Givefinity – MICRO Fall 2022
Published March 8, 2023
As part of our ‘Meet Our Founders’ series today, we introduce Amy Gardinier, Co-Founder of Givefinity based in Holly Springs, NC. Givefinity exists to make volunteer tracking easier for everyone, whether you are a student or a volunteer coordinator.
Q: What problem are you trying to solve and what influenced you to start your company?
A: Here are the problems we are trying to solve:
1. High school students are required to track, validate, and report on their volunteer hours manually with pen and paper or simple online documents. Everyone does it differently but the results are typically the same – papers and verification slips are lost, teens forget to bring paperwork and their parents have to bring it to them, and there are no checks and balances to ensure accuracy or accountability.
2. High school teachers or guidance counselors who also serve as club advisors currently spend up to ~8 hours per week, per club (NHS, DECA, Key Club, etc.) manually managing volunteering activities and requirements. This is cumbersome and time consuming for teachers and guidance counselors who are already overburdened and underpaid.
3. Schools and school systems are required to track their students’ volunteering activities to ensure they’re meeting requirements and they’re providing equal opportunities for all students. This is manually tracked and takes a significant amount of time. Moreover, school systems are unaware of the amount of time and effort that is needed to track student volunteering activities. They’re also unaware of the impact their students are having on the community.
Volunteering has always been important to our family. My husband, Kenton and I started serving with our two daughters when they were young. Sometimes that looked like making sandwiches for those experiencing homelessness or passing out blankets to people in need during the winter months. As our daughters grew older, they began to take the initiative to find ways to serve. When our oldest daughter was in high school she became a part of Key Club which requires 20 hours of volunteering per semester. Each student is given a form to track their volunteer hours along with supervisors signatures for approval. Over dinner one night we talked about how some people lose their forms and we thought, “Wouldn’t it be great to have a mobile app to track your volunteer hours.” Since teens spend a lot of time on their phones it seemed like the perfect fit! From the conception of the idea at our kitchen table in 2020 to today, we have built Givefinity.
Q: How will your NC IDEA grant funds advance your company?
A: Grant funds will help us drive revenue by attending conferences where we can have a one to many approach to sales.
Q: What is one thing you wish you understood about entrepreneurship before you ever got started?
A: One thing I wish that I understood about entrepreneurship before I got started was that there is an amazing network of help and support for entrepreneurs in this area. Many established entrepreneurs are very eager and willing to help entrepreneurs just starting.
While visiting the Research Triangle, Amy recommends:
I would suggest going to the Morgan Street Food Hall and picking up some lunch and then head to the NC Museum of Art to enjoy the beautiful trails.
Support Amy and Givefinity by:
- Those reading this can introduce us to decision makers they know in the private and public schools, as well as anyone who is currently selling into the schools.