of every single sale to the charity of your choice.” And if you subscribe to their emails, or if you go on social media, you’ll see that they’re touting the 10% of every purchase we’re giving back to our customers to give to a charity that they care about most.

So, you go on and you actually purchase as totally normal. You’re thinking, “Wow, this is great. I’ve been meaning to try this pink plum elixir,” not that I’ve tried some of these products, but you’ve been meaning to try this anyway. You weren’t sure if you wanted to spend the money, but now you’re gonna pay 60 bucks for this thing. You’re gonna get $6 to give back to a charity of your choice. So, you spend the $60, you get $6 at the end of your experience, so after you purchase, right on the confirmation thank you page, you’re able to see what LOLI Beauty cares about. There’s three charities, three to six charities that LOLI Beauty has said, “Hey, here are three to six great charities that we genuinely care about. If you don’t have a favorite, feel free to join us. Otherwise, you can use the search bar and donate to any of the 250,000 charities that are enrolled in the PayPal Giving Fund,” who’s our giving partner.

And so, you buy the item, you now allocate your $6 to your favorite charity, and then you’ll receive a receipt from Givz that lets you know, “Yep, you sent $6 to the American Red Cross courtesy of LOLI Beauty.”

Kurt Elster: I love this. I do. So, one of my… Well, is the donation in my name or the brand?

Andrew Forman: So, you get to decide if you want the charity to know that it’s you or not. But in general, our general stance is that yes, we’ll let the charity know that it’s you. We won’t give them your email so they can’t add you to an email list, but they will know it’s you so you can get the credit. The actual donation, you cannot write it off on your taxes. You were not charged anything for it. The brand is the one that’s actually the donor of record.

Kurt Elster: Okay. And can they deduct it?

Andrew Forman: They can.

Kurt Elster: Aha. Interesting.

Andrew Forman: But it’s not as interesting as you may think a lot of… And we can go down this rabbit hole, as well, but writing off donations from a corporate perspective is not as lucrative, we’ll say, as writing off personal donations. It’s basically essentially similar to a marketing expense.

Kurt Elster: And so, the advantage here is that by having a third party administer the donation, the new eliminate the big criticism of cause marketing, which is did anyone actually donate any money.

Andrew Forman: Yes. Exactly.

Kurt Elster: And this circumvents that entirely.

Andrew Forman: The closed loop piece is one of the biggest feedback pieces that we get all the time, where this is one of the only positive customer service calls that brands will get, that somebody said, “Wow. I actually got $25 to give to a charity that I care about, and I just got proof that this money is going to arrive there in the next 45 days.”

Kurt Elster: How do I run promotions with this? This is our alternative to just a sitewide sale. Assuming it is a brand where it is relevant to both the brand and the customer, because I bet this doesn’t work for everybody, but we’ll get into that. So, what is a promo? If I’m the merchant, what does a promo like this look like?

Andrew Forman: The beauty is that right now, we have on our product road map to help you promote this type of deal, but right now you can just plug it into your marketing stack as is. We’ve had brands that have just added to paid ads one sentence at the end. Buy now, get $20 to give to a charity of your choice. And it boosts conversion 17%. Adding one copy sentence. Didn’t even change the creative.

You know, being able to add a banner to your site, if you have a popup on your site, all of your traditional email marketing and your social media. The more you tout it, the better it performs. Not unlike any other type of marketing. But that’s… The more touch points you can get with the consumer, the better, and we’re finding that consumers are reacting to this better and better as time goes on, because they’re realizing this is actually… It’s not too good to be true. This is real. And it’s exciting.

Kurt Elster: And it is nice that it’s like, “Okay, you give me the choice.” Like, “Hey, here’s the money. Here’s the credit.” And then you decide what to do with it.

Andrew Forman: That’s right.

Kurt Elster: Let’s say if I’m the consumer, you go, “All right, you get 20 bucks to donate,” and I just ignore it. I don’t do anything with it. What happens?

Andrew Forman: So, right now, what happens is that the brand didn’t get any direction and it kind of works like a gift card, so it ends up really ROI positive for the brand. It expires after 14 days. If somebody emails and wants to do it, we always honor that and Givz will even front that, but the… Right now, we see about 25% engagement rate after purchase, which is quite high for after purchase engagement, but it does lead to a lot of cost savings compared to a discount, as well, because one in four people are donating the $20. At the end of the day from a numbers perspective, that’s costing your brand $5 per order instead of $20.

Kurt Elster: Exactly. Okay. This makes sense so far. Would this… Are there brands where this just wouldn’t work? Where they just should not… You’re like, “Look, you’re not a good fit for this. Don’t bother.”

Andrew Forman: So, that’s a good question. We have not found that yet. Honestly, we are… We started out with the idea that, hey, this could be great for luxury brands and initial surveying said women would be more interested in this than men. So, it was luxury brands that were targeting women, and the results we were getting were outstanding. And then we had H&M come along and they said, “We love this. We need another reason to email our huge loyalty program. We would love to run something on Givz for Earth Day, and we’d love to say if you spend $60 or more, you’re gonna get $10 to give to a charity of your choice and try to increase average order value a little bit, as well as have another reason to email and see what that engagement looks like.”

This had me nervous on a number of levels. One, a lot more volume than we had ever seen. Two, this was our first big client, but number two was is this the right audience. Price conscious, how is this going to perform? That’s what I was nervous about. And when they sent the email out to the loyalty program, they reported back that they had immaterially better results than their discount emails, which to me is a huge win, obviously. First of all, better, but immaterially better, fine. Let’s say the same, but that’s compared to their discount emails, which well outperform their non-offer emails where there’s no actual offer in the email, so this was something that was not a discount email, got just as good of engagement if not slightly better, and in terms of conversion rate, same type of deal.

But what ended up happening was instead of giving… Let’s just make numbers easy. 100,000 people purchase $60 worth of stuff or more and let’s say 100,000 people do that. 25,000 people actually donate the $10. $250,000 goes to charity, but H&M saves in that case 750 grand by not giving everybody that $10 discount.

Kurt Elster: G-I-V-Z. Four letter domain name. What did that cost?

Andrew Forman: That’s a very interesting question.

Kurt Elster: I saw that domain name. I’m like, “Damn.” That had to be pricey.

Andrew Forman: So, I was in school, and then as you pointed out in the beginning, so I can’t get away from it, at Harvard Business School, but I was in school, so I was thinking about starting this company. We had the name, Givz. I saw was a parked domain, and so I looked up on the Whois database who owned it and Elizabeth, wherever you are in Canada right now, you are an amazing person. But I emailed her incessantly for six months, to which she finally replied, “MAKE ME YOUR BEST OFFER,” in all caps, and I said, “Hey, I’m just in school and I really… I’m trying to do something good here. Can we please just get on the phone.”

And she said, “Just make me an offer.” And I said, “Again, don’t have a ton of cash here. It’s not like we’re… I’m in school.” She’s like, “You’re in Harvard Business School. I’ve looked you up. You’re not hurting.” I was like, “Okay, but we genuinely don’t have any cash for this and let me tell you about what we’re doing.” So, I emailed her about what we were doing. I got a call Tuesday morning. It was like 8:00 AM, Tuesday morning. My wife was like, “Who’s calling you this early?” I was like, “I have no idea.” From Canada. I answer the phone. Elizabeth and I talked for two-and-a-half hours, at which point she finally at the end… I think she asked me where. The last question was, “Where are you spiritually?”

I had no idea how to answer that question.

Kurt Elster: I was gonna say, how do you answer that? It’s not a bad question. I just don’t know where it’s going.

Andrew Forman: I was like… You know, I really started babbling. I think I said something like, “Oh, I was raised by my parents to do the right thing.” I had no idea where this was going and she finally cut me off at the babble and said, “Listen, I had forgotten I owned this domain. You seem like a nice guy. I’m gonna transfer you the GoDaddy codes today and I’m a seasoned SEO professional. That’s why I scooped this domain 10 years ago or whatever it was. And it’s your lucky day.” And that’s it, and she just gave it to me.

Kurt Elster: Wow. I’m really glad I asked that question.

Andrew Forman: Wild.

Kurt Elster: That was a good story. I didn’t think I was gonna get anything. I thought that was a throwaway question.

Andrew Forman: Yep. Crazy times.

Kurt Elster: When did you start Givz?

Andrew Forman: So, I thought I had started Givz, the idea was in 2017. I was graduating from business school, and I was thinking about creating a Venmo for charitable giving because I was the treasurer of a nonprofit and I had experienced firsthand people being able to Venmo me so much quicker and easier than going to my website and donating through my “crappy website.” So, we would raise 10 to 20K a year, nothing major, but getting that in Venmo, especially in the early days of Venmo, getting it out of Venmo, $300 a week at a time, was a total disaster. And now, I’m sitting in business school trying to figure out what I’m gonna do with this one and precious life, which is what they ask you every day.

And I said, “You know, I have an opportunity here,” this was before marriage, before kids, “to do something where I can really change the world if I can eliminate this pain and friction.” I think I was a little bit naïve as to how tough that direct-to-consumer business would be to build, so everybody listening, building a direct-to-consumer business, unbelievable, and kudos to you. But on my side, that was where it started. And so, we slowly built all of the pipes that needed to be built, raised a small friends and family round to fund that and build the technology to be able to send money to any charity in America, and then really 2019 was when that business was struggling, I wasn’t sure what to do with it, and one of… Two brands. I guess a luxury food brand and a handbag brand took a chance on Givz and came to me and said, “Hey, can we replace our discounts by giving people credit on your platform?” I said, “Yeah, that sounds like a great idea. I wish I could take credit for it. But let’s try it.”

And we tried it. The results were absolutely ridiculous. I came back to the team. We were four people at the time. And I said, “We’re pivoting the whole business. The whole thing. This is what we do now.” And that took a little bit of convincing, but by the end of 2019 we were fully committed. And so, we’ve really been going at it now since probably March 2020.

Kurt Elster: I love that story and I think one of the business lessons that I often go back to is in Sam Walton’s book, the guy who founded Walmart, Made in America is the name of the book, and I read this 20 years ago, and in it, essentially all his early successes, he goes… The guy never had an original idea. He was good at recognizing other people’s ideas and then going, “Well, can I do that in my business?” And then essentially, it’s a great artists steal, good artists copy, and so he would take the idea, make it is own, implement it, and it would work out pretty well.

And it’s the magic is in being able to recognize and double down on the good ideas and opportunities, and it sounds like in this case you were able… You started with that classic entrepreneurial journey of I have a pain or problem in my own life, and it was, “Well, it is a struggle.” You were a charity, and it is difficult… It is harder than it should be for people to make donations. Okay, so there you’ve got the pain or problem. And so, you build a business around that, but it’s not doing what you want. You’re like, “Okay, where do I go from here? How does this thing scale?” And then someone else says, “Well, we’ve got this idea? Can we replace discounting?”

You said, “Well, you could try it.” And lo and behold, you recognize it as this phenomenal idea and run with it. I don’t know. I think there’s value in that story and journey, and I’m glad you were able to recognize the idea and you had that original pain. Because you’re right. Ultimately, you’re doing net good in the universe with this. I hope. We think.

Andrew Forman: We know. We’ve sent over a million dollars to charity at this point through this model and I think there’s add-on pieces of good that are happening that I don’t talk about necessarily with the brands on a sales call, or with the investors, but in my heart of hearts, one of the most important pieces of this journey was end of 2020, we had a woman contact us to say she got $10 from one of our partner brands to give to a charity of her choice. She picked the charity that she wanted to give to, and she went out of her way to email us back from the receipt that we sent her to say, “Not only did I give the $10 to this charity. I forgot how much I cared about this charity. I forgot that I actually want to go volunteer at this place.” And this was in the sort of dip of people going back to volunteer. Maybe it was earlier this year. And now COVID’s back, of course.

But she was like, “I’m gonna go figure out how to volunteer at this place again just because I got $10, and I had to think about where am I gonna give this $10.” And that type of thing, where not only have 50,000 people been able to donate to a charity of their choice courtesy of a brand and have that good brand association associated with that, but that’s 50,000 people who have to think about, “What do I want to do with this money?” And I love that.

Kurt Elster: So, this idea of cause marketing has been… It’s been around a long time. And you know, I remember really first paying attention to it probably when eBay made it just part of a seller’s listing. You could just opt into donate X% to one of these charities. And I thought that was cool and I was a big eBay seller for many years, but now it’s at least 10 years later. Not everyone does this, for sure. It’s like a minority of stores do it.

I think we’ve got this rise of conscious consumerism and it seems to be growing in importance generationally. Is there a time at which this becomes table stakes, where it’s like you have to do something charitable? You have to be thinking in terms of ethics?

Andrew Forman: I think that’s coming up sooner than anybody realizes, or people may realize. I think in the next five years this will be table stakes. You have to do it.

Kurt Elster: Where do you think people get it wrong when they first approach this idea? Like where do you see brands… How do I avoid missteps if I’m brand new to this idea of donation-driven marketing or cause marketing?

Andrew Forman: Yeah. I think there’s a lot of… We’re trying. I want to say there are no shortcuts, right? But then I’m like, “Actually, we’re kind of a shortcut in some sense,” because you’re letting your customer decide where to give. But sometimes… There’s always a reason to say, “Oh, no. If I’m gonna let my customer decide, what if they donate to something that I don’t like?” And we have features that you can filter out charities and stuff like that. I always encourage people not to do that because if your entire customer base donates to a charity that you don’t support, you should know that. At least for the first week, you want to know that. It’s probably not true. It’s an unfounded fear and we’ve seen that across the board, but letting your customer choose, trusting your customer, I think is a huge value add piece that the customers really do feel.

Just as a side note, we still see customers donating to the highlighted and featured charities a majority of the time, but they love the fact that they could have chosen a different charity if they wanted to. And so, that’s an interesting piece here, but I think where you get it wrong is when you try to do this super infrequently and not in a genuine and authentic manner, and you say something like… And you really tout. I think I mentioned it earlier. The 10% of profits going to a specific charity when you’re not profitable.

And then I think the other piece that you can run into is on the legal front. If you’re gonna tout a percentage of sales or a percentage of profits going to a specific charity, make sure that you have the right legal docs signed with that charity. Because in something like that, you need to make sure you have a commercial co-venture agreement signed.

Kurt Elster: I was gonna say, does the charity ever catch onto this and go, “Hey, you haven’t donated anything?”

Andrew Forman: Totally.

Kurt Elster: But you’re clearly making sales in part because of our name.

Andrew Forman: Yes, so that’s where commercial co-venture laws come in. That’s what they are supposed to be governing against and there have been some tough suits going on there. Again, if you leave it up to the customer, you don’t have to deal with that. But if you are gonna partner with one specific charity, and again, if you’re gonna partner with a specific charity, don’t expect that your customers, every single customer is gonna have a burning desire to support that charity. Every customer is different. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past really 10 years of being in the nonprofit space, people are super passionate about a lot of different things. And so, if you’re gonna pick one cause and expect 30% of your customers to really resonate with that, that seems like a lot, and I think you’d be lucky to have 3% really resonate.

Kurt Elster: If I’m a charity, how do I get on your list of charities? I saw on the Givz page I could search. It’s like, “Here’s the featured ones.” And then I could search, and it looks like there’s thousands in there.

Andrew Forman: There are. So-

Kurt Elster: How do I get in that?

Andrew Forman: Yeah, so you can just register for the PayPal Giving Fund.

Kurt Elster: Oh, okay.

Andrew Forman: And it’s a very quick process. Right now, we’ve partnered with the PayPal Giving Fund to make sure that everything is vetted and that quite frankly we can transfer the money directly into companies’ PayPal accounts. Charities’ PayPal accounts. Make it easy.

Kurt Elster: And finally, because I think at this point people are probably willing to give this a shot-

Andrew Forman: There’s really no downside.

Kurt Elster: Yeah. It seems like, “All right, I should try this.” But what’s it cost?

Andrew Forman: Yeah, so-

Kurt Elster: Where’s the catch?

Andrew Forman: Yep. Yeah, great question. So, on our side, we have a small monthly fee, which I assume we’ll get to at the end of this, will be waived for at least three months with going through Kurt.

Kurt Elster: Oh, all right, we got a special offer. How do they get that special offer, the three months free?

Andrew Forman: Great question. Yeah, so you can go to, and you can get that offer.

Kurt Elster: I will put that link in the show notes.

Andrew Forman: Yes.

Kurt Elster: All right, so after my three months, what’s thing gonna cost me?

Andrew Forman: So, depending on your volume it will be anywhere from $20 to $500 a month. If you are a very big Shopify Plus customer with over 50,000 transactions per month, then we can talk about enterprise-level pricing and enterprise-level service. But on the self-serve side of things, anywhere from $20 to $500 a month. If you have less than 10,000 orders a month, it’s $99 a month. And so, should be pretty reasonable from that side. Full transparency, we take a program fee out of some of the donations. That is something that we found led to a lot more adoption from brands. It doesn’t cost the brands any extra and getting 90% of a billion dollars to charity is a whole lot better than getting 100% of nothing.

Kurt Elster: I agree with that math. Okay, Mr. Forman. Thank you for doing this. Thank you for your net good contribution to society. It’s a good place to be. Yeah, I think we’ll end it there. This is good. if you’re interested in trying it free for three months.

Andrew Forman: Awesome. Thank you so much for having me, Kurt. This has been fun.

Kurt Elster: My pleasure.