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PocketChange is looking to become a game changer for brands in the world of purpose-driven entrepreneurship

PocketChange phoneIt only took a few seconds back in 2017 for Christian Dooley to get hooked when he heard a classmate at the University of Denver share an idea for a company.

“We were in a writing and activism class and Reyn (pronounced rain) Aubrey was talking about an idea to make it easy for people to donate to causes,” Dooley said. “Right after I heard him, I was saying to myself, ‘We’re all constantly flooded with news that makes it look like the world is ending, but how can we really help? What can I do?’ And Reyn was right there, giving a great answer — it was all about the genuine moment of inspiration.”

A few days later Dooley began helping Aubrey start PocketChange, which places a button on the same page of an online article or social media post that readers could click to donate from $0.25 to $2 to a charity related to the content.

Within weeks, and as news of the new venture spread on campus, PocketChange became a magnet for other DU students who warmed to the idea just like Dooley did. More than 30 of them began volunteering or interning to help with marketing, web design, partnerships, programming — anything that needed to be done.

Christian Dooley

Christian Dooley

“I think that having so many students help shows that our generation is purpose driven,” said Dooley, who graduated in 2020 with a degree in management and who is now PocketChange’s head of operations. “And being purpose driven is critical to PocketChange. It’s why we’re building the company in the first place.”

For much of its first four years (it’s celebrating its fourth anniversary this month), PocketChange added and fine-tuned its technology, which included a mobile app, a social networking platform and other software advances, plus it vetted over 1 million charities so that donors would feel comfortable knowing their money was well spent.

To date, PocketChange has directed 19,000-plus donations worth more than $20,000 to 100-plus charities, helping causes from mental health, climate change, racial justice and accountability in politics to homelessness and many more.

Now the company is looking to help brands with their corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts and has created an embeddable button specifically for brands’ use on their websites and other online communications.

PocketChange will also offer brand donation matching, employee giving initiatives and sponsored content to show how a brand is taking action with targeted audiences who care about the same causes. 

Dooley said it’s the next logical move for PocketChange after it increased its base of donors and nonprofits. He added that it’s also an important move because he believes more consumers are taking note of brands’ CSR.

“Not only does it help people and our planet when brands are more socially aligned, but it also helps their profits, because our generation is more loyal to brands they believe are doing good,” he said. “That’s why we’re connecting brands’ CSR missions with our platform. We are helping brands not only tell people about how they’re doing good, but also showing people who care. This speaks to how we plan to continue developing new features built around facilitating innate goodness.”  

Brands interested in more information about PocketChange can reach Dooley at christian@pocketchange.social or 847.609.0964.

Please visit DU’s COVID-19 website and subscribe to @uofdenver Twitter for updates regarding COVID-19.

Please visit DU’s COVID-19 website and subscribe to @uofdenver Twitter for updates regarding COVID-19.