You can change the world with the change in your pocket, thanks to an online–based giving platform called Good St.
The self–described “community” (rather than company or organization) works simply. Members purchase a monthly subscription to donate 25 cents per day to one of two featured charities. They receive an email detailing the causes and choose which vetted charity to support. Members have 12 hours to choose which cause to support or the money is automatically allocated to even out donations.
Causes span from alleviating poverty in a certain city to promoting education to performing research on a certain type of cancer. Founded by Ariel Sterman, Jeff Dobrinsky, Joe Benun and Joe Teplow, this subscription service makes charitable giving accessible and personal.
As for the name "Good St.," it refers to a place where the community members can gather— a fixed place for people to do good.
Street spoke with cofounder Joe Teplow to get a sense of what Good St. does and where it’s going. He spoke about his previous experiences with charity crowdfunding, which led him to pursue a more sustainable philanthropic model.
The problem with crowdfunding is that it only works over a finite time span. Good St. eliminates that issue, Joe explains. He and the team work to vet charities and choose causes, which can be submitted by "Streeters," as Good St. staffers are known. They've chosen themes for causes of the day, like breast cancer awareness or disaster relief. For the more timely causes, the team functions a bit like a newsroom.
Kelly Sterman (C '20) identifies as a “Streeter.” Kelly’s official duties are centered around content marketing; her sister Talia, also a Penn student and Street's music editor, shares similar duties. Their older brother is a co–founder of Good St., and the Stermans have kept it in the family.
With regard to Kelly's position, she explains that she chooses “actions” and quotes, which fill the landing page post–donation and encourage Streeters to do something good. She uploads a quote encouraging people to do good each day, as well as a tangible action someone can do to positively impact others, like encouraging people to smile at strangers when they walk down the street.
Kelly also recalls the launch of the company in Washington Square Park a few years ago. She and the founding team walked around with quarters, explained the idea behind the business, and asked passerby to allocate the quarters to the charity of their choice. This experience segued into the online platform and the daily email.
Streeters, both Joe and Kelly explain, have the unique opportunity of shaping their community and its future. Good St. accepts nominations for causes and charities, though a vetting process is in place for all charities selected. Both also spoke about the possibility of a tangible Good St. hospital wing or research center down the line.
You can sign up for Good St. on their website: