White House Correspondents’ Insider got a chance to speak with Kate Glantz, founder and CEO of heartful.ly, a company that allows engaged couples to help fund their favorite NGOs and charities on a project-by-project basis instead of the traditional wedding gift registry. Glantz was named a fellow by Halcyon Incubator in 2015.
What projects have you been most excited about?
That’s like asking me to pick a favorite child (okay fine, a favorite flavor of ice cream because I definitely don’t have any kids!).
Given the many years I spent volunteering and working in Tanzania, my heart always swells when I see a new registry supporting one of our partners in the region. I also used to volunteer as a writer/editor for D.C’s local homeless newspaper, Street Sense, and am a passionate advocate for affordable housing for all. I was really proud and excited when they came on as a partner.
That said, all 30+ partners are really special. These guys are tirelessly–and almost always thanklessly–working to make the world safer, healthier, and more peaceful. I’m excited about all of them!
What do you look for from when you pick your NGO partners?
As a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, I’m always rooting for the scrappy, grassroots organizations. The majority of our partners are on the front lines changing lives in big ways, but don’t have the marketing budget or bandwidth to shout it from the rooftops. Unlike the huge international organizations with entire fundraising departments, I look for partners where there is high potential to help expand donor bases and raise critical funds.
Smaller organizations are also able to peg impact more directly. Our registries are project based (think building a classroom), so when we send a project update to donors a few months after the wedding, we’re able to really demonstrate the impact that the couple’s community made.
We’re proud to support organizations across a broad range of issues
domestically and abroad including (but not limited to) healthcare, education, hunger and homelessness, and women and girls’ empowerment.
You can see a full list of our amazing partners here.
We have a comprehensive vetting process that includes an application, partnership agreement, and a review of the organization’s financials.
Any future plans for heartful.ly?
Right now, we’re all about the DMV! I’m focused on adding neighborhood nonprofits to the platform and getting more involved with the local wedding and events community. I look forward to forging new and creative partnerships with vendors, shops, and nonprofits in the area!
Over the next year, we’ll be expanding into more cities and ultimately, into additional life milestones like birthdays and anniversaries.
How did Halcyon Incubator’s fellowship help you launch heartful.ly?
My fellowship with Halcyon has been a catalyst both personally and professionally. There has been so much support at every turn. From a mentor who I meet with weekly, to a top law firm giving me pro bono counsel, to a leadership coach telling me that I have to sleep from time-to-time, I’ve jumped off this cliff with just about every safety net imaginable.
Leadership at all levels of the incubator and foundation are top notch. They’re a very modest crew, but I can tell you definitively, that Heartful.ly and I would not be where we are without them.
Also, living and working out of an historic mansion is hilarious because I’m a totally broke startup founder! Gotta say, the commute can’t be beat.