In this video, Livingtree CEO Gary Hensley talks about the beginning of Livingtree Give and why he originally started the company.
“I wanted to take an opportunity to talk a little bit about something that really was the beginning of Livingtree Give. The product has evolved a ton over time, and it’s very toward compliance, and it really does help districts manage the process of crowdfunding. But that’s not why I started the company.
I started the company because I’m a dad and I have two kids, and there was a period of my life where I was a single Dad. And when that was happening, there were lots of times where schools would ask me to do something as a Dad that I just wasn’t able to do – like it just wasn’t going to happen. And some of those things related to fundraising, so there would be a Chipotle Night, or there would be a Back to School Night, or there would be some night or afternoon, and they would ask me to attend that in person and I just couldn’t do it. And a lot of times, to the disappointment of my kids, I’d have to tell them ‘no, Dad can’t make it to that fundraiser as much as I know you want to go and I know all your friends are going to be there, I literally can’t do it’ because I’m thinking about how I’m going to pay rent next month and how I’m going to by groceries. Anything that took me away from that (my kids’ school activities) was for me undoable, and that was part of the story in all of this which was if you invite parents – and there’s a lot of parents out there not just single parents, but just parents in general where you are busy and trying to survive… asking parents to go to an event on 2oclock on a Tuesday, it just isn’t going to happen for a majority of parents.
And so, if there was an opportunity to do something online in all of those events that I was invited to, and if there was an opportunity as a Dad to say ‘I was able to participate, and guess what I didn’t have to go but I gave 10 bucks and that was a part of the participation,’ that would have meant the world to me at that time because that was probably the only way that I was going to be able to participate for a good three years of my life.
That was a part of the genesis of the company, how do we help parents engage with things at school in a way that’s easy, and that kind of fits every parent including parents that are super busy, and that’s everybody. So, I just want to share that with you because that’s on my heart. I know there are a lot of parents out there in that situation, and that’s kind of our mission as a whole is to bring those types of opportunities to every parent regardless of whether you can make it physically or not. So that’s it!”