Always the time to give

With the holiday season behind us, the time of giving may soon be forgotten, but for Charity Republic, it is always the time to give. Charity Republic, a social enterprise based in the Waterloo Region, has managed to triple the amount of softwares they offer for students and volunteers in the past year.&nbsp;</p>

The three-platform system includes one platform each for highschools, universities, charities and non-profits. The platforms help to track and manage students and participants in volunteer positions. Working with organizations like Wilfrid Laurier University, UW School of Pharmacy, Desire2Learn, and the Kitchener-Waterloo Volunteer Action Centre, the start-up is now in the middle of a triangle of partnerships. The three cornerstones of their work involve the education system, for-profit tech companies, and non-profit charities. 

Popy Dimoulas-Graham, a UW alumni who studied public health and founder of Charity Republic, recently sat down with Imprint to share the latest results of her company and her inspiration. 

“I’ve been working with charities and non-profits since I was 12 years old, and I wanted to make my way back to that,” she said. What started out as a hobby project eventually evolved into the company that it is today. 

In Sept. 2015, Charity Republic launched their latest platform, the university software, and have seen positive results. “It’s the first time we’ve been able to bridge all the relationships between the three sectors,” Dimoulas-Graham said. The Community Service Learning software is used in universities to track field placements, internships, and practicums.

The release of their third platform landed them in the top 30 finalists for SheEO, 50 of the fastest-growing women-led companies in North America.“I think one of the key aspects to growing is growing with other people,” Dimoulas-Graham said.

 Charity Republic is also beginning to expand into the United States. 

“With charities and non-profits we provide a software for volunteer management,” Dimoulas-Graham said. “While the softwares themselves are customizable we find 90-95 per cent of suggestions that clients give really benefit everyone, so we share the features with everyone.” The founder went on to explain that the softwares can even be used by student clubs to track members and trends. “For grassroots organizations we actually give our software for free,” Dimoulas-Graham said. 

The startup is currently working with 30 school boards across Ontario to track volunteer hours, co-op, and Specialist High Skills Majors activities. Teachers are able to manage students and monitor progress, and the software has removed paper from the system. 

“Students weren’t graduating because they were losing a piece of paper,” Dimoulas-Graham said. On top of bringing efficiency into the school system, Charity Republic is also connecting students with meaningful volunteer opportunities based on their interests. 

“As much as we’re promoting volunteerism, we are also promoting doing good without recognition,” Dimoulas-Graham said. Something to consider even after the holidays.