FORT COLLINS, CO – LuvTrails and Trail Care, two of the most innovative micro-donation startups, have agreed to merge their geolocation-based donation platforms and trade under the LuvTrails brand.
The Fort Collins, CO-based LuvTrails launched its mobile app last April to assist volunteer trail organizations to receive donations, while the Santa Barbara, CA-based Trail Care created their web-based platform to collect per-mile donations from trail users.
LuvTrails App utilizes the user’s phone geolocation or a unique QR code to identify nearby volunteer supported trails and “prompt” the user to make a quick one-tap micro-donation (as little as $5) to that volunteer group. In the process users also get rewarded by participating merchant partners for their good deeds.
Trail Care developed a web-based platform integrated with the popular Strava social fitness network, that is primarily used to track cycling and running exercises, using GPS data. Trail Care uses “geofencing” to link trails to volunteer trail organizations. By matching a trail user’s Strava exercise with a geofenced trail it is able to “nudge” a trail user to donate to the relevant trail group.
The fun aspect of this platform is the ability of the trail user to determine how much they want to donate per mile. It can range from as little as 1c per mile to any value the user can afford. In short, if a trail user links their Strava account with Trail Care they get notified immediately after a ride how many miles they have ridden on a volunteer-supported trail and what their preselected donation would come to.
The merger means that the two technology platforms will be integrated under the LuvTrails brand. All functionality will in future be offered in the App, while the donate-per-mile feature will also generate rewards as is currently only offered by LuvTrails.
This means that LuvTrails now offers two donation options to trail users and volunteer organizations:
- One-off donations ranging from $5 to $20 in the App; and
- Micro-donations (Strava-linked) from as little as 1 cent per mile without the need for the App.
Trail Care founder Austin Riba said the idea behind Trail Care started around the 2017/18 new year in Santa Barbara. “Our trail system here had just been devastated by the Thomas Fire, California’s largest wildfire in history. Not only is it helping raise funds for reconstruction here in Santa Barbara, but other trail groups around the country can use it to raise funds for their own trails.”
Trail groups all over the country have signed up to his platform or are looking at “geofencing” to make donations easy and more targeted.
LuvTrails CEO and co-founder Arrie Rossouw said the idea of LuvTrails as a mobile tool for geolocated micro-donations was born during the 2016 US Presidential elections when it became apparent that federal and state funding for parks and recreation would come under pressure and could have a negative impact on nonprofit fundraising.
“As (mountain bike) trail users, we designed an app that would offer trail users a super-easy way to make regular, small donations directly to the trails they use. We want to change the donation habit of once a year on GivesDay to frequent, small, targeted donations directly to the trails you use.
“By utilizing the phone’s GPS and geolocation we take the thinking out of donations. And by adding local rewards we aim to gamify the donation process and create cashflow to volunteer groups throughout the year,” he said.
Download the LuvTrails App for free in the App Store and Google Play Store.
Link your Strava bike rides and hikes for donations at www.trail.care.