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Charities Innovation ICT

Recognition platform Good Thnx reaches $1 million milestone in distribution to charity partners, with sights set on doubling that figure to $2 million in 2021.

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Good Thnx cofounders Shannon Poulton and Ante Juricin

The announcement comes as the Adelaide-born startup, which counts Google, SA Power Networks and Australian Executor Trustees as customers, prepares to launch the Good Thnx Slack app, furthering its mission of changing how businesses and individuals give and receive recognition for doing good.

Founded in 2015 by Shannon Poulton and Ante Juricin, Good Thnx enables a more purpose-driven gifting system, whereby users can send a dollar amount to a recipient who then chooses to either allocate the money to any of Good Thnx’s 200 charity partners, or receive a gift from one of the platform’s partnering social-impact driven retailers, such as Hey Tiger or Sparkke.

The platform offers a revolutionary new model for how businesses recognise customers, staff and clients, removing the need for wasteful corporate gifts and providing a neutral recognition tool that puts the control in the recipients hands.

The idea for Good Thnx was sparked when Poulton and Juricin brought a pair of $1 lemonade iceblocks to an unrelated meeting on a scorching 40 degree summer day.

“In four years, we’ve grown from the very first ‘thnx’ of a $1 ice block to $1 million sent to charity, and we recently signed a new customer that will double this in 2021 to $2 million to charity. Our big hairy audacious goal is to capture 1 billion pieces of gratitude and send $1 billion to charity by 2030, creating a better workplace and a better world,” says Poulton. Good Thnx provides a more mindful alternative to traditional corporate gifts, such as branded plastic trinkets or wine—items either destined for landfill or that are not culturally appropriate. The platform passes 100% of each monetary gift on to its charity partners—a group that includes Beyond Blue, RSPCA, World Vision, NSW RFS, St Vincent de Paul, OzHarvest and AIME.

Poulton explains the milestone of $1 million distributed to its charity partners demonstrates the desire from both businesses and individuals to have an impact through giving back.

“People care deeply now about where they work and what their impact is. Companies that think more about how and where they give back will have a competitive advantage in how they retain both talent and customers. It’s pretty simple: when someone does good, you say thanks. Our mission is to enable a new model for showing appreciation that has a positive impact and doesn’t contribute to waste,” says Poulton.

The company is a member of Pledge 1%, a philanthropic organisation founded and spearheaded by companies including Atlassian and SalesForce that provides a channel for early-stage startups to leverage a portion of their future success to non-profits in their local communities.

Marking the $1 million milestone, the release of Good Thnx’s Slack app enables a company’s employees to choose from an allow-list of causes, with the thnx also appearing in a live gratitude feed via a consolidated #thnx channel in the team’s Slack workspace. Wollongong-based Easy Agile, a fellow Pledge 1% member company, today put the millionth dollar through the Good Thnx system. Nicholas Muldoon, Co-CEO of Easy Agile, said the company was using Good Thnx to simultaneously engage their workforce and reinforce company values, which include Give back.

“Using donation as a reward type, selected by an employee, is a powerful motivator,“ Muldoon said. Good Thnx is currently part of Startmate’s current MEL20 cohort. As part of the program, the company receives a $75,000 investment at its latest valuation, and joins a global network of founders, VCs and mentors from the world’s brightest tech-enabled startups and businesses. While Startmate’s program is industry agnostic—alumni includes companies in software, medtech, robotics, hardware and more—startups need to be tech-enabled and pre-Series A funding.

Juricin explains that Good Thnx has been able to remain in Adelaide while participating in Startmate’s highly-competitive accelerator program, which has an alumni network valued at over $1 billion, because the program has shifted to be fully-remote in line with health measures to curb COVID-19.

“It’s huge for us to be able to remain in our city and state while also being able to access all the benefits of mentorship and investment that comes with Startmate’s program. While we probably would’ve relocated to Melbourne for the three months to participate, it’s not always a given that founders can uproot their lives and move,” says Juricin.

“The South Australian government is doing a lot to keep people here to curb the ‘brain drain’ to other parts of the country. When tech startups and companies can stay local, it not only benefits the team but I believe it also holds the potential to help reshape and democratise the entire startup ecosystem,’ he continues. Good Thnx participated in Startmate’s virtual Demo Day on October 15.

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