Matt Martino co-founder of Shout for Good

Matt Martino is married to Jane Martino (CEO of Shout and founder Smiling Mind) and has three boys, 5,7 and 8. At almost 43 years of age he has recently launched Shout, a free to download fundraising App that allows people to make micro donations to charitable organisations whenever they like and receive a collated annual record at tax time.

Matt’s background is in Architecture, and he has been involved in design of some form for the last 20 years.  For his design outlet  he produces boutique residential properties and some small, intense commissions.   He also paints and has held several exhibitions.

Conceive, plan then work, work, work, surround yourself with the best most passionate people, then work work work work……….

Over the last few years prior to launching Shout he was a full time stay at home dad, which was rewarding for all concerned.

Tell us a little bit about your idea and what made you decide to take the plunge and make it happen?

Shout aims to change the world by enabling every single person to give what they can, when they can through a free App that allows people to select a charity, organisation or cause and ‘Shout’ it the value of an everyday item. Shout will then keep a record of all donors micro transactions and produce a tax deductible receipt at tax time.

For example you can shout a coffee for a charity and the value of that coffee is deducted from your credit card and donated to the organisation. We can also tailor campaigns for specific organisations e.g. Shout a Pink Ribbon for National Breast Cancer Foundation. we can also mobilise and be live and taking donations within hours of a call to action in the result of a natural disaster.

It came about because we thought that fundraising for not for profits is at a cross roads on one side while the technology boom and social media growth is upon us. We wanted to find a way to combine both situations for the benefit of those who need it most and those who may desire to help but don’t know how. We wanted to find a way for everyone to give whatever they can, whenever they can to those who need it. That is where the idea of Shout came from.

Shout for Good Web_Button

 

Please explain your business model?

Shout is commercial for purpose business that aims to become a world wide brand. We charge a minimal administration fee of 6.5% that covers our marketing and administration costs. It is our belief that as a strong global brand whose core values are good and whose prime motivation is to be trusted, nimble and able to compete in a profit driven world at no detriment to anyone, will return greater rewards and financial benefits to the charitable organisations we represent, our shareholders who supported and built the idea and more importantly those who need our donations. The result is our costs are under or competitive with every other fundraising platform, yet our key to success doesn’t lie in our margins, but in our reach and exposure and amount we raise. We hope that one day, this amount will far exceed the proportion of monies currently given in Australia and beyond. The following talk explains the way we feel about things perfectly:

 

What are you working on right now and what are you most excited about in the next three months?

We are most excited about getting Shout out there, explaining what it is and commencing the biggest challenge, that of changing people’s behaviour. We are most excited about seeing how people take to Shout. It is new, brave and different but in the end it is there to change the world for the better. That is exciting to see. We can’t wait to see the impact that our idea has on the charities themselves and the improved flow of fundraised revenue, lesser overheads and practical change they make. The next three months involves intense amounts of work. We are a start up in every sense of the word. I personally need to be across everything and make sure the foundation for the business is sound, principled and productive.

How do you make ideas happen?

Conceive, plan then work, work, work, surround yourself with the best most passionate people, then work work work work……….

What does your typical day look like?

Early up, around 5.30 for a walk. Back to greet the rising family at around 6.30. feed the kids (and Jane) and get them ready for school. Take the kids to school and by 9am, I am ready. Usually have a coffee, always out as I enjoy the ritual. My days vary as does my work, from meetings, sourcing products for a project to doing anything that needs doing at Shout HQ. I like to get exercise in at least 3 times a week during the day. I need to pick the kids up around 3.30 and take them home. I get what I can done around them until I cook dinner, Jane arrives home and we finish their day and put them to bed. Unwind, TV, wine, date night etc. the reason my day is so relaxed is that Jane and I are a true partnership. We share the roles of running the house and domestic duties, even though we have our own skills. I cook, she organises. I have a great CEO at Shout, Jane and the same one at home. I have always integrated my work life into my life, never been a 9-5 er and always worked hard and fair.

What challenges have you faced when starting or growing a business/organisation in Australia?

Funding is always a challenge. But with the right people, a good idea and plan this can be overcome. Personnel is the greatest challenge. Finding the right people with the right attitude to hard work, with enthusiasm and patience to achieve is the key. As we are dealing in technology, youth is an asset. It’s hard to find the right people, harder to train them and even harder to keep them. Particularly in Australia, where we demand the highest standard of living and in our careers as well. But with the right people, under the right leader, anything can be achieved

What is one idea you are willing to give away for free?

Nothing, literally is for free. If I give you an idea it will cost you hard work to make it happen. If you want to pay someone for hard work, really hard work, then that too will cost you. The only idea I can give for free is this: work hard-you will be rewarded.

What people/companies/organisations do you think are doing really cool stuff in your industry, in Australia at the moment?

In Australia I love the attitude and drive of Lucy Feagins and her The Design Files empire. Her organic growth, work ethic and willingness to explore new avenues of opportunity is inspiring.

Clare Bowditch and her Big Hearted Business is a great motivational enterprise that encourages and supports women in business through a community of ideas and support.

What about internationally?

Internationally I love the renewed presence through clever marketing of the Apple brand. The new slogan, the new ad campaign brings the global behemoth back to basics. So much emotion about a computer. Beautifully done and amazing products. They continually reinvent themselves just when you think they are done. Its such a great example of how an organisation gets its people, even when the people don’t.

Mr Porter. Great stylish on line retailer. They have taken online fashion retail, dished it up to the hardest fashion market, men, and done so with the elegance and glamour of an old school High Street retailer. I love the fact that the first item delivered to Australia was a tie to Warracknabeal, in Victoria’s wheat belt. I love the fact no market research or analyst would have seen that coming!

What role do you think business can play in affecting social change?

I am not sure which is stronger? The affect business has on social change or the way social change affects business.?

Business certainly has a role by promoting change in behaviour as we are trying to do at Shout.

It is important that we do things that make our world (people and planet) better. Its like littering in the 50/60s where throwing rubbish out of a car was ok, acceptable. Today, no one would consider that ok. Smoking was even endorsed by doctors. Business has evolved like that and its role in social change is intrinsic. Every decision made on behalf of an organisation needs to benefit the business and the people. Our choice of products needs to be considered. You can’t open a whale meat chain of restaurants in Australia and expect it to succeed. Our advertising strategies need to be responsible. You can’t build a business marketing cigarettes to kids. The eyes of the world are on us all, there is nowhere to be shy, and social conscious is one of the biggest guides in today’s business world. Rightly so to.

Name 3 websites you would recommend to our readers?

TED talks, inspiring topics and people.

Smiling Mind, the garage for the brain, our most important and underrated business tool.

Pinterest – everything form my art, to how to dress, sayings, branding and design of are and houses I love.

Name 3 Australians we should follow on Twitter?

I don’t follow Twitter, Kevin Rudd killed it for me like a Dad disco dancing

Are there opportunities for people to get involved with your idea (e.g. are you looking for funding, interns, marketing help)?

At the moment we are heads down bums up. I am across everything and until this ‘bird has wings’. I have nothing to offer of myself to anything but the business. that being said, if someone knocked me over with attitude, drive and skill in anyway that would help me, I would bring them in. The hardest thing about a start up that people don’t get is you need to roll your sleeves up and work. CEOs make tea and answer phones, marketing managers take out the bins and 9-5ers don’t stay long! (maybe that should have been my free advice)

Our readers are smart, creative, talented and good looking. Here’s your chance to ask them anything.

What would make you/not make you sign up for the Shout App?

What would make you keep Shouting regularly?

What’s your favourite bar/café/restaurant?

Love anything authentic french, Cafe Vue, Chez Bob, Love Toorak Cellars for a bottleshop or drink, Anything north of the Yarra from Carlton to Northcote, from a food van to a coffee window.

What is your favourite song by an Australian artist at the moment?

Vance Joy’s Riptide or Matt Corby’s Resolution.

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