NY Startup Interview with Ben Oaks, Co-Founder, DailyGiver

DailyGiver provides a simple and easy way to make giving to charity a regular part of your life. By allowing donations as small as $0.01, and utilizing an algorithm that finds causes interesting to you, DailyGiver ensures that the hurdle to giving has never been lower. The following is an interview with Ben Oaks, Co-founder of DailyGiver.

Who is Your Target Market and What You are Attempting?

The old methods of giving are mismatched with today’s fast-paced, online atmosphere. DailyGiver is for anyone who wishes they gave back more, but thinks that it can be daunting to find the right charity to support. DailyGiver makes the process of supporting great causes easy and fun, while still giving you that great feeling afterwards of having done something good.

How did DailyGiver get started?

The idea for DailyGiver came from discussions about charitable giving with friends, who were interested in donating on a more regular basis but found it daunting to look for worthy causes. The few times they did give were during convenient moments such as the check-out counter at a store. We realized that the key here was allowing people to donate a small enough amount that it became an impulse “buy.”What is MuCash, and how does it relate to DailyGiver?

I am a co-founder of MuCash, a company which provides an online micropayment platform. When we started thinking about possible uses of MuCash, DailyGiver seemed like a way to use the platform for good. It also mades the process of handling transactions on DailyGiver easier and cheaper. We discounted MuCash’s rates to only cover costs, so that we wouldn’t be making money off people giving to charities.

What keeps you motivated?

I love to work on something that I feel makes a difference in the world, and I love implementing innovative ideas. Doing something you love is the first step to motivation. I also try to make sure to celebrate the small wins. They are what get you through until the big wins come.

What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

Really think about it before you take the plunge. It isn’t for everyone, so you need to make sure you want to actually fight tooth and nail to accomplish your dreams, for much longer than you might think. Then, once you are sure of your commitment, you need to take the time to think about what you are attempting, how you will define success and whether that is really attainable. Finally, make sure you give thought to who you will be working with and spend time finding the right co-founder(s). This is probably one of the most overlooked and underrated activities you need to do as an entrepreneur.

What do you do for fun when not working on your company?

Are you supposed to have a life when you are working on a startup? Just kidding – my wife would not be so happy with me if I didn’t spend some time away from it. I am on the board of NYC Mission Society (you can donate to them on DailyGiver). I feel that it is important to have a part of your life where you are giving back to the community and those less fortunate. I also love competition and therefore most games. Finally, I love engaging with people. Whether that is hanging out with my friends or family, hosting a party at my apartment, or going out and meeting new people, I guess you could say that I am quite extroverted.

What is your favorite drink?

I generally prefer beer, especially a good IPA. On occasions that require a cocktail a I lean towards a gin and tonic.

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