Inspired by the dwindling art of giving, Sjoerd van Oort helped birth Givt, a mobile application-based solution to ‘giving’ in an increasingly cashless economy. Frustrated that people were being prevented from giving to the church donation plate, or limited by the denominations they carried with them, Givt aims to ensure this social practice isn’t lost to the digital age.
With plans to expand from church donations and charities to buskers and television, we sat down with Sjoerd to discuss Givting.
The Problem of ‘Paying’
At its core, Givt is founded on the belief that “giving is not the same as paying,” and that the social experience of giving must be preserved to preserve people’s desire to give at all. Until Givt, cashless giving was largely left to the payments sector, which Sjoerd laments led to competitors “only thinking of the technical solution, and not of the social act itself.” Payments sector solutions such as card terminals “are impractical and even anti-social”. Givt believes these solutions also endanger people’s motivation to engage in the social experience of giving at all, as they will render this act “just another purchase” and debase the underlying value to the participants.
The Art of Givting
Givt allows givers to contribute to worthy causes by waving their phones over attachable chips, or by scanning QR codes at the point of gifting. This gesture of waving, or scanning (on a guitar buskers’ case for example) mimics and preserves the gesture of placing money in the collection vessels, which is important for both parties. Through Givt, the giver remains anonymous and has autonomous control over their contributions which has led to churchgoers giving “4 times more through the app”. Sjoerd explains that Givt “recognises that the end-user, the giver, must be satisfied and encouraged to give”. This is why they aim to remove any hurdles to giving, either technical or social, and provide a single app that “enables people to give however and whenever they wish”.
Already implemented in over 200 churches, and currently being rolled out across numerous charities, Givt is beginning to show how all parties can benefit: “social organisations receive more donations, and the warmth of the experience is preserved for givers,” explains Sjoerd. By making giving as easy as possible, givers are encouraged to gift more often, more generously and more socially through the app, which all brings in a small percentage for Givt.
What’s on the Horizon for Givt
With plans to move into the United Kingdom already being realised, Givt sees the rest of Europe and eventually the largest church donation market, The United States, as “primed” for their entrance. While churches have provided Givt a stable foundation, they also have plans to bring the app to radio and television, where audiences can use the app to listen and recognise the event or cause, prompting an avenue for contribution. Plans are being hatched to allow the app to become personalised, so that organisations can allow givers to track the social impact of their gifts. The app can become “an assistant to the givers’ personal social agenda and giving appetite”, notifying them of certain disasters requiring relief, and allowing like-minded altruists to foster communities.
Givt sees a strong trend in banking and payments moving towards smartphone-based services, and forecasts givers will “recognise the need for a specific giving environment”. With this in mind, Givt is currently looking for investors to help them expand geographically, enhance their technological foundations and carve out a new sector borne by fintech: giving.