Written by Jasper Danielson, edited by Madeleine Hamilton
Donations, in the traditional sense, have always been granted in terms of money. For instance, many charitable organizations accept a $1 donation in exchange for a poppy-pin, which can be worn in remembrance throughout the month of November. Kyle Woumn, however, an up-and-coming entrepreneur, has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for philanthropists by modernizing the concept of donations. As the modern world leans more and more into new technologies, the social and economic landscapes must adapt to keep pace with these advances — this is simply a product of growth and development. A perfect example of this type of modernization, created by Woumn, is Overflow.
Overflow is a “digital solution for donating non-cash assets”. In essence, Overflow facilitates the donation of stocks and crypto-currency to non-profit organizations. According to co-founder Vance Roush, who initially brought Woumn onto the team, $450 billion is donated to non-profits every single year. Of this $450 billion, only $39 billion is donated in the form of stocks. Overflow fills this market gap and ultimately magnifies the number of donations that non-profits receive. Based on crypto’s boom in popularity within the mainstream economy over the past couple of years, this aspiration certainly seems feasible. Woumn asserts that “For nonprofits that have adopted Overflow, they are seeing that they are receiving higher value donations through stock, an asset they had not previously promoted”. This declaration certainly seems to be true. On Overflow, the average value of a stock donation to a non-profit comes in at $6 000, which is more than 45 times larger than the average credit card donation of $128. In this way, Overflow is already making clear steps in the right direction. By making it possible to donate stocks directly, an opportunity presents itself to attract a greater total sum of donations. This is due to an increase in accessibility of donation options, but also due to an increase in the average donation’s amount.
Alongside Woumn’s contributions to the creation of Overflow and his support for non-profits, he is an open advocate for several social issues. Following his attainment of numerous accolades – most notably his appearance on the Forbes 30 Under 30 – Social Impact list in 2022, Woumn has been clear in his benevolent sentiment. He maintains that he wants to use his influence to combat systemic racism. Now that he is in a position of authority in the world of tech, he says, he feels as though he is at a point where he can truly effect some kind of change. Throughout his time in Silicon Valley, Woumn was disappointed in the under-representation of minority groups in an otherwise white-dominated tech industry. “Definitely, when it comes to working at Silicon Valley, and working as a software engineer, and being Black, I feel like you have to overemphasize sometimes the value that you provide”, Woumn went on to say in an interview series with CNBC.
Although Woumn didn’t expect to be a founder of Overflow, much like the start-up, he was able to fill a gap in the market and make his own mark. “I would say I’ve always had the spirit of generosity and the way I grew up in my family, we always give. But I never thought I’d be working on it from a structural standpoint as a startup”. With this in mind, Kyle Woumn sets a good example for all future professionals entering the work-force: in terms of his work-ethic, as apparent through the creation of such successful business-endeavors, as well as his equally evident social consciousness.
Clifford, C. (2020, August 20). 25-year-old Black Tech lead in Silicon Valley: I want to use my influence to combat systemic racism. CNBC. Retrieved February 27, 2023, from https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/19/black-silicon-valley-entrepreneur-on-combating-racism.html
Forbes. (n.d.). Forbes 30 under 30 2022: Social Impact. Retrieved February 27, 2023, from https://www.forbes.com/30-under-30/2022/social-impact
Gandelman, J. (2022, January 12). Kyle WOUMN is building technology for Philanthropy. SHACK15. Retrieved February 27, 2023, from https://www.shack15.com/journal/2022/1/12/shack15-member-spotlight-kyle-woumn
On Deck. (n.d.). How Vance Roush and Kyle WOUMN raised $10 million to make donations frictionless with overflow. On Deck: Join a community of early-stage founders. Retrieved February 27, 2023, from https://www.beondeck.com/stories/overflowOverflow App. (n.d.). Overflow. Stock and Crypto Donations for Nonprofits, Churches & Corporations. Retrieved February 27, 2023, from https://www.overflow.co/