Meet 7 New York Startups Doing Good

Are you a volunteer? The shirt is a little ambiguous.

Help Desk

As we edge closer and closer to the age of “peak startup,” absurd new companies are popping up at a steady pace.

With all this ridiculousness floating around, however, it’s important to remember that there are also startups that are doing good – substantial, change-the-world good. Here are seven New York startups that are helping the non-profit sector thrive.

Goal in Site
While Kickstarter and Indiegogo revolutionized fundraising for new ventures and startups, nonprofits often need more tools than these websites provide. CauseVox is a for-profit startup that provides customizable sites for charities and social good projects, with features such as peer-to-peer fundraising for campaigns, social media integration, and an analytics suite.

This Time With Purpose
Visit Purpose’s website and you might have trouble discerning exactly what the company does. Well, that’s because they do a little bit of everything. Describing themselves as a “strategy consultancy, a creative agency and a social movement incubator,” Purpose is a public benefit corporation intent on taking on the world’s biggest issues – think gun safety, marriage equality, and climate change – and creating change.

One Drop at a Time
The bluntly named charity: water is one of the few New York startups that’s both a non-profit and household name. Aside from being plastered on advertisements throughout the city, charity: water is getting their name out there by doing big things – like bringing clean water projects to nearly 20,000 locations in 24 countries. Founded by former NYC nightclub promoter Scott Harrison, charity: water proves that simplicity, and smart marketing, are key to successful fundraising.

mew york startup charity: water
Image courtesy charity: water

Analytic Advantage
It’s all about the numbers, especially when it comes to targeting donors for your next fundraising campaign. The optimistically-named WeDidIt offers both audience insights and tools for crafting your next online fundraising campaign. Further, users can improve their fundraising skills through their blog, downloadable resources, and online classes at the WeDidIt Academy.

Skilled Solution
Volunteering can be a tricky balance – while some charities only need bodies for simple labor, other organizations might require specific skills to accomplish their goals. Catchafire helps address that disparity by offering a job board for skilled professionals looking to volunteer their time and abilities for charities in need. From web development to digital marketing, professionals can provide indispensable work that nonprofits might otherwise not be able to afford.

Image courtesy Catchafire

A Mile in Your Shoes
In a city full of fitness nuts, it seems perfectly natural that a company would harness all that athletic energy for social change. With funding from sponsors like Kenneth Cole and Johnson & Johnson, the app Charity Miles allows any user to raise money for charity with every mile they walk, bike, or run. The app is available for free on the App Store or Google Play.

Kids First
In-need classrooms across the country barely have the funds for basic school supplies, much less the resources for special projects that will help their students thrive. From storage carts to sensory toys for special needs learners, DonorsChoose is a website that allows teachers to pitch their case and fundraise money for any variety of items. Started by a former public school teacher working in the Bronx, DonorsChoose has fulfilled over 600,000 project requests for the classrooms that need it the most.


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