The platform is combining HR, Fintech, and philanthropy to spearhead a new “Philanthropy-as-a-Service” sector
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#csr—Groundswell, the Philanthropy-as-a-Service platform that’s empowering employees with their own personal donor-advised funds (DAFs), today announced that they have raised a total of $15M in seed investment funding. The round was led by GV (formerly Google Ventures), with participation from Human Ventures, Moonshots Capital, Felicis Ventures, and Core Innovation Capital.
Groundswell is revolutionizing how companies think about employee compensation by decentralizing corporate philanthropy and using it to fund personal donor-advised funds for each employee. Like the 401k did for retirement, Groundswell puts employees in the driver’s seat of corporate philanthropy and empowers them to create worldwide impact. Employee users are also provided with tools historically reserved for the ultra-rich, including tax-free investment opportunities, customized giving opportunities, frictionless donation options, and centralized impact reporting. The platform aims to become a ubiquitous component of employee benefits packages and charitable giving.
As the war for talent heats up, Groundswell will help companies authentically unlock corporate purpose alongside profit by channeling corporate social responsibility efforts through employees. By directly gifting or matching contributions into employee DAFs, companies are empowering their workforce to find the solutions they want to see to the problems they feel are most pressing – a powerful acknowledgement of the diversity of employees’ backgrounds. Additionally, as the shift to remote work accelerates, Groundswell allows workers to be the change in their community – regardless of where that community is. Considering that more Americans give to charity each year than contribute to a 401(k), Groundswell’s approach will provide a financial boost to a significant portion of the workforce.
“We want to create a new category of service that combines the best aspects of HR tech, fintech, and philanthropy,” says Jake Wood, Co-Founder & CEO, who previously led the highly regarded nonprofit Team Rubicon. “Our Philanthropy-as-a-Service approach is democratizing philanthropy for the masses, by enabling them to give better, smarter, easier, and more intentionally. We’re excited to have found investors who understand this vision, and want to work alongside us as we make it a reality.”
Groundswell’s platform was formally announced in September 2021 following six months of behind the scenes development in partnership with Human Ventures. Numerous corporations are lined up to launch Groundswell in Q1 of 2022. Groundswell will use the financing to add additional engineers and product staff while laying the groundwork for an aggressive go-to-market strategy.
“Groundswell emerges at a time when a rising generation of workers want their employers both to care about social responsibility and enable action on causes that matter to them,” said M.G. Siegler, General Partner at GV. “CEO Jake Wood is a top-class entrepreneur with a strong background in execution and logistics needed to make the Groundswell vision a reality. We’re thrilled to partner with Jake and the entire team as they reimagine philanthropic giving.”
For more information about Groundswell, please visit https://www.groundswell.io/.
Groundswell democratizes philanthropic giving. It makes charity an employee benefit that unlocks a company’s purpose by decentralizing corporate philanthropy, giving employees the power of a personal foundation in the palm of their hand. The company’s vision is to build a platform that gets every solution funded and every problem solved.