Chive Charities founders, Stephen and Alice, have become pretty accustomed to starting anew. From opening up a soap business in his teens, to a Skyrr yoghurt business in her twenties, they’ve learnt a thing or two about starting, failing and starting again.
You could say they are just born with that entrepreneurial spirit - and perhaps that’s right. But what’s really clear is that their strong sense of purpose underpins everything they do. They’re on a mission to change the way charities are represented in Aotearoa and, in turn, allow givers to back the charities they really care about.
With a good dose of hustle and the likes of Startup Dunedin and Soda Inc in their corner, Chive Charities has gained momentum quickly. They’ve got more than 140 charities represented on their platform already, and even more Kiwi givers starting to donate.
Many of the charities on the Chive platform won’t be familiar to the public. A lot of them you’ve probably never heard of. But that’s a key part of Stephen and Alice’s mission – to provide a platform that showcases all charities and makes it easy to find them.
Alice points out that in her hometown of Dunedin there are a number of local charities that would usually fly under the radar. Dunedin Curtain Bank, for example, up-cycles unwanted and unused curtains, lines them, and distributes them to those in need in the community. Over seven years the charity has donated more than 3000 curtains. It’s a small charity with a huge impact, and that’s exactly the kind of organisation that Chive wants to represent.
Another local Otago charity, close to the hearts of many bird lovers, is the Yellow Eyed Penguin Trust. With a focus on predator control and habitat conservation, as well as research and education, this charity is key to maintaining the population of the world’s rarest penguin.
The importance of the work that these organisations do is undeniable. The Chive platform now gives them the opportunity to be showcased alongside more widely recognised charities. The platform also enables givers to find the charities more easily, by enabling searches to be filtered by location or charity type, such as Poverty, Disaster Relief or Search & Rescue.
With the platform now humming along nicely, the goal is to get the word out about Chive. Stephen and Alice want to show more New Zealander’s just how easy it is to find and donate to the causes they care about the most.
Just like with any business, picking up momentum at the start can be difficult. But if there’s anything these founders know, it’s how to get started and how to keep going. With a lot of hard work, a bit of patience, and some number 8 wire thinking, they’re confident that Chive can change the way New Zealander’s find and donate to charities.