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At Hope Factory, every one of our solutions comes from a desire to make the world a better place with every transaction. And, when those transactions lead to micro-donations that are easy, seamless, and impactful, it’s even better…which is why Hope Factory has chosen to leverage the power of transaction rounding.

While you may be familiar with the idea of transaction rounding, there’s a lot more to it than you might think. But don’t worry — we’ll catch you up to speed on everything from the history of rounding to why we think it’s the future of fundraising.

So, let’s get started by going back in time.

A Brief History of Rounding

Like many influential concepts, topics, and ideas, transaction rounding doesn’t offer a clear-cut origin story that’s neatly laid out in a history textbook. Instead, the history of transaction rounding is more of a story passed along by business circles and entrepreneurs. 

As lore has it, the initial patent for transaction rounding was created by a Stanford professor but eventually donated to the American Cancer Society. The American Cancer Society hung on to the patent for a while with no real plans to launch it into action… until Dave Beaton, the founder of ChangeIt, reached out. 

With the transaction rounding patent on his mind, Dave started exploring all of the ways data platforms and banking technology can be linked and leveraged for ‘good’. From there, he created a solution in Canada that used data platforms that were available at the time to power rounding programs for several banks and credit unions.

The concept went through many iterations but eventually, Dave’s interest landed on building a new technology to solve the issues that existed with legacy data platforms. Access to transaction data directly from Visa and Mastercard through card-linking led to the creation of a new company, Olive. Card-linked rounding was the basis for Olive, not only for its ability to deliver a development platform with a top-notch consumer experience, but also for being safe, secure, easy, and real-time.

The same craving for a safe but engaging customer experience is how Hope Factory was born. We wanted a platform that brought to life the ability to harness transaction rounding through card-linking, so any organization could better connect with consumers and donors… and that’s exactly what we created. 

And the rest is – as they say – history. 

Hope Factory’s Approach to Rounding

Our approach to rounding is in the form of a solution called Round UP. Round UP leverages card-linking through the Visa and Mastercard networks, creating an accessible, turn-key, and affordable transaction rounding program that hasn’t existed until now. 

The Hope Factory platform records the rounded amount from every transaction made with the consumer’s enrolled card and at the end of each month, the accumulated “change” is withdrawn from the enrolled card and deposited to the charity determined by the platform. Consumers can view their Round UP balance in their dashboard to see, in real-time, the impact they’re making.

These “digital spare change” funds can also be “Boosted” by participating Corporate Partners. That means Corporate Partners increase the consumer’s donation with their own funds, so the consumer’s transaction triggers a bigger donation than the $1 they originally intended.

Transaction rounding delivers data and ROI for Corporate Partners, so proof and success rates are available at any given time. When Corporate Partners can see the value they’re getting from their involvement with a cause, they’re more inclined to continue (or increase) their participation and support.

“Hope Factory brings together causes, donors, and corporate partners to not only increase revenue for causes, but also to amplify ROI for corporate partners by engaging with donors on every purchase and monitoring campaigns in real-time,” says Dave.

Why Round UP?

Our Round UP solution has a lot of layers… and that’s for good reason. We created Round UP as a response to our own experiences with platforms and donation tools that just weren’t cutting it for what we wanted. 

Whether the technology just wasn’t there yet or the methods weren’t as secure as we liked, we knew we could make something that satisfied everything consumers wanted from a transaction rounding tool. 

Our co-founder Michael Zivot sees our Round UP solution as the answer to a chain reaction of broken mass donor acquisition, difficult donation processes, and a need for more “human” opportunities to give back. 

“We felt that the mass donor acquisition and retention model for most charities was broken,” Michael says. “We felt that with the right rounding solution — our Round UP solution — we could help more people by easily and affordably putting our platform in the hands of ‘the people who help people.’ I never felt solid ground under me like I do now with card-linking and the Hope Factory platform. It was that feeling of ‘man, this could be super cool’ ….so we made it happen”

Why do we need Round UP now?

Round UP is the evergreen solution we’ve been missing, but craving because it explicitly satisfies what the fundraising landscape needs right now. 

Now more than ever, charitable organizations are struggling with access to unrestricted funding, largely due to the unexpected circumstances of the past few years and a growing need for societal change and support. 

Alongside that need for funds, Round UP offers a fulfilling, meaningful experience for consumers through micro-donating, presenting a sustainable solution for both donors and charitable organizations alike. Everybody wins with micro-donations, especially when it comes to reliability. 

“In its truest essence, Round UP means that every time you buy something for yourself you do something for someone else. We think that is super-powerful and super-important”, Michael says.

From a consumer point of view, Round UP offers a solution that you can feel peace of mind about, leaning on without worry. In a world that is increasingly concerned about digital protection and data safety, offering solutions that keep users anonymous and don’t store sensitive user data is more important than ever. 

While we’re incredibly excited about our Round UP solution, we know it’s just the beginning. Communities are just getting familiar with Round UP, reveling in how good it feels to give back in a way that’s easy, safe, and mutually beneficial. 

So, why is now the time for Round UP?

Because now is the time when the world needs more support and more hope. And because now, the Hope Factory platform is ready to provide that.

Want to learn more about our Round UP solution? Fill out the form below and our team will be in touch.