Sustainably is a new Scottish start-up working in the rapidly evolving Financial Technology (FinTech) sector. The company has created a service which allows users to round-up the cost of purchases to the nearest pound and donate the difference to charities of their choice.
Users can choose the good causes they wish to donate to, suggesting and recommending new charities and causes if their preferred options are not yet available. Once the user’s bank card(s) and account(s) are connected to the Sustainably service, every time they make a purchase, they pledge to give the round-up, which is treated as a separate transaction. Once the value of the user’s round-ups reaches £5, the cash is distributed to the causes the user has chosen.
Sustainably takes a 5% fee from the Gift Aid income tax relief, which increases the value of charitable donations by UK tax payers by 25%. So anyone donating £1 with gift aid would actually give the charity £1.25. Sustainably would take a fee of £0.06 from that donation. For non Gift Aid users, the company would take a £0.05 fee from a £1 round-up.
According to Sustainably, the company’s mission is: “to inspire sustainable living and giving. We wanted to shape a world we wanted to live in by creating a platform for inspiring change. And through building a community of change-makers, we believe that together we can uncover, share, and scale up exciting ideas for a future that will make lives better for today and for a better world tomorrow. We want to celebrate all of you who are doing amazing things, no matter how small or big, to help society and the environment thrive.”
Data Protection & Control
The company also states that user’s personal information will not be shared with charities, so users cannot be contacted by the causes they donate to, eliminating one concern recently highlighted by the media, as a reason many people hesitate to give to charities.
The company is also focused on giving users complete control over donations and round-ups. Users can put a cap on monthly donations, pause their giving at any point, or set up a monthly payment to chosen causes. Sustainably is also promising new services which will allow employers or retailers to match donations to charities and allow users to make one-off donations to chosen causes.