Though good-intentioned, our acts of charity are sometimes inefficient – we give our local homeless shelter some clothes, for example, when they’re desperately in need of those forgotten wooden chairs in our basement.
Setting out to slash those inefficiencies is Zealous Good, a Chicago startup that connects charities to people with unwanted items. Just tell them what’s in your basement, and they’ll find local Chicago charities in need of it – from furniture to old technology to paint and kitchen appliances.
Founder Brittany Martin Graunke first glimpsed the nonprofit world while consulting pro bono for an education nonprofit in Chicago, helping it bring in more donations. This inspired her to apply for a job at the United Way, where she witnessed the problems that eventually led to Zealous Good.
The “zealous” represents both herself and her customers:
“I’ve always wanted to live my life with zeal,” says Martin Graunke, who founded the startup this year. “To me, being zealous is to be devoted, eager, enthusiastic. Our donors and non-profits are not just doing good. They are Zealous Good. They are devoted to making the world a better place and passionate about making a difference.”
Speaking of which, donors can see exactly how their items are being used, and they’ve already contributed $180,000 in donated items to 40 charities.
Zealous Good is only available for Chicago charities, but will soon be open to the suburbs. Stop by our Tech Cocktail Chicago mixer to learn more.