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Causeway: A Fresh Approach for Young Donors, Combining Stock Fund and Donor-Advised Fund

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Causeway: A New Approach to Engage Young Donors

A Platform for Cause-Based Giving

Charity Navigator, a trusted resource for guiding charitable giving, has recently acquired Causeway, an innovative start-up focused on promoting cause-based giving rather than individual organizations. Causeway offers an online platform that allows charitably-minded individuals, particularly younger Americans, to make monthly recurring gifts to curated bundles of highly effective nonprofits. This approach mimics the structure of mutual or stock exchange funds, providing simplicity and convenience for donors.

Addressing Donor Challenges

Causeway was created by tech entrepreneurs Ben Horwitz and Reed Rosenbluth, who observed their affluent friends struggling with idle donor-advised funds and a lack of guidance on effective giving. Causeway aims to simplify and spur giving by offering an online experience that replicates managing finances or stocks. It also provides an opportunity for donors to build online communities around shared causes, fostering engagement and connection.

Expanding Cause Funds

Causeway currently operates five cause funds, focusing on areas such as animal welfare, climate change, global health, poverty alleviation, and racial equity. These funds direct donations to a selection of nonprofits that have been carefully vetted by philanthropy experts, including renowned evaluators like GiveWell. The goal is to maximize the impact of charitable dollars and ensure transparency and cost-effectiveness.

Measuring Nonprofit Performance

One of the challenges in cause-based giving is evaluating nonprofit performance. Metrics defining impact can vary, and many organizations lack the resources or inclination to rigorously evaluate their work. However, Causeway's partnerships with evaluators like GiveWell, Animal Charity Evaluators, the Center for High Impact Philanthropy, and Giving Green help in identifying highly effective charities. While the evaluation process may have limitations, it aims to provide donors with confidence in their giving choices.

Engaging Donors and Charities

As Causeway expands, it plans to send monthly impact reports to donors, allowing organizations to share success stories and demonstrate the outcomes achieved through earlier donations. This storytelling component helps donors connect with the impact of their contributions and may inspire further giving. However, the platform's three-click giving approach raises concerns about potential disconnection between donors and individual nonprofits. In conclusion, Causeway's innovative approach to cause-based giving, combined with partnerships with reputable evaluators, aims to engage younger donors and simplify the giving process. By curating bundles of highly effective nonprofits and providing a user-friendly online experience, Causeway seeks to make a meaningful impact in philanthropy and inspire a new generation of charitable giving.

Implications of Causeway's Approach on New Businesses

Causeway's innovative approach to engaging young donors could serve as a game-changer for new businesses, particularly those within the non-profit sector. By focusing on cause-based giving, Causeway has effectively tapped into the mindset of younger generations who are more inclined towards supporting causes rather than specific organizations. This could potentially disrupt traditional fundraising strategies and necessitate a shift in focus for new non-profits. Furthermore, Causeway's user-friendly online platform, which mirrors the simplicity of managing finances or stocks, could set a new standard for digital user experience. New businesses, regardless of their sector, may need to reevaluate their digital strategies to ensure they are providing a similarly seamless and convenient experience for their customers or donors. Moreover, Causeway's commitment to transparency and rigorous evaluation of non-profits could raise the bar for performance metrics across the sector. New businesses may need to invest more heavily in demonstrating their impact and cost-effectiveness to attract and retain support. Lastly, Causeway's model of fostering online communities around shared causes could influence how new businesses approach community building and customer engagement. In conclusion, Causeway's approach could have far-reaching implications for new businesses, driving them to adapt and innovate in order to thrive in this evolving landscape.
Story First Published at: https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/causeway-part-stock-fund-part-donor-advised-fund-a-new-bid-for-young-donors
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