Small Roundups — Big Impact
In this interview Sean Donnelly tells us about his daily work, the way his app works, and what the future plans of Roundups look like.
Tiffany studied Language and Economics, and now likes to write about business topics and conduct interviews with interesting people. She spends her free time looking after her plants and with her dog.
Sean Donnelly is the co-founder of Roundups, an app that makes it possible to donate to charities, schools, and other good causes by rounding up all of your card payments to a whole number. Today he’s with us and tells us about his daily work, the way the app works, and what the future plans of Roundups, which was just launched in November 2020, look like.
Sean, thanks for taking the time for this interview today! It’s a pleasure having you as a part of our #mailbutlerstories. Let’s talk about you, your company–or, more precisely, your app–and your work. To start with, I’ll ask you to fill in the following blanks:
The first thing I do in the morning when starting work is…
…open my ‘To Do’ list before opening anything that sends notifications!
The person I would like to trade jobs with for one day is…
I love when people say that my company is…
I should put my phone away more often and instead spend time on…
What I like most about London, the city I live in, is…
…the sense of possibility.
Thanks for answering those, Sean! Now, let’s dive into your work life. You’re the co-founder of Roundups, a fundraising service. Please tell us – what is Roundups all about and how long has it been around?
Roundups is an app that links with your card to round up your payments and donate pennies to causes that you care about as you spend. It also reports back on your social impact in a really personalised way so you can better understand and feel good about your donations. We have been working on Roundups for over a year but launched in November 2020.
For our interested readers, how exactly does it work? What do people need to do in order to spend money (and consequently donate) through Roundups?
When you sign up (www.roundups.org) you choose a charity and safely link your bank or credit card. After that Roundups just works in the background. You can set a weekly limit on your donations and pause donations at any time, so you’re always in control.
That’s perfect! I saw that you’re based in London. Can the Roundups app only be used for card payment with a British card and/or paying in pounds?
Currently, yes – UK only. However, we do have the capability to “turn on” other countries and will be exploring this further in Q3 of 2021. If anyone reading would like to see it in their country, please let us know!
What kind of non-profit organisations can I support when I sign up for Roundups? Can I myself choose the charity I want my money to go to?
You can choose from almost 50 charities on Roundups and more are joining us every week. See the current list at www.roundups.org/charities. We also support schools with their fundraising.
Would you give us a short glimpse behind the scenes? As the co-founder, what are your day-to-day tasks, and who else is on the team with you?
As you can imagine, it’s incredibly varied and that’s why founders love it! My time is split between meetings with charities, meetings with our investors and advisors, planning strategy and product with my co-founder, Matt, building marketing materials with designers and fundraisers, getting user feedback from our members and a whole host of admin! We have two founders and an advisory board of 6 currently but will be growing our team over the next few months, which we’re really excited about.
When it comes to organising yourself and your team, you’re relying on Mailbutler. Why is Mailbutler the right productivity extension for you?
As an early-stage startup, we do a lot of prospecting and there’s always a pipeline of clients, potential investors, and partners. Mailbutler helps us prioritise who we should be following up with and when which saves time. Seeing as time is our most precious resource, it’s incredibly useful!
Is there one special feature that you enjoy the most? Which feature do you use most often?
Last question, Sean: When can we, as a German company, expect Roundups to come to Germany?
We’ll let you know in Q3…!
Thanks so much for your time, Sean. We wish you all the best for 2021!
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