Amy Gardinier, the co-founder of Givefinity, has dedicated her life to volunteerism and service, particularly through her work with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Cary Ballet Company, and Young Life. Her career trajectory, from North Carolina to the innovation-driven Silicon Valley, combined with her passion for inspiring others to give back, led to the creation of Givefinity—a free mobile app designed to streamline volunteer tracking. Co-founded with her husband, Kenton Gardinier, the couple seeks to foster community improvement through accessible volunteerism.
The Gardiniers, who have long believed in the transformative power of volunteering, have instilled these values in their teenage daughters. Amy’s experience working with nonprofit organizations and coordinating volunteer efforts ultimately inspired her to co-found Givefinity.
The decision to start Givefinity was prompted by a family dinner conversation during which her eldest daughter shared the stress of manually tracking volunteer hours for school. Leveraging his tech background, Kenton proposed digitizing the process, much like the apps used to log driving hours for a license. This idea sparked the development of Givefinity, aimed at simplifying volunteer tracking for high school students, teachers, and advisors—ultimately encouraging greater community involvement.
Givefinity recently introduced its enterprise organizational dashboard, allowing coordinators to efficiently manage and track volunteer information in one place. The company plans to focus on promoting the dashboard, gathering feedback, and integrating volunteer opportunities directly into the platform. Givefinity emphasizes its commitment to a secure and validated tracking process, incorporating electronic signatures and photo capture as evidence of completed volunteer work.
Addressing privacy concerns, particularly regarding student data, Amy assures that Givefinity takes the issue seriously and works closely with its IT department to ensure data is securely encrypted and marked as private.
Another benefit of Givefinity, Amy highlights, is the ability for students to easily document their volunteer experiences—a valuable asset when applying for internships, colleges, universities, or scholarships that often require proof of community involvement. Givefinity enables students to export a report of their volunteer work, allowing them to showcase their dedication and stand out in their applications.
Discussing Givefinity’s potential impact on the volunteer community and beyond, Amy shares their ambitious aspirations. The app aims to provide high school students with valuable volunteer experiences, fostering community improvement and helping students discover their passions and potential career paths. Furthermore, Givefinity seeks to simplify volunteer tracking for teachers and coordinators, who often work under stressful conditions and with limited pay.
Diversity and inclusion are core values for Givefinity, which strives to make volunteering accessible to everyone, regardless of background or circumstances. The company collaborates with schools to create on-campus volunteer opportunities, such as tutoring, to minimize barriers like transportation. Givefinity believes that by fostering accessibility and inclusivity, a diverse range of individuals can contribute to their communities and effect positive change.
Amy encourages those interested in supporting Givefinity’s mission to connect the company with educators, administrators, and PTA/PTO organizations who may benefit from streamlining their volunteer activities.
The development of Givefinity involved actively seeking feedback from high school students through focus groups and surveys, ensuring the app resonates with its target audience. Recognizing that charging a monthly fee for upgraded features could deter users, the team decided to offer them for free, promoting equitable access to the app’s benefits.
Givefinity’s revenue model relies on yearly subscription fees for its organizational dashboard, which are based on the number of volunteers using the platform. The hope is that schools will appreciate the value of the service, as it simplifies the tracking process and provides insights into student contributions to the community. This information can, in turn, support marketing efforts and boost enrollment numbers for participating institutions.
Amy Gardinier envisions technology continuing to revolutionize the nonprofit sector, with more organizations embracing digital transformation to engage donors and volunteers, track impact, and automate administrative tasks. Amy is enthusiastic about the potential of technology to significantly influence the nonprofit sector and eagerly anticipates its future evolution.
Amy emphasizes that Givefinity can help nonprofits conserve time and resources by streamlining volunteer tracking. Armed with a clear understanding of volunteer contributions, organizations can better apply for grants and demonstrate their work’s impact. Givefinity enables nonprofits to concentrate on their missions and effecting change in their communities.
Givefinity’s dual approach allows individuals to download the app from Google or Apple stores for personal volunteer tracking, while schools and nonprofits interested in the organizational dashboard must collaborate with Givefinity directly.
Amy recommends that those seeking volunteer opportunities consider their passions and interests, such as working with children or assisting animals. By researching local organizations that align with these interests, individuals can identify potential volunteer positions. She advises starting small, committing to a manageable schedule, and leveraging volunteering as a means to give back, forge connections, and gain valuable experience.
She underscores the importance of self-confidence, risk-taking, and perseverance, as well as seeking support and learning from mistakes. Amy Gardinier expresses gratitude for the backing of fellow women throughout her journey and welcomes ongoing support through connections to nonprofit organizations and schools. She also offers her assistance to other women launching businesses by sharing her experiences and insights. Amy believes resources exist for entrepreneurs, including nonprofits that provide guidance on customer discovery and cohort-based assistance.
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