Students Launch Giving Venture
CommuniGift, a UNC start-up, is a one stop shop for giving and gifting online. It is the first platform to connect family gift adoption and holiday shopping. The site, which launched earlier this month, allows users to sponsor disadvantaged families directly through CommuniGift:Adopt. CommuniGift:Shop allows users to request, organize, and purchase gifts for family and friends. Imagine Angel Tree meets Amazon wishlist, a marriage between giving and gifting.
“We wanted to create a website that not only caters to those intending to give, but also provides a way of giving while fulfilling everyday shopping needs,” co-founder Taylor Sharp said. “CommuniGift was the solution.”
CommuniGift:Adopt, through partnerships with respected non-profits, helps donors find families in need from all over the country. Donors can then see the wishlist of each family member and purchase gifts from the site. A secured corporate partnership with Interstate Packaging of Nashville, TN gives Communigift some runway. The corporation will give each employee CommuniGift credit, allowing individuals to choose how to donate company dollars.
“From tracking down a reputable non-profit to purchasing and delivering the gifts, the process of adopting a family can take weeks,” co-founder Thomas Doochin said. “Through purchasing gifts on our website, donors can directly support a family, facilitating the most transparent giving on the web.”
CommuniGift:Shop organizes group giving, providing a platform for family members and friends to share wishlist items. Members who have access to a person’s gift registry are able to directly purchase the items through CommuniGift.com. Once purchased, items are removed from the wishlist. Through a partnership with Amazon, a percentage of all products purchased will sponsor more families on CommuniGift:Adopt.
“From tracking down gift requests to coordinating gift purchases among family members, the offline holiday shopping is unorganized and inefficient,” co-founder Jake Bernstein said. “We make the gifting process simple and also allow you to give back while you holiday shop.”
CommuniGift was founded by UNC students Bernstein, Doochin, and Sharp. The sophomore trio began working on the idea earlier this year after realizing the need for a streamlined online giving site. The group is currently working in 1789, a venture space located on the heart of historic Franklin Street. They have received mentoring from some of the most knowledgeable entrepreneurs and innovators within the UNC community.
CommuniGift aims to further capitalize on the $500 Billion holiday shopping industry within the United States. “We hope to create the ultimate online giving platform through e-commerce by maximizing the giving and minimizing the hassle,” Sharp said. “We enhance holiday giving for shoppers and share the holiday spirit with struggling families.” Find your new homepage for the holidays at www.CommuniGift.com.