Entrepreneurial skills have always been an interesting topic to me. It’s why I love asking people what makes them different. We’ve all got hard skill proficiencies, but whatever they are, there’s a good chance someone else can do the same thing. What sets the good apart from the great are culture, hustle, and most of all, relationships.
I’ve said it over and over again. no matter what field you are in, it’s all about the people. It’s as true when I’m delivering a keynote speech or interviewing a guest on Rounding the Bases as it is in my career as a sports broadcaster for the Kansas City Royals.
Businesspeople who have found a way to refine those entrepreneurial skills position themselves to win, no matter how big or small their business is. It’s also what enables them to inspire sweeping change in consumer behavior. One particularly interesting episode of my podcast featured an extraordinarily dedicated guest who did just that.
He found his success at the intersection of big tech and e-commerce, where he is empowering businesses to empower their consumers. His name is Andrew Forman, Founder and CEO of Givz, the marketing platform that’s driving an important shift in retail behavior. From his groundbreaking idea came a better way to conduct business that’s as simple as a discount but as impactful as a donation.
His proven model has become imperative to the identity of the most socially conscious brands, and it’s not just profitable. It’s philanthropic…and it’s changing the world.
SINGLE: Make or Break Skills
Hustle and relationships can make or break a business, but those entrepreneurial skills alone don’t guarantee a linear path to success. From the beginning Andrew knew he wanted to do something that would leave the world a better place, and he walked away from investment banking to make it happen. But his concept took some time and refining to evolve into its current iteration.
Prior to launching his own enterprise, he spent five years hustling in pursuit of corporate partnerships while serving as treasurer for a non-profit. Despite having relationships in all the right places, influence could not override the unbelievable amount of red tape to be dealt with. Because of it, his efforts yielded only one success. Even though it was a worthy cause, the consumer appeal wasn’t broad enough and the campaign results were lackluster.
This realization was the start of something big for Andrew and he returned to school with an idea that evolved into Givz. It began as a direct donation platform designed to create a seamless giving experience. By reducing payment friction, donors who wanted to could give to any charity in America.
A/B testing of retail buyer behavior revealed something he hadn’t considered before…that people’s desires to give are stronger than their desire for purchase discounts. “This is something we must do,” Andrew remembered thinking when he saw the test results. And in the year and a half that it’s been since he had that realization, business – and donations – has skyrocketed.
DOUBLE: Different Causes
Businesses that commit to supporting a single charitable cause have noble intentions. The problem is that at most, only 1% of consumers will support that same cause enough to actually donate. It’s the same challenge Andrew found himself up against when hustling to create corporate partnerships before founding Givz.
There are causes everywhere that people care deeply and passionately about. The solution lies in buyers being given the agency to direct their donations to them. “Tapping into those emotions is what we’re looking to do,” Andrew told me. “And it’s working.”
TRIPLE: Entrepreneurial Spirit
Investment banking can be a great teacher of entrepreneurial skills. It can also create unsustainable lifestyle demands, which is one of the reasons why Andrew left it in pursuit of a more altruistic career. But not before learning one very important lesson: Action matters.
Prior to launching Givz, he joined an eight person team at a boutique investment firm. The team hustled for every deal like they were fighting for their lives, because in some ways, they were.
They had the best relationships in the industry. They were meticulous about service. It helped the team win, and it taught Andrew that no success comes without action. “Don’t overanalyze it. Go do it. You might be right, you might be wrong. But you got to go do it.”
HOME RUN: Changing the World
Givz began as an e-commerce business. But as it has gained traction, Andrew and his team have found that it has useful applications outside of e-commerce too. And the challenge of making it work is one they welcome readily.
“We really think that donation incentives can take on the world and be the way that people are incentivized,” he said. Consider a financial institution that rewards deposits with a donation to a charity of their choice. Or a restaurant selling more of a specific product than ever before because each purchase earns a $5 donation to the charity of their choice.
“We can send billions and billions of dollars to charities that people genuinely care about,” he said. “Because they’re the ones ultimately changing the world.”
Listen to the full interview here or tune in to Rounding the Bases every Monday and Thursday, available wherever you get your podcasts.
Learn More About Entrepreneurial Skills from Joel
Book Joel Goldberg for your next corporate event. He draws on over 25 years of experience as a sports broadcaster. In addition, he brings unique perspectives and lessons learned from some of the world’s most successful organizations. Whatever your profession, Joel is the keynote speaker who can help your team achieve a championship state of mind.
Joel Goldberg 0:16
Hey everybody welcome into Rounding the Bases presented by Community America Credit Union: Believe in Unbelievable. My name is indeed still Joel Goldberg. This is still Rounding the Bases. Another episode as we cruise along here and really excited for this one. Then again, I say that for every episode, right, I mean, I don’t, I don’t think we ever have bad guests. And we’ve got a really good one today. Auick shout out to my friends at Chief of Staff Kansas City, recruiting firm, but so much more. They are based in Kansas City, but they are placing people all over the country. And I’ll say it over and over again, just an amazing resource. I’m proud to be partnered with them in terms of leadership culture, and what they’re doing in the industry. Chief of Staff Kansas City: Making Connections That Matter, check them out at chiefofstaffkc.com. My guest today is on the east coast in New York. And a really cool story here he has found success at the intersection of big tech and e-commerce. He’s an entrepreneur who is extraordinarily dedicated to empowering business, to empower, to empower, empowering businesses, to empower their consumers. Joining me is Andrew Forman, founder and CEO of Givz, GIVZ, the marketing platform that’s driving an important shift in retail behavior. From his groundbreaking idea came a better way to conduct business that’s as simple as a discount, but as impactful as a donation. His proven model has become imperative to the identity of the most socially conscious brands. And it’s not just profitable, it’s philanthropic and actually changing the world. And so I’m excited right now to bring in Andrew Forman who comes to us, well, we can be anywhere in the world at this point, the way that that that tech works. But he is coming to us from New York and I’m recording this as we’re doing this from a hotel in Minneapolis. And through the magic of technology, we get a chance to visit with Andrew Forman, and Andrew, how are you?
Andrew Forman 2:16
Doing well. Thanks, Joel, thanks so much for having me on the show. I’m excited to be here.
Joel Goldberg 2:20
Well, I’m excited to have you. And first off, I always love anytime someone is doing something that’s not just successful. But that is impactful beyond just a good business, but that is helping the world out. Before we get into all that let’s let’s do the Cliff’s Notes version. I don’t even know if Cliff’s Notes are a thing anymore, probably not. Are you old enough to-
Andrew Forman 2:42
I definitely read my version of Cliff Notes. They might have turned into SparkNotes at some somewhere. I guess that’s what it is. And and then I don’t know what the new one is now. But that’s that was my time.
Joel Goldberg 2:53
Whatever it is, I know it’s online. And I know my kids can find their stuff there if that’s indeed what they’re doing. I don’t know, I know we had a little yellow book or something like that. How about the notes version? Yeah, the Cliff’s Notes version of Givz.
Andrew Forman 3:07
Yeah, on the Givz side of things. So so we see two huge trends happening in e-commerce and really retail at large. And even in every industry, for that matter. Brands are trying to get away from discounts as much as possible. The data has come in, and it says it’s saying to brands, hey, people that come in via discounts are consistently your lowest lifetime value customers, are valuing your brand. Every time you’re giving somebody a tenure train, people think, hey, this item that’s says it’s worth $100, it’s not worth $100. Its worth $80 or $70. Right? And that’s what I’m paying for it. And so brands are trying to figure out how do we get away from discounts, but still drive sales in the short run? And then overall, brands are also trying to figure out – separate question – how do we weave in social impact in a genuine and authentic way. And so Givz sits at the nexus of those two trends, allowing brands to run what we’re calling donation based incentives that basically act like discounts and perform like discounts are very clearly not discounts, people are paying full price. And then they’re, after they make the purchase, they get money from the brand to give to whatever charity they want. And so if you have 10,000 customers, they care about 9000 different things. They can support those 9000 different things through Givz, and really, you are going to be supporting the causes that your customers care about most. And so that’s the that’s the Cliffsnotes version of what we’re doing.
Joel Goldberg 4:26
I mean, really, this is what everything’s all about, right? Giving people a choice. We, what’s the expression now we hear over and over again and meeting them where they’re at. So instead of saying, hey, a portion of what you do goes to, if I’m understanding it correctly, a portion of what you do goes to what do you want it to go to?
Andrew Forman 4:43
Exactly, exactly. And that’s a big piece that people miss, right? And I was even talking to somebody earlier this morning on a sales call where they were saying like, hey, what if we were to do this ourselves, and you know, and just pick one charity. And I say well, the chances that that charity resonates with 100% of your customer versus or forget 100%, the chances that that charity resonates with 5% of your customers is really low. Is really low. It’s probably more like 1% of people are really, truly going to be moved to purchase something, because they care about the cause that you’re highlighting. Sure, they might think it’s a good thing. But there’s, there’s causes that people increasingly now people care about something deeply and passionately. And so if you can tap into that, and say, Hey, we care about what you care about, and we’re going to give you that agency, we’re going to meet you, were you to use your own words. That’s exactly what we’re looking at looking to do. And it’s working.
Joel Goldberg 5:35
So when did this idea come to you? What what when did it click it give me a little bit of a timeline of how how you built and came up with Givz?
Andrew Forman 5:46
Yeah. I wish, I wish it was just a straight line. And I can tell you that it was just like, boom, I thought of it. And I knew it was gonna work. And I built it. As I’m sure you’re hearing from hear from any entrepreneur furthest away from that as possible. So how did this really all go down? I’ll try to again, keep it to this Sparknotes or Cliffsnotes version. So we, we initially started Givz almost five years ago now. What ended up happening was, I was the treasurer of a nonprofit for five years, I saw I was on the nonprofit operating side, I was also doing investment banking, seeing a ton of companies on the on the day job side of things, right. And so I had this operating nonprofit experience I had looking at all these businesses analyzing how they work, you know, work career experience. And so as I was trying to mesh these two together, I started to reach out to my friends that were working at companies and saying, like, hey, like, can we do something like you know, 10% of your sales for for a week in the middle of June go to goes to the charity that that I’m you know that I’m the treasurer of trying to strike a deal with a corporate partnership. And the amount of red tape that that came in there was just unbelievable. I couldn’t could not believe how hard it was, even when you have the friends in the right places. And people that were genuinely wanting to help your mission. We just couldn’t, couldn’t make it happen. Over five years, I think I got one of those deals done. And then the kicker on all of that was that when we got that deal done, nobody really cared about my side charity. So it didn’t drive a ton of sales. And I was like, Okay, this is a problem, right. And so that was where the seeds started to really form. I went back to school, I ended up ended up thinking about this more and more and more. And I started to create the early beginnings of Givz. And ultimately, we were a platform where brands where individuals could actually donate to any charity that they wanted in America, I wanted to make that seamless, because I’ve experienced that as an as a treasurer of a nonprofit, that issue of the payment friction on my side. But ultimately, we had two brands come to us and say Hey, we love what you built on the consumer side where consumers can choose any charity that they want. Can we use that as a incentive for people to sign up for our service or buy our products. And so it was one handbag company, one food delivery service, and we tested A/B tested on Facebook, as well as via email, $50 off if you sign up for our service today. “A” test. “B” test $50 to give to charity, any charity you want. If you sign up for our service today, we had 20% better conversion on the $50 to give to a charity that you care about over a $50 off discount. I was like, Whoa, this is something. We recreated that with a handbag company with a $40 discount verse $40, to give to charity again, 18% better conversion on that $40 to give to charity. I was like that we are on something. This is this is what we must do. And so that was about a year and a half ago. And now it really started to take off since then.
Joel Goldberg 8:46
It’s fascinating to me, because I’ve always believed I still believe that people have free fill in the blank blank, right free stuff. I mean, right? That’s where we get lured into a sale. Hey, there’s I mean, in any world, that’s true in in my world, if they’re handing out giveaways, they’re giving away bobbleheads, okay, people like to collect bobbleheads, they’re giving away a $10 T shirt and suddenly attendance spikes because I want to get my T shirt. I’m gonna line up two hours early for it. I mean, that’s I think that’s just human nature. So I’m fascinated, and I don’t know the psychology. But I’m fascinated by the fact that, given the choice, it was giving the $50 that was more of an appeal, or at least a higher success rate than taking the $50. It sounds like you were as surprised by that.
Andrew Forman 9:36
I was and actually it’s super important. We actually ended up running three way tests were so so it’s important to note that people did not have the choice because given the choice, people will take the discount, right? If you say hey, you could have this discount, or you could have the money to give to charity. People will take the discount, which is in line with how everybody thinks. The anomaly piece the piece that we unlocked by doing this was when you didn’t give people a choice. You said no. When you buy this, you get $50 to give to charity, no choice. That is when people bought the most.
Joel Goldberg 10:11
Any, whether it’s research or just gut feeling and any, any reason why.
Andrew Forman 10:17
Yeah. So there’s a bunch of research that goes into this, right? I think you go back to the class, the most classic study here is that is the ice cream, ice cream sundae case study, right? And so there’s a bunch of researchers that got together and said, Hey, let’s try to sell some ice cream sundaes. And let’s see, like, all these different things, we could say, okay, you know, ice cream sundae is three bucks, and we’re gonna give you 50 cents off, and we’re gonna try that right. And then it was like, Hey, if you buy this ice cream sundae, we’re gonna give some money. You know, we’re gonna give some money to charity. And people were like, You know what, I kind of want this ice cream sundae. 50 cents off. No, I’m not gonna I’m not gonna do it. I shouldn’t do it. I want to be healthy. Okay, it’s 50 cents for charity. I got to eat this sundae. Right? It’s it’s self indulgent. Like, I gotta eat the sundae. It’s for charity. What else am I supposed to do? And so you saw like a 30-40% uptick in people ordering sundaes, when you had this attached attachment to charity, right. And that’s an old study. That’s when before people even really started coming out and truly caring about organizations. But I think some of that still rings true today. And we’ve done some customer research on our own customer base. Where we’ve, you know, I talked to a woman who said, yeah, like, I’ve gotten the 20% discount, you know, from the shoe brand before. But then I got an email said, I’m gonna give $60 to a charity that I care about. If I buy the shoes, now I kind of wanted the shoes anyway. I’ll do it for good, right, it takes the guilt out of shopping. And it’s a really interesting consumer psychology phenomenon.
Joel Goldberg 11:48
It’s an I think, something that that everyone can learn from it just in terms of business models, obviously, you found this it sounds to me and in the research that we did that, that that charitable piece to you was always going to be significant. Going back to what you were doing in college, so I want you to talk about that. But whatever it is, right. I don’t know if you could have back, say when you were an undergrad, been dreaming up Givz? Certainly not the way that it is. Now that’s something that you’ve jumped up in the last couple of years, last few years yet it also sounds to me like you had that spirit within you. So where did that come from? And tell me a little bit about what you were doing in college?
Andrew Forman 12:28
Yeah. So I always I always wanted to have a positive impact, right and leave a positive Leave, leave the world a little bit better than then you came into it right is as always been something that’s a mantra of mine mantra, I’m sure for a lot of people. And so for me, I tried to lift that as much as possible. In fact, even dating back to high school and into college, with the long term girlfriend that I had, at the time, where we were the only argument we would have was how do you have a bigger impact, right? Do you leave undergrad and go straight into Peace Corps and affect a small number of people’s lives in a huge manner and actually have real impact in that way. Or that was her argument, my argument was go into investment banking, make a whole bunch of money and like fund the Peace Corps and fund a bunch of volunteers going over there and have massive impact on a bigger scale. And obviously, you need both sides, right? The money doesn’t do anything without the willingness to volunteer and the volunteers don’t can’t do it if they don’t have the money to go over there. So it is a is definitely we weren’t going to solve that at age 17. The funny part is she did actually go into the Peace Corps right after college, I did go into investment banking, and try to make as much money realized very quickly that I wasn’t going to start at a nonprofit, as, as a way to have real tangible impact. So maybe she was actually right. But the on on our on my side, that was always something that I wanted to wanted to weave in. And as I did my years in investment banking, I got to see a bunch of different companies and one company in particular stood out where they were. They were solving a big problem in the Middle East in terms of background screening, and having fake engineers, fake doctors coming in, building buildings that they weren’t qualified to build, falling down killing people, you know, had doctors performing surgeries that they weren’t qualified to perform all sorts of stuff. So background screening company, you don’t think would have like such huge life implications, but it did. And it was the most profitable company we had ever seen. And so I was like, wow, something that’s really saving lives, huge profits, changing the world. That’s that’s what I want to do. And that was the real inspiration for me to go back to business school, figure out either join a business or start a business that was was going to be able to one have huge profitability and to be able to give back in a huge, meaningful way.
Joel Goldberg 14:43
This This probably is a terrible question in the sense that I’m guessing I know the answer, but maybe not. So I think it’s rhetorical, but do it anyway. Do you investment banking?
Andrew Forman 14:53
So that it’s not it’s actually not a terrible question. I might be the only person in the world who will answer that This way. So I did the bulge bracket investment banking for a few years and that I do not miss. That was like, you know, facetime for the sake of facetime. And you had, you know, 8am to 3am all the horror stories that you can, you can imagine those were my general hours, Monday to Thursday, you know, maybe it was 8am to midnight on Friday and 10 to 10 on the weekends, but it was insane. Way back way back in the day, I guess, and that I don’t miss right. I think I learned a lot just from being there. And you have to learn something through osmosis at that point. But we were really running on fumes. And I don’t miss that. I did join a boutique investment bank, and I was there for five years. And the people there were first and foremost amazing. And that’s where I learned it’s all about the people that you work with. And I do, I I wouldn’t say I miss, you know, investment is very much service, services business. And so you they say jump, you need to jump right and and ask how high and so, you know, you’re on vacation, that vacation is over if if if a deal is coming in, right. And so that part I don’t I don’t miss so much. But the people I definitely miss and actually the head of that investment bank is the largest angel investor in Givz. So we still have a very good relationship. And I do miss the deals. The deals are, you know, people become these deal junkies and I could see why. It’s, you know, it’s a race it’s, it gets gets the adrenaline going.
Joel Goldberg 16:25
So with all that said, I’m sure that there were tons of lessons learned from your investment banking days, that’ll apply at any given moment, to your days as a as an entrepreneur, as a startup, as someone that’s in the tech industry. Now, what were your biggest takeaways or what has helped you, whether it be the people, and I love that you said that because I say it over and over again, I don’t care what field you’re in. And it certainly helps, I guess, if you’re in the boutique, end of investment banking, that it’s about the people, it should always be about the people. That’s true in my baseball world as well. What did you take from investment banking that has made you successful with Givz?
Andrew Forman 17:02
Yeah, I’d say for sure. I mean, you can’t. It’s one of these things that you’ve read about. And then when you’re there, it’s like, okay, I you know, the first my first hire at Givz wasn’t necessarily the best hire right? In fact, I could tell you, it was a horrible hire. A developer who, who was under qualified and, and just and just wasn’t, you know, probably made us six to eight weeks delayed. And I didn’t realize it for six to eight weeks, right. And so it was like a three month delay a four month delay. And hiring is hard. And if you don’t have the right people, no matter how good your ideas, how good your execution is, from your solo perspective, it’s a team sport at the end of the day, and the people you surround yourself with, that’s how that’s how it’s going to work. And so it was definitely a boutique investment of eight people. And so those eight people all had to be great. And if there wasn’t a good one, you had to get them out immediately. And so you read all these things, I still made the mistakes as the first time entrepreneur, you have to live them to really feel them. But that is frustrating. That’s one of the other takeaways that I realized is like, Hey, I watched the investment bank do this. So well, you know, we brought somebody in, they weren’t a fit, cut them immediately, I should have been able to turn that over quicker. At on my side. I think one of the other big takeaways that I had from from the investment banking days were that your actions, your actions matter, right. So as part of this big bank, big, like, the big bank, my actions, I didn’t feel like they mattered. It was like, I’m this tiny cog in a huge wheel and, and it just, it’s gonna, it’s gonna keep rolling, right? Like whether I changed those fonts, or I changed the color from blue to orange, like, Sure, maybe my boss would get mad at me, but like that deal is gonna happen. It doesn’t really matter what I’m doing here. At the boutique investment, it was totally different. It was like, Hey, if you don’t follow up with that lead, we’re gonna lose this deal. And if you do follow up with the lead, we can actually win the deal. And I think that was the biggest takeaway, you know, action, you have to take action and you have to be okay with being wrong sometimes. Because you’re gonna take a lot of action. And that’s, that’s, that’s the biggest takeaway. I think that that could be helpful for young entrepreneurs starting as well. Just you know, if you’re thinking about something, don’t overthink it, Don’t overanalyze it, go do it. You might be right, you might be wrong, but you got to go do it.
Joel Goldberg 19:26
The world of investment banking from a boutique side, very much the life, then, of an entrepreneur. Right?
Andrew Forman 19:36
Totally. And that’s what that’s what got me you know, that’s why I liked that experience. That’s why I say like, you know, yeah, I missed a little. Right. Like it was it was actually something that again, the people were important, but that it, it was entrepreneurial. We were we were living and dying by three deals a year, right. Like we would do three deals that would pay the eight people salaries, and then some and that That was it. So every deal we’re fighting, you know, like our lives depended on it because they did. And our and that was it was super entrepreneurial. And the only reason somebody would hire an eight person bank is because they have the best relationships, and they are the smartest people in the room. That’s it. That’s the only reason that you would hire hire these folks. It had to be merit based, there was no like, oh, we’ll hire you. Because like, No, you’re not gonna hire somebody to sell a company for $400 million, if they’re not the most qualified. So we had to be the most qualified and we were fighting that uphill battle.
Joel Goldberg 20:31
It applies to everything. I asked people all the time, what makes you different, because somebody else down the block, does the same thing in some form or another. And if they’re one of the, you know, the big boys, so to speak, exactly. They do it at a scale that you can’t compete with, however, you can out hustle them, and get the relationship piece better than them to give yourself a chance to win any deal. Right?
Andrew Forman 20:56
That’s it. And it was niche too, right? You had to pick a sector, right? So Business Information Services broadly, but in global risk data compliance. We knew everybody, right. So if we want to sell a company to Thomson Reuters, we knew that guy, we had dinner with him last week. Right? So so that was the that was the differentiator that no no that big banks can compete with on that side of things. Now, again, at a certain scale, they want to IPO this thing, we didn’t have those relationships, but they want to sell their company for anywhere from $100 to $500 million. We were the right, we were the right, folks.
Joel Goldberg 21:30
Okay, two final questions before I get to my baseball themed questions. And they’re pretty simple ones, at least from your end, the first one, and people could also find this answer, but I want to hear it in the audio form on the website. Givz.com GIVZ. GIvz.com. I have it open right now. And by the way I could start communicating with with the bot version of you immediately, which just seems counterproductive, since I have the real version of you on this call right now, but but right at the top, the headline or the tab, how it works. So just paint a little bit of a picture. I think we’ve explained the concept. And I think that you guys have designed this to be really easy and user friendly from everything that I can see. How does it work?
Andrew Forman 22:11
Yeah. So from the brands perspective, how does it work? So they can basically if they’re on Shopify, they can install an app, otherwise, they build into our API, and ultimately, how does it work. So the marketing is up to the brand, the marketing, and we have a bunch of examples, and we help you with all that stuff. But the marketing, you send an email, you make a social post all your normal marketing channels, you just let people know, hey, and now again, it depends on what you’re trying to drive, let’s take a common use case of a brand who’s trying to increase their average order value. So normally, somebody comes to the site, they spend $55, you want them to spend $65. So you say, anytime you spend $75 or more, you’re gonna get 5% back to give to a charity of your choice. And so you market that, you put a banner on, you put a little banner on top of your site, letting people know, for every 75 plus dollar purchase, you’re gonna get 5% back to give to charity choice and email out to folks, you make social posts, you now have something to talk about every single month, hey, it’s Pride Month, we’ve changed our feature charities to this. And so the marketing piece is we’re, we’re a marketers dream, right? They get to talk about whatever it is they want to talk about. And the and the and the offer is always the same. Or they could even change it up and say, Hey, for Pride Month, we’re eliminating the spend threshold 5% of every order you get back to give to a to an LGBTQ charity of your choice. So that’s the marketing angle of it in terms of how does it actually work? How does the funds flow. So consumers will actually go on, they’ll see oh, if I spend $75 or more, I’ll add a couple extra items to my cart all spend 100 bucks, after they make a purchase, right? Importantly, you want people to check out. Your whole website is designed so that people buy stuff and that they check out. You don’t want them to think about which charity do I want to support, you know, etc. Before that, you want them to know, hey, if I spend over $75, I’m gonna get $5 to the charity, my choice. I, you know, as a consumer, I’m taking this this guilt out of shopping type of consumer, consumer psychology, behavioral type stuff, right? And so you’re saying, Hey, I’m gonna spend over 75 bucks, I’m gonna get money to give to a charity that I care about, I’m gonna feel good about me, I’m gonna feel good about the brand I just bought from I’m gonna feel good that I bought those couple extra items that I kind of wanted anyway. So I go ahead and make that purchase. After the purchase. I now see a little, a little screen right there that says, hey, here’s what this brand cares about. Do you want to send your 5% to one of these charities that the brand really cares about? This will be the first time that as a consumer, I probably read about what the company actually cares about. And I can either give to one of them or I can go into the search bar and search for over 175,000 different charities that that are that that really resonate with with what I with what I care about. And now the brand actually gets to track all that and see like okay, these these causes are resonating. These aren’t our a lot of our customers really care about pet charities. We did not realize that. Maybe we should partner with one of them. All that kind of good stuff.
Joel Goldberg 25:01
There’s clearly a passion for it. And I could see the way you light up over it, which is cool because it’s forever expanding. It’s forever growing, you’re learning as you go, of course any entrepreneur does, but it seems like the the opportunities, and the connections, and the possibilities are endless, which is awesome. So that was the last question I had, where do you want to see this go? You’re still in the early stages. Really?
Andrew Forman 25:22
Yeah, super early stages. So ecommerce was the first place that it made just made a ton of sense. But we’re starting to get a bunch of folks that want this for their in store capabilities, are actually talking to a zoo right now, who wants people to say like, Hey, like, buy, you know, buy a couple of extra food bags, when you’re here at the zoo, you know, purchasing tickets, get over a certain spend threshold, and we’ll give you you know, $5, to donate to Oceania, or like charity that you care about, right? So a whole host of really interesting use cases, we actually have our first financial institution who’s doing this. So you know, deposit money into your account, get money to give to a charity of your choice, we have a restaurant here in New York, who’s selling more bao buns of the month than he even wants to because he’s saying, you know, by the bao bun of the month get $5, to give to charity choice. And so we really think that donation incentives can take over the world and be the way that people are incentivized. And in that way, we can send billions and billions of dollars to charities that people genuinely care about, because they’re the ones ultimately choosing and change the world that in that way.
Joel Goldberg 26:25
So cool, awesome stuff. And as I said, at the start of the podcast, too, just just truly impactful all around the world. With so much of this, I’ve got three baseball themed questions for you. First one, in terms of Givz, A=again, I know still early, there’ll be many more to come. But what’s the biggest home run you’ve had so far?
Andrew Forman 26:46
Biggest home run we’ve had so far, I think I have to give a shout out to to our investors, I don’t think that raising money from VC is a homerun at all right. Like I think that that means you couldn’t run your business profitably enough on your own, to not give away 20% of your company. So I don’t think that the fundraising itself is a homerun. That said, in the investors that you do get, you are so embedded with these people, you must make sure that they have your back in good times and bad times, and that they know what they’re doing. And so I think the investor choice that we had was a real real homerun both ENIAC and TJ Mahoney at Accomplice now Vinyl, big sing over guys have an absolutely amazing internal investor standing behind us through thick and thin, and making sure to guide us in the right direction. And even more than that, setting up setting us up for success, I think was the is the right thing and putting us in touch with the right people. So I think that’s, that’s definitely you know, 111 of the big homeruns. And then now, you know, signing a couple of these enterprise clients who are about to launch later this month and into next month, there’s there’s a few that I can’t say just yet, but that that’s going to be a real big homerun.
Joel Goldberg 27:58
All right, more to come on that worthwhile shout outs. Now the flip side of that is the swing and a miss. And I saw in our research that, that there was a listed favorite quote from Vince Lombardi. It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up so that certainly would fall under the swing and miss category, how about a swing and a miss and, and what did you learn from it to get back up.
Andrew Forman 28:19
And still, so biggest swing and miss for sure, was the almost three years that we spent building the direct to consumer app and not switching sooner. Right. And so I think, as a first time entrepreneur, one of the biggest issues that folks have is like hey, this is a baby this your baby that you’re building from scratch and you don’t want to let go. And I think that happened to me a little bit right? Where I found you know, we had these two brands who ran this ran these two experiments and I was like, that’s what we should be doing. And it took me another year to really pivot into that and say, Okay, I’m shutting down the consumer side of this thing that’s not growing as fast as should we need to be focused and ultra hyper focused on the one thing that we do best and go after it and so I think the swing and miss would be not pivoting faster and we did and we shut down a whole business and basically started a whole new business using a lot of the same pipes but but it was a totally different use case.
Joel Goldberg 29:19
And then the last one is small ball. That’s what I wrote my book on Small Ball, Big Results. In baseball terms, it might be the bunt, the sacrifice, the defense. I saw a great defensive play the other night that shows up on my scorecard because I highlighted it but it won’t show up anywhere in the box score or the status the little things that are going on behind the scenes. What is small ball to you.
Andrew Forman 29:41
So small to me, we’ve talked a lot about it this episode and realized that we’ve talked so much about it, but for me it the small ball is the people right? And the team that you’re building, and I think that is the it’s the ultimate small ball, that they’re they’re the headlines that people that you bring in as co founders and the C-suite, but the small ball is the is the people all the way down the line doing doing a vast majority of the work and how good they are and how passionate they are for what you’re doing are just gonna matter so, so, so much. And we’ve been, you know, like I said, I’ve made my fair share of mistakes. And right now we’re so lucky with the team that we have. And and I couldn’t be more grateful for them.
Joel Goldberg 30:22
There’s no penalty for repeating an answer, especially if it’s involving people in teams and building culture, because that’s my world and you’re speaking my language. And so, you know, I think it’s one of the keys among many, obviously, to differentiating yourself. And so you really do have something unique at Givz. Maybe there are others out there, if they’re not there will be at some point, but but what, what, what you can do, obviously, you know, it’s the good old sports expression that I think applies to life control the controllable and then you can do that with your people, obviously. So I mean, it’s, it’s an important piece. I want to remind everybody, and we’ve got some bonus questions coming up on YouTube. So I hope you’ll join us over there. But to learn more about Andrews company Givz, it’s really simple GIVZ, it’ll be in the show notes as well. Givz.com. Givz.com. And you’ve been a great guest. I was really looking forward to this I appreciate you spending time I’ve got four more for you on the YouTube side. The link will be in the show notes. But thanks so much for joining me on Rounding the Bases.
Andrew Forman 41:02
Thank you so much for having me Joel. It’s been a pleasure and I look forward to staying in touch.