Launched in 2022, Pauline Kwasniak and Rajat Maheshwari conducted research with corporate CSR and social ambition managers and then reached out to not-for-profits to find out if there was a better solution for for-profit companies that match your organisation with verified charitable projects and reputable charities that make a tangible social impact in their communities. By empowering each employee and measuring their impact, monitor your workplace volunteerism and CSR, thanks to analytics and tracking functionality. Contribute to employee well-being and retain top talent resulting from a transparent and successful CSR and social investing strategy.
I interview Pauline and Rajat to find out more:
- To someone who is not aware, what is Finedeeds? What’s its mission?
Finedeeds mission is to create a ripple effect of goodness. During our technology solution’s development phase, this was on a sheet of paper in my office. Now, how do we create this ripple effect of goodness? Using technology to connect corporations, their employees, donors, and nonprofits together and give them tools to do philanthropy better and more efficiently. For our corporate clients, we offer them an easy-to-use tech solution to define their CSR strategy, involve all of their employees, partake in or create philanthropic projects and, most importantly, measure their company’s overall impact on the world, which can be seen in real-time.
- You did a huge amount of research before you launched. How did this research inform what you do today?
The research was critical to our solution. We asked corporate CSR and social ambition managers: What would it be if you had a magic wand and could create any solution for modern CSR? And then, we made that along with the feedback from nonprofits. But solving real problems that our clients have is of utmost importance. As I said, we wanted to create a ripple effect of goodness and make our users’ lives more manageable.
- How did the co-founders meet? What skill sets do you both bring?
We met a good few years back during a technical meet-up in Dublin and became friends. We were always involved in the Irish startup scene – by consulting other startups and bringing our ideas forward. I even co-founded a startup myself before – growing an organisation from scratch was the most valuable experience ( unfortunately it was in the events space and we had to close down during the prolonged COVID lockdown ). I participated in programs such as Female High Flyers Academy, New Frontiers, and Irish young best entrepreneur – so I am always heavily involved in that space. Raj was also involved with a number of startups here in Ireland and in India- some of which raised hundreds of millions in funding. So we decided to do something together finally. We bring a mix of technical and commercial skills- for me, it is a match made in heaven that is particularly attractive to investors.
- How did you go about launching the product? What advice would you have for launching a product in this area?
We pre-launched last year in the middle of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Our plans were not to launch our corporate solution until mid-2023, but with people needing our help, we decided to put part of our technology to good use and ran 15 campaigns helping Ukrainian refugees.
- How has the company grown since?
We have onboarded several corporate clients and verified nonprofits, and things are working very well. Our users love the all-in-one solution that finedeeds give them and great UX – this was also key to us. We even had a school doing a campaign. We have companies from Ireland, the US, and Poland, and we aim to become a global solution with HQ in Ireland. We are now growing and onboarding more corporate clients per our waiting list. We have also opened the platform to selected individual donors to test that arm of the business, and things are going well with one exciting campaign coming up.
- What impact did the pandemic have on your company? What are some of the positives you can take away from this time?
We decided to start working on business research during the lockdown, so this was one of the positives for us. We were just so tired of the shape of workplace philanthropy and wanted to shake things up.
- What impact did the Russian invasion of Ukraine have on the company?
We decided to pre-launch a part of our technology to help Ukrainian refugees. We had worked with small nonprofits helping people directly on the Ukrainian border and in the initial stages of their escape- mainly via Poland.
- What have been some of your most effective marketing campaigns since your launch?
Regarding marketing campaigns – we have yet to do a massive campaign for finedeeds. I am a digital marketer, so I cannot wait to run our digital funnels and test creative ads and copy, but… The human touch is also paramount, and I want to ensure our clients are well looked after. So many tech solutions offer poor customer service- but we do!
So for now, we decided to put our resources into customer care and promote the fundraising campaigns nonprofits were doing on finedeeds because we wanted to help more people. All the fundraising campaigns we did were successful and met their targets.
- Have you won any awards in recent years? What impact do these awards have on the business?
We won the most innovative startup award at the end of our New Frontiers program with TUS and completed funded phases 2 & 3 in late 2022. In December 2022, we were in the top 6 finalists for Ireland’s National Startup Awards, the top 3 for the Big pitch competition in Waterford, and one of the selected companies for the Entrepreneur experience 2023 in Cork. Winning awards is essential as it gives you visibility and credibility. But for us, the main thing is always solving users’ problems and creating the ripple effect of goodness. Awards are an add-on to that.
- Are there any other businesses in the Irish Diversity and Inclusion areas that you are big fans of?
We love The SHONA’s Project and its mission to educate, empower, and inspire Irish girls to become tomorrow’s strong, resilient, and confident young women and ensure they have equal opportunities in Irish society.