Stephen Garten is the founder and CEO of Charity Charge. He’s been a featured speaker for United Way, South by Southwest and Dreamforce. In 2015, IBM selected him as one of the top 5 social entrepreneurs in the world and featured him in their web based reality show A New Way to Startup.
Stephen created Charity Charge to provide people with an easy way to make a difference and support the nonprofits and causes dear to their heart simply through their everyday credit card purchases. He was inspired to start the company when he learned that 31% of consumers – over 60 million people – never redeem their credit card rewards. This totals $16 billion a year in unused reward points!
“A few years ago, I succumbed to the relentless marketing bombardment and signed up for a credit card with a rewards program. Everyone else seemed to have one. Or four. After a while I noticed quite a few rewards points piling up so I went online to see what treasures I could receive. Maybe a new Keurig, a pair of night vision binoculars or a suitcase. After all, I earned those points and that entitled me to a reward. Thanks to my parents I grew up comfortable but never felt entitled to anything. So, while looking for something, anything to redeem my earned points for, I heard my dad’s voice telling me to “do the right thing son”. I knew I needed to take those reward points I thought I deserved and put them to work for someone deserving. Someone in need. That’s when I realized his message to me was about to become my message to the world. “Do the right thing.” Charity Charge was born not only as my way to give back but to make it incredibly easy for others to do the same each and every time they used their credit card.”
In 2008, Stephen earned an economics degree from Washington University in St. Louis. Following his graduation, he visited Austin in 2009 and loved the city so much that he returned for good several months later. Stephen worked for the Austin Technology Incubator at The University of Texas at Austin before venturing out to cultivate his own company.
About Charity Charge
Charity Charge is Public Benefit Corporation that offers the Charity Charge World MasterCard a credit card that enables cardholders to earn 1% cash back to any nonprofit in the form of an automatic, tax-deductible donation.
LISTEN TO PODCAST FEATURES
Whole Whale Podcast
066: How Charity Charge is turning credit points into purpose
Cause Talk Radio
Ep228: Donate Your Cash Back Rewards to Good Causes with ‘Charity Charge’
Unleashing $16 Billion for Social Good, with Stephen Garten, Charity Charge