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Eco-action Social Sustainability Technology Well-being

Genuinely Passionate about Generosity

When we talk about sustainability, it is easy to focus on the environmental issues the planet is facing. However, it is important we don’t forget about the social sustainability challenges that exist. Poverty eradication is a fundamental objective of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with the aim to ‘end all poverty in all its forms everywhere’ by 2030. 

Despite NZ being generally viewed as a prosperous country, poverty is a significant issue. High housing costs, income inequality and disparities in educational outcomes are all contributing factors. More recently, high inflation has added pressure to families already struggling—food inflation hit 12.5% in April, a 35 year high.   

There are many incredible organisations proactively playing their part in combating poverty. I sat down and spoke with Aidan Lett, co-founder of GoGenerosity—a great example of a for-purpose organisation doing their bit to make life better for those most in need.

Tell us a bit about what GoGenerosity is?

GoGenerosity is a digital platform that allows people to be generous, anywhere they pay. Businesses join up and offer customers the option to pay-it-forward by adding their chosen amount to their bill. The donations are pooled, and charity partners distribute these goods and services, from the business partners, to people in need. 

In basic terms, GoGenerosity is a connector between shoppers, businesses and charities. The charities turn this generosity into meaningful impact where it is most needed. 

A great example of how this works is a trial we’ve run recently with Brookfield New World supermarket in Tauranga, NZ, where as a customer you’re prompted to pay-it-forward and add any amount to your bill. The funds raised are used to supply groceries for Otumoetai Social Supermarket, where people in need can access them.

supermarket shelves stocked with a range of colourful vegetables in green trays
Customers at Brookfield New World supermarket, NZ are able to ‘pay-it-forward’ to help supply groceries to people in need. Canva.

How did GoGenerosity get started?

Rohan, founder of GoGenerosity, had the idea for this during Covid. He offered people the opportunity to pay-it-forward with their online orders from his restaurants during level three lockdown in NZ, and these donations were turned into food for those in need.

Rohan and I were sharing an office at the time, and when he told me what he was doing, we felt there was an opportunity to use my Software As A Service (SaaS) experience to scale this initiative he’d started and potentially take it wherever it was needed. 

You’ve used technology to solve this desire for generosity on a bigger scale, tell us about your view on technology’s role in solving social sustainability issues?

There’s a two faceted response here. If we can find ways to use technology to create more opportunities to be generous, easily, then that’s fantastic. But we shouldn’t try to inject technology into this conversation for the sake of technology.

The focus should be around reducing friction and making the process more transparent. If technology is the best way to achieve this, then we should make use of that.

Technology also plays a role in making generosity feel more tangible. Sharing the stories of impact in a rich and meaningful way through videos, for example, will help encourage more people to be generous.

Are there any plans to take GoGenerosity outside of New Zealand?

I know Rohan and the team certainly have the ambition to do this, but this relies on success in NZ first. From day one we have been really passionate about this, wanting to make a difference in our own backyard first before taking this offshore. Investment capital is also a key consideration—this is critical to enable the business to have the impact it is capable of, and see it reach its potential.

How people can get involved and be generous with the platform?

Businesses can find out how to join up through GoGenerosity.com. Shoppers can find businesses who are using GoGenerosity to offer pay-it-forward through the website’s marketplace. Or you can get in touch with Rohan at [email protected]


Like GoGenerosity and Charitabl., Glimmer aims to use technology for good—helping people and our planet thrive. Join the Glimmer community and share your own stories to inspire and empower people to make a difference in their lives and in the lives of others. 

Glimmer proudly supports and promotes the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for a better world. 

Sources:

Distribution of wealth across New Zealand households remains unchanged between 2015 and 2021. https://www.stats.govt.nz/news/distribution-of-wealth-across-new-zealand-households-remains-unchanged-between-2015-and-2021

End poverty in all its forms everywhere. https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal1#:~:text=Goal%201%20calls%20for%20an,and%20environmental%20shocks%20and%20disasters.

Food prices up 12.5% in the year to April 2023 – the highest annual rate of increase seen since 1987; National’s Willis says household budgets have ‘nowhere to hide’. https://www.interest.co.nz/personal-finance/121111/food-prices-were-125-year-april-2023-which-highest-annual-rate-increase

New World Brookfield. https://www.gogenerosity.com/hub/new-world-brookfield

New Zealand has some of the least affordable housing in the developed world. https://habitat.org.nz/who-we-are/the-need-in-new-zealand/#:~:text=New%20Zealand%20has%20some%20of,a%20decent%20place%20to%20live

Author

  • Gemma Hignett

    Gemma is a mother of two young girls and calls Aotearoa, New Zealand home. She works in marketing and sustainability, has a Master of Business in International Business, and recently completed (and highly recommends) the University of Cambridge Business Sustainability Management course. Gemma is a passionate advocate for brands, organisations and individuals prioritising sustainability to ensure our planet can thrive for future generations.

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Gemma is a mother of two young girls and calls Aotearoa, New Zealand home. She works in marketing and sustainability, has a Master of Business in International Business, and recently completed (and highly recommends) the University of Cambridge Business Sustainability Management course. Gemma is a passionate advocate for brands, organisations and individuals prioritising sustainability to ensure our planet can thrive for future generations.
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  1. Another fantastic blog on social impact and sustainability, Gemma! The good that individuals, communities, businesses, and organisations are doing. Thank you for helping us showcase the stories that do matter!

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