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25 Most Innovative Organizations: Benevity

Calgary startup’s software manages volunteering and corporate philanthropy

Nov 1, 2012

by Alberta Venture Staff

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Senior executive: Bryan de Lottinville
Date founded: 2008
Headquartered: Calgary

Bryan de Lottinville thinks the current model for corporate philanthropy is broken.

“Big banks spend 100 million bucks per year between philanthropy and sponsorship – and no one really cares,” he says. He should know, too, since he’s the founder and CEO of Benevity, a Calgary startup that has built a software program that connects to a company’s benefits program and allows employees to build their own personal charitable foundation. The result is what de Lottinville calls a workforce of “citizen philanthropists.”

Here’s how it works: A company installs Benevity’s system and creates an incentive program for its employees. In exchange for 10 hours of volunteer work or a small donation to one charity, for example, the company will provide $100 to the employee’s personal foundation. That money can in turn be donated to a charity of the employee’s choice.

Benevity, he says, is just a better way to do charity, both for the company and its employees. “Use your budget, your brand and your influence to create citizen philanthropists who are out there spending their money.”

“We can’t afford to rely on high net worth individuals and the government to solve the social issues that face the world,” Bryan de Lottinville says. “We need citizen philanthropists.”

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