Inspired by the first episode of Adam Ruins Everything, which discussed how the best way to help people is to give money to organizations doing the work, Spare is built to make it as easy as possible for people to give.

What it does

Spare donates your spare change to a non-profit of your choice. By connecting your accounts to Spare, the app can temporarily store and track your transactions. With each transaction, Spare will round up to the nearest dollar and set aside that change. Once your spare change reaches a user determined threshold, that money will be sent to the charity you chose. The transactions then get removed from the database and the process begins again.

How I built it

Spare was built using

Challenges I ran into

Plaid's API does not work well with Meteor initially so I needed to dig a little deeper into Meteor's internals and documentation to get Plaid to work.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

We were happy to get Plaid working with Meteor after a lot of struggling with its API. We also enjoyed learning about and applying some newfound design skills to create a nice user experience.

What we learned

This weekend we learned

  • how to get Plaid to work with Meteor
  • user experience design
  • average consumer spending habits

What's next for Spare - Change for Charity

In the Next Year

We will continue building out the minimum viable product of Spare to include

  • impact statistics so users can see their impact
  • non-profit selection
  • robust security to protect the financial data
  • recurring donation option
  • goal system to encourage more donations
  • team system so people can donate with friends

Beyond the software, we will form a non-profit organization, we will connect with local Baltimore and Maryland non-profits to get them on our platform, and we will market to local Baltimoreans and Marylanders.

In the Next 5 Years

We will expand beyond Baltimore and Maryland to other states and cities, adding more and more local non-profits to our platform.

In the Next 10 Years

We will expand internationally to add non-profits from other countries to our platform.

Total Addressable Impact

Our initial target market is anyone with a smartphone. The average consumer has about $10 in spare change per month.

Thinking locally, with only 10% of the market in Maryland, at $10 a month we will raise 72 million dollars per year for local charities. According to the Maryland Food Bank, every dollar purchases 3 meals, so 72 million dollars provide over 216 million meals to insecure Marylanders.

Thinking globally, a UNESCO report estimated that an additional 26 billion dollars per year could provide every child in the world with an education. If only 10% of smartphone users join Spare, we will raise nearly 100% of that goal.

Smartphone Users

        Baltimore Maryland US Worldwide
440 thousand 6.04 million 224 million 2.1 billion

Donations (Total Market Saturation)

Baltimore Maryland US Worldwide
Month $4.4 million $60.4 million $2.24 billion $21 billion
Year $52.8 million $724.8 million $26.88 billion $252 billion

Donations (10% of Market Captured)

Baltimore Maryland US Worldwide
Month $440 thousand $6.04 million $224 million $2.1 billion
Year $5.28 million $72.48 million $2.69 billion $25.2 billion

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