Tell us your story. Why did you start your business?
During my sophomore year of High School, my involvement in helping a cause I was interested in led me to appreciate the constraints of traditional fundraising techniques and to search for alternative ways to raise money. During visits to my parents’ hometowns in India, I saw that many children were forced to quit school to work instead. Wanting to help, I co-founded the New England Youth Chapter of the American India Foundation, which raised money for the children of migrant workers in India. In total, we have sponsored more than 300 children, providing them with the ability to stay in school.
From that point, I knew I had found something deeply rewarding to me. I began searching for a way to increase my impact substantially and for a way to augment traditional fundraising techniques given that people are asked to support many causes and sometimes have limited resources. This eventually led to Pause for Your Cause, which drives charitable giving through everyday activities. People are insented to go to our site because by taking the simple step of routing through our site to online commerce sites they already interact with, they are able to raise money for charities. Retailers value our customers and through affiliate marketing deals pay us a percentage of transactions the customer makes, all of which is donated to charities.
How did you come up with your business name?
I was really looking to come up with a unique and catchy name that captured the goal of the business. My first thought was that a rhyming name would stick in people’s heads! Simply by pausing and routing through our site to retailers they already interact with, customers can help their cause.
Tell us about your products and services. How do you help clients?
We give clients a sustainable, quick and easy alternative to donating simply by routing through our site to on-line sites they already go to. They are still shopping at the same sites they normally do, but now raise money for charity every time they buy something.
What makes you unique? What is your unique selling proposition (USP)?
What makes us unique is people are incented to use our site because one simple step of routing through our site to on-line sites they already interact with allows them to feel good that all fees generated go to charity. Our main goal is to work directly with charities on fundraising campaigns, creating a new way for supporters to help their cause, while giving us instant credibility and customer base when the charity directs their members to our site.s eliminated.
Where do you see your business in the next 3-5 years?
I am hopeful of much greater impact, including my original goal of contributing $1 million to worthwhile charities as Pause for Your Cause has overcome serious technical challenges, is close to a revamped shopping experience and has now successfully contributed 200,000 meals to Feeding America. Each success with a charity makes others more willing to work with us. Better traffic drives better and newer affiliate marketing deals. I hope to continue this positive feedback loop and create a sustainable, alternative means to help charities raise money.
Any advice you would give to entrepreneurs and business owners?
If you have an idea, just go for it, because you never truly realize the impact you have until you try.
What is your favorite business quote and why?
“Fall seven times and stand up eight.”– Japanese Proverb
I’ve learned through the process that failing is inevitable. I fail often, but working through failure is the only way to get to the next breakthrough.
Anything else additional you want to tell our readers:
Don’t allow your age to discourage you from starting a business. As long as you are determined and willing to get help, you can do it!