Wale Mafolasire founded Givelify to make it easier for people to donate to charitable organizations and places of worship. The app boasts over 70,000 organizations, which have raised over $3 billion. (Courtesy Photo)
By Megan Sayles, AFRO Business Writer
Report for America Corps Member
In 2013, Wale Mafolasire launched Givelify, a Black-owned online giving platform and mobile app, with the simple goal of making it easier for people to give. Now, his platform has acquired a spot on the Inc. 5000 2021 list of the fastest growing private companies after a 3-year revenue growth of 455%.
“Make no mistake, Givelify would not be on that list without the generosity of the people who use our products and without the organizations who are trying to put more good into the world,” said Mafolasire, founder and CEO of Givelify. “Givelify just happens to be a byproduct of the intensity and generosity that’s happening on our platform.”
In the months leading up to the launch of Givelify, Mafolasire found himself facing a recurring problem. While attending church and charity events he had the desire to donate, but he found himself with no checkbook and an empty wallet. He would return home with the intention of going online to give but would forget.
“I realized there’s got to be a better way for people like me who if we don’t act in the moment of inspiration, we never act at all,” said Mafolasire. While building the app, he wanted to optimize the giving experience so he condensed it into a three-tap process for users. The three taps mimic the steps you take when physically making a donation to an organization.
Givelify now boasts almost 70,000 places of worship and nonprofits and has helped them to raise over $3 billion. It’s also the most downloaded mobile giving app.
Before reaching success with the platform, Mafolasire faced a major challenge: finding capital. The entrepreneur pitched his app to several sets of investors but was continuously denied funding, so he was forced to bootstrap his company.
“I downgraded my apartment, sold my car, maxed all of my credit cards, and when that was not even enough, I started going to my friends and asking them for their credit cards,” said Mafolasire.
Fortunately, his sacrifices paid off. After its first year on the app store, Givelify processed its first $5 million in donations. The year after that number grew to $25 million and then to $75 million. Now, the app processes about $1 billion in donations each year.
Mafolasire said Givelify has been able to outperform its competitors because his staff approach their work with passion and intention. From its inception, the platform has prioritized diversity, and Mafolasire said welcoming diverse minds to the table has allowed the company to uncover innovation in unexpected places.
“We had a hunch that if we just remove some of the barriers to giving that we personally experience then perhaps people will respond with higher levels of generosity,” said Mafolasire. “That hunch has been proven true.”
Help us Continue to tell OUR Story and join the AFRO family as a member – subscribers are now members! Join here!