Atilio Cerban donated his time, finances, and services to a variety of charities over the years, but he never felt fulfilled. He didn’t feel like he was making enough of an impact.
“Maybe there’s lots of people like me who don’t feel like they’re helping or making a difference,” thought Cerban, who became motivated “to explore a way where a lot of people with little effort could make a big change in the world.”
The thought lingered as he went into software design, working on both the user experience and user interface side of developing apps. Cerban worked in Argentina, where he’s from, and went abroad to Spain and Germany before moving to New York and starting his own company, Yourimpact, a for-profit social good crowdfunding platform.
“If one million people with $5 organize around the same cause, it can make a huge difference,” says the WeWork Chelsea member. “Sure, we have GoFundMe and other crowdfunding platforms, but they’re not able to show they made a major impact. See how many campaigns there are and how many campaigns get 100 percent of their goals met. That percentage is low.”
With Yourimpact, Cerban curates causes around the globe and finds influencers who will help spread awareness. “We have a team to make sure these campaigns reach their goals,” Cerban says. “One of the biggest things we do is show how you can make an impact fast.”
The first campaign launched last month and supports an animal shelter in Córdoba, Argentina called Refugio Revivir, which provides homes and food for more than 900 dogs. The fundraising goal is raising $1,800 to buy two containers to keep dog food dry. The influencer is Draku Gomez, a well-known journalist in Córdoba.
The second campaign supports a nonprofit in Colombia called Biblioburro, a traveling library that distributes books to children in impoverished neighborhoods on the backs of two donkeys.
The draw? If you share a campaign on social media and others donate through your link, you earn points that go towards your social ranking on the app.
Each campaign includes a video and description about why the cause matters. After the 30-day campaign ends, contributors can watch a video showing the impact they had on the project and how their money was used.
The team at Yourimpact has doubled since it launched at the beginning of this year. Cerban hired two new additions to his team: Roman Sarria, a full-stack developer from Argentina, and Sandra Fisler, a human relations manager from Ecuador.
So far, the app comes in both English and Spanish, and you can download it in the Play Store or App Store. Donating is a cinch: just click “Impact Now” to donate $5, no more or no less, to each cause.
“That means a millionaire and I can make the same impact,” says Cerban. “What has more influence is the power of my sharing. Let’s say I have 5,000 followers on Instagram or 4,000 friends on Facebook, but the person next to me, who has more money than me, doesn’t have that reach on social media. I may be able to make a bigger impact because I’m creating more visibility.”
Photos: Lauren Kallen