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Rosslyn Startup Provides Platform for Viral Video Fundraisers

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Editor’s Note: Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

Doofl logoFinding himself “bored” with the options for charity fundraising, Ted Decareau’s interest was piqued by the viral Ice Bucket Challenge.

“I wanted to see if we could create a platform that would give any nonprofit the opportunity to reach those heights,” he said. And so Rosslyn-based Doofl was born.

The name Doofl is derived from “Do” (taking action) and “fl” (raffle). The no-cost mobile application – which launched in January – is open to anyone age 13 or older with a Facebook or Twitter account.

“With Doofl, you can create your own virtual fundraiser and have your friends or followers impact the video that you make with their votes and pledges,” Decareau said. “You get the app and pick three fun dares or challenges you’re willing to do, and then have your friends vote and pledge to make it happen. Completing the dare and posting the video acts as the trigger to convert all pledges to donations.”

Users can choose charities from a list of 7,500 verified organizations, or they can request that a specific charity be added to the list for their challenge. The list was generated from Guidestar and Charity Navigator and all donations are tax deductible.

“I thought it would be cool to turn ‘trivial’ social media content into something of value for non-profits,” Decareau said.

Doofl is also offering a limited-time promotion to match the first $100 pledge.

“We have a set number of matches that we allow each promotion and we will bring it back from time to time,” Decareau said.

Users also can win money for their preferred charity without making a video.

“Every month we’re going to give away a $1,000 to the charity of a randomly selected user,” Decareau said. “So just by installing the app and linking your Twitter or Facebook account, you’ll be eligible to ‘win’ the donation for your charity.”

Eventually, Doofl will enhance this monthly drawing by letting users “earn” more chances to win by voting, donating and sharing through the app.

“I think this ‘bonus donation’ drawing is a bit unique and it will be fun to give away extra donations,” Decareau said, adding, “Hopefully we can grow so we can do bonus donations weekly.”

Doofl also has plans to add a feature in coming weeks to generate a unique mobile web page for voting, pledging and donating outside of the app.

Decareau said he picked Rosslyn for Doofl’s home base because of the great co-working spaces – it’s based in MakeOffices – and the neighborhood’s convenient location.

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