Part One: The Rise and Fall of Pennies 4 Progress
Pennies 4 Progress, mostly referred to as Pennies, started as a college project between a few undergraduates at N.C. State University in 2012 who wanted to help people raise money for the causes they care about.
Our product's goal was simple: Help merchants enable donations at the point of sale, in-store and online.
After a lot of nights and weekends, Pennies secured $50,000 in donations to kick start the project, which was originally planned to launch our product into 20 Raleigh-Durham merchants in order to support schools across North Carolina.
We combined our resources with an established company, GoodLabs.io, which enabled us to form partnerships and integrations with Clover by First Data, Shopify, Magento, and others. These companies serve a major segment of merchants in-store and online and our solution was downloaded by more than 1,000 merchants.
Two years into our project, we had expanded to serve 60,000+ schools across the United States through a partnership with DonorsChoose.org in addition to partnerships with several of the most respected non-profits in the world. At our peak, we were raised over $100,000 in a single month but then we went out of business.
Read on for Part Two!