The District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) announced on Monday that it will invest $485,000 in 1776-based social giving startup GoodWorld.
The investment comes via the District’s Innovation Finance Program, through which the government co-invests with private partners. In this case those private partners include 1776 Seed Investors LP, Fenway Summer Ventures and Nyca Partners.
Founded in 2014, GoodWorld facilitates charity donations through social media using the hashtag #donate. Social media users can donate to any of GoodWorld’s partner charities (and there are a bunch) by Tweeting or commenting #donate with a dollar amount. A one-time sign up is required to link a credit card, but from there you’re off to the giving races.
A main tenet of GoodWorld’s philosophy is that visible, viral social media–based giving has the capacity to change how we think about charity. It has the capacity to make giving more a part of your day-to-day lifestyle than a once-a-year private ritual.
The D.C. government, apparently, is excited about this prospect.
“My administration is committed to supporting mission-oriented, socially-conscious businesses like GoodWorld that have a tremendous positive impact both in the District and globally,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a statement.
“Support from the District of Columbia shows how dedicated our city is to innovation and technology’s potential to empower people and generate incredible impact,” Dale Nirvani Pfeifer, founder and CEO of GoodWorld, added. GoodWorld previously raised $1.65 million in seed funding in July 2015.
The District Innovation Finance Program, a project of the DISB, is funded through a $1.5 billion U.S. Treasury initiative created by the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010. The District’s share of the national funding pool, which is available to state governments, is $13.2 million.
According to DISB commissioner Stephen C. Taylor (in a statement about the GoodWorld investment) the goal of the program is to help “break down the barriers to capital” for local small businesses. The program’s first investment was made in July 2015 in Rhode Island Avenue–based Good Food Markets.