Local technology startup focuses on supporting causes

Both local business partners and causes are on board as web application GoodBean launches next week

Above: GoodBean founder David Bilby (left) with Nathan Webster, executive director of Dream Big Community Center. Both Dream Big and Goldie's BBQ plan to be involved with GoodBean, which launches next week.

Crowdfunding is an excellent avenue to harness the power of community to raise money for creative upstarts, but what about nonprofits? Where do they turn? Local web developer, David Bilby, asked himself that question and came up with GoodBean – an application that rewards people for giving.

“What do people get for being nice, for supporting causes that need their help?” Bilby said. “GoodBean is a GoFundMe idea with a rewards component added.”

With a soft launch date set for September 15, GoodBean has already identified a handful of local businesses to partner with local causes. Dream Big Community Center has partnered with Battle Ground Fitness, Northwood Public House, Mill Creek Pub and the Battle Ground Burgerville. Individuals who donate to Dream Big will receive discounts ranging from 10 to 20 percent to $5 off an order.

While serving as development director for Columbia River Mental Health Services last year, Bilby began talking with colleagues about more effective ways to raise money and the roots of GoodBean sprouted from there. His rough concept won crowd favorite at Startup Weekend Vancouver, held at Clark College last January, and provided him with much-needed validation.

Nine months and 350 hours later, GoodBean is ready to open up for merchants and causes to register and promote their cause and rewards via social media, newsletters and other avenues.

“Nonprofit organizations are looking for tangible ways to reward donors to say thank you for caring about our organization,” Bilby said.

While GoodBean may not replace every coupon book, Groupon or fundraising effort, as consumers become increasingly focused on supporting local, it’s an application that’s poised to become a viable and effective way for businesses to expand their footprint, gain more customers and brand themselves as a business that cares about the community.

When a donor redeems a reward, Bilby explained, it shows up with a ‘Thank you for supporting xyz cause’ message. This feature continues to remind people of why they’re receiving a reward, further branding the nonprofit and keeping their ongoing need in the forefront of the minds of generous area residents.

Bilby also sees the potential for tailored charitable campaigns such as Mental Health Month in May, Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month in October and Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September.

Along with the Clark County soft launch, GoodBean will roll out in Fort Wayne, Indiana and Franklin, Tennessee. Strong interest from former employer, Brent Dymer, grew GoodBean from a solo project to a collaborative venture. Dymer is actively involved in community outreach in the Midwest and Southeastern regions of the United States and believes GoodBean is a viable tool for fundraising efforts.

Locally, Bilby has received enormous support from a variety of businesses and nonprofits including Michael Perozzo, founder of digital marketing company ZZoom Media.

“Everything has gone paperless. GoodBean makes so much sense in an environmentally-conscious world,” said Perozzo. “It’s so much easier to share and distribute versus the coupon books we’ve seen kids peddling for years. The ability to raise funds via social media to benefit a cause and support local business at the same time is very cool!”

For more information or to register, visit www.goodbean.org.