Goodsted is making it easy for people to volunteer their skills and support social and environmental initiatives. Their platform is making volunteering simple, accountable and accessible. They are looking for investors, mentors and introductions to any companies interested in using Goodsted.
Our interview with Selin, the Founder of Goodsted:
Describe your mission in a sentence or two
We exist to create an effective way for people to collaborate, share skills and expertise, to progress socially and environmentally impactful initiatives. We currently do this by activating the human resources in our communities and organisations by making volunteering easy, accountable and accessible.
Who are your clients?
Our clients are companies who are interested in engaging their employees in volunteering, and who want to manage these programmes more effectively. However, we don’t limit the use of our platform to only running employee volunteering schemes. The platform is designed to be flexible and is suitable for use by many different types of organisations and groups looking to involve their members in creating social and environmental impact. So we also have clients who are interested in running customer volunteering programmes, and prospects from local councils wanting to run citizen engagement programmes.
What stage are you at in your business?
In terms of our product offering, we started developing our platform in December 2018. In the past year, we went through many iterations and pilots with our early community to arrive at a beta version which we launched for more user testing at the end of 2019. After further improvements, we now have a new version of our beta platform which we recently launched. We’re much more confident with the user experience now, and we’re getting great feedback so we’re excited to see the growth in the next couple of months!
In terms of clients, we’ve already secured some early clients and have our first payments coming in which is great - we’re now officially a post-revenue startup! We already have more interest from various different businesses, so our aim is to continue growing our community of impactful initiatives so we can help create the volunteering opportunities our clients need. Our community lead is focusing on this currently, and next to overseeing the operations of the business, I am also focusing on our sales funnel, bringing in more clients to support our runway and our volunteer pool.
What is your business model?
Our business model is structured in two parts, although they are quite similar:
- For our open Goodsted platform, companies pay an affordable annual membership fee, determined by the number of employees they sign up to the platform.
- If they have a larger community of employees or stakeholders who they’d like to engage, and if they’d like a customised, branded, or exclusive platform, we have a SaaS version of the platform available with a setup fee and an annual membership fee.
We marry profit with purpose by helping early stage impact initiatives; impact startups, charities, social enterprises and community projects use our service and find support for free. We only plan to charge larger non-profits who can afford our services a discounted fee. Our paying members help us give our platform for free to smaller groups, so it's important to balance this right.
What does "impact" mean to you as a profit-driven company?
At Goodsted we do well by doing good. Impact to us means increased ability for social initiatives to achieve their goals due to volunteer efforts; development of individuals well-being and sense of community; increased employee engagement and satisfaction at work; and the development of professional & soft skills. Our goal is to progress these SDGs; decent work & economic growth (goal 8); good health & well-being (goal 3); and partnership for the goals (goal 17)
What is the vision for Goodsted?
Our vision is to become the go-to platform for individuals as well as companies when they think of volunteering skills and expertise to progress social and environmental goals. As a result we want to positively impact the lives of 10 million people by 2030.
What is your current biggest challenge and how are you seeking to address it?
The current biggest challenge is to help generate a diverse range of volunteering opportunities on the platform for volunteers to take part in. We’re already forming partnerships that will help us achieve this soon. The next challenge is to create an effective customer acquisition funnel. Currently it has been quite organic through meeting at events and with referrals. We’ll be trying out a few more channels to figure out what works best.
What other UK impactful start-up do you love and why?
I love Winnow, the AI tool that helps chefs cut food waste in half. It's so satisfying to see how an innovation like this can really help create positive change both for the world, and for the hospitality sector. I wish they also provided this solution for household waste
What’s next for your company?
We’ll be continuing to iterate our beta web platform, improving our analytics dashboard, impact measurement, and launching our mobile app to make it easier for our users to collaborate for social impact. We’ll also be launching a series of marketing campaigns featuring the stories of initiatives and volunteers in our community, and this will kick off with our Women’s Day campaign supporting #EqualforAll. We’re very excited to launch our SaaS version this summer, which will present large companies and communities a chance to have their own branded space for collaboration. We will be looking to increase the number of corporate partners for this SaaS version so that we can support and scale our open platform.
What can you offer the SeedTribe community?
Anyone who would like to run brainstorming or innovation sessions - I have experience in design thinking, and helping individuals use their creativity in collaborative sessions.
How can the SeedTribe community be involved in helping you scale your impact?
We are currently raising our £150K SEIS round, so we would love to speak to investors who are excited about what we do, and who would like to help us scale our business and impact globally. We also would appreciate any introduction to companies who might be interested in using our platform for their volunteering. Finally, any mentorship on hiring, sales and leadership would be a bonus!
To be put in touch with Selin, send us an email.