| Follow Us:

Innovation & Job News

Wamboo wants to help do-gooders do better

Related Tags

Cincinnati-based Wamboo wants to help do-gooders do better by linking them through social media to those in need.

The idea for the new company, which emerged from beta testing on June 3, stemmed from an accident several years ago that killed two Cincinnati firefighters, says founder and CEO Dori Gehling. After the accident, a bank set up a fund to help their families.

"The news media said stop by the bank and make a donation," Gehling explains. "But I don't bank in person, and I don't bank at (that) bank. And when I talked with a banking person at another bank, they said most of those things never get funded. I thought, that's really too bad, because there has to be an easier way to do it and maybe a more fun way."

Wamboo helps match individuals and families in need with donors. Participation is free, but there are parameters for who is deemed worthy of aid, Gehling says.

"In order to be on the site, they have to be sponsored by a nonprofit in good standing, or a police department or fire department," she says.

So far, 700 individuals -- who are encouraged to share the causes they feel most passionate about using social media tools -- have signed up as members. The going has been slower for sponsoring organizations, or "Champions," who post the critical needs of individuals or families with whom they are familiar.

"That group seems to be a little bit more behind in using social media and embracing ideas of working differently," Gehling says.

As an incentive for both individual donors and companies who want to help those in need, Wamboo has created the Wamboost.

Wamboost allows businesses to incent giving by creating discount coupons tied to causes listed on the site. Wamboo charges busineses $1 a coupon, which is how Gehling is funding the startup.

But Gehling says she's not out to strike it rich.

"I would eventually like to break even and help people," she says.

Source: Dori Gehling, Wamboo
Writer: Gene Monteith
Share this page