Maris Aquino had been working in the tech industry for more than 10 years when she decided to develop an app with the hope of helping smaller and lesser-known nonprofit organizations receive more exposure and additional donations.
Aquino saw a gap and seized on the opportunity to merge technology with philanthropy. “There’s a tech product for almost everything these days but there wasn’t an app for making donations convenient. I thought I should work on it as it can help encourage more people to donate and raise awareness of the small nonprofit organizations that are less popular but do great work.”
Her philosophy—that “with a smartphone, anyone can be a philanthropist”—was the launchpad for a new app, a “social giving platform that allows smartphone users to donate to various causes they care about,” Aquino explains. Through the Change4Change app, donations to Philippine nonprofit organizations can be made simply, securely, and swiftly. You simply choose from a list and select an amount (either a one-time contribution or a recurring amount). The transactions are handled securely, and all listed organizations are vetted and verified. Best of all, your donation goes directly to your charity’s bank account.
Aquino, the founder and president of Change4Change, believes the app helps make giving more convenient, thereby encouraging people to be more charitable more often by placing the opportunity to help literally at their fingertips. “We utilize technology to connect donors and volunteers to their causes,” she continues. “We also aim to be the leading place for discovering varied legal local nonprofit organizations that do wonderful projects for the community. We want to be a database of nonprofit organizations where people can discover how they can impact greatly, help creatively, and change lives.”
She admits her greatest challenge to date is one any smartphone user can identify with. Aquino says, “Our iOS app was working fine up until the latest iOS update. So we need to update it again for it to not crash. It is one of the challenges since we run this initiative using our personal money. Outside funding would help us immensely in covering the initiative expenses and volunteers are greatly appreciated to help with the initiative efforts.”
For more information on how you can support Change4Change, log on to facebook.com/change4changeph.
This story was originally published in the December 2017-January 2018 issue of Town&Country.