Some might say that Givolio, an online charitable giving organization founded in Rock Hill, is just one more in a long list of groups already competing for donations. We say it appears to be another worthy option for people who want to do the most good they can with their charitable dollars.
Givolio, as reported in Sunday’s Herald, was founded by Jason Broadwater, president of the Rock Hill-based company RevenFlo. Givolio now hopes to gain a foothold as an option for charitable giving in the workplace.
Williams & Fudge, a Rock Hill financial institution focusing on student loan connections, has adopted Givolio as a way its employees can support charities with the option of using payroll deductions for contributions. Company officials say Givolio offers considerable flexibility and choice in how people spread their donations around.
People who sign up for a Givolio account can choose from a list of more than 1 million nonprofit organizations to support and can give money on a one-time basis or in recurring donations. Broadwater says Givolio charges only 3 percent for workplace giving, and 4.9 percent plus 30 cents for each individual donation.
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Soliciting workplaces for charitable giving might be considered poaching from United Way, which, for decades, has been a leader in helping employees nationwide to organize their charitable donations. United Way remains a hugely respected organization with local branches that help ensure the bulk of donations go to agencies in the community that have been carefully vetted by United Way officials.
Could these two organizations be seen as competitors? Perhaps, but both are in the business of helping the needy, and both serve some of the same, overlapping agencies.
Some tout Givolio for allowing donors to personally select which agencies receive money from them. But United Way also allows donors to target donations to specific agencies if donors choose.
Ideally, both organizations will thrive and agencies that do vital work for those most in need will be the beneficiaries. That, after all, is the goal.
Officials from both Givolio and United Way stress the importance of being careful about donating money to those who solicit our charitable dollars. While a cause might appear worthy, donors need to research how donations are spent, including what percentage actually ends up going to the charity vs. how much is spent on overhead and administrative salaries.
That’s good advice. But it is evident, from long experience, that organizations designed to help workers channel their donations to worthy agencies can do immense good in the communities they serve.
Givolio, we hope, will build a legacy like that in coming years. It is important to lend a helping hand to those in need, and this organization is one more way to do that.