The new EqualityCard combines spending with giving

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Want to raise money for pro-LGBT causes every time you shop? There’s a credit card for that.

Philanthropy Ventures LLC has launched the new EqualityCard, a credit card start-up designed to raise funds for LGBT non-profit organizations all over the nation. Individuals and businesses will generate tax-deductible donations that equal 1 percent of their purchases with the card that are donated to select LGBT charities of their own choosing, at no cost to them.

The founder and CEO of EqualityCard, Nick Lepetsos, said in a press release, “We’re extremely excited to launch EqualityCard™, a dynamic initiative to increase fundraising in the LGBT non-profit arena. We have a single vision, to bring to market a product that helps LGBT non-profit organizations execute their visions. There is a limitless potential for giving in this world, and we are determined to play a role in realizing that potential.”

So far, over a dozen LGBT organizations have joined EqualityCard as Non-Profit Affiliates. Each organization adds their own profile to the EqualityCard donation portal, a members-only site that new cardholders can look over to help them decide where to direct their donations. Each card may be linked to up to three charities.

One affiliate is Immigration Equality, a national organization working to change US immigration policies to be fair to the LGBT community and HIV-positive people. Its Director of Development, Win Chesson, said “I’m delighted by the positive impact this initiative will have on the LGBT fundraising climate. This new fundraising tool will give organizations like ours a new revenue stream and allow us to serve more LGBT people fleeing violence and abuse. With the deteriorating conditions for LGBT people in places like Russia and Uganda, it is vital we have the resources to welcome every LGBT person seeking freedom and safety.”

Other affiliates include Athlete Ally, The New York City Anti-Violence Project, Campus Pride, PFLAG, the Matthew Shepard Foundation, the NYC LGBT Center, The Transgender Law Center, Family Equality Council, and The Pride Network. It is expected that dozens of additional nonprofits will sign on during EqualityCard’s first year.

Another beneficiary is the Hetrick-Martin Institute, which creates a safe and supportive environment for LGBT and questioning youth and their families.

Chief Operating Officer Darra Gordon said, “We see the EqualityCard™ initiative as a unique opportunity to bring a new source of funding to our programs that support LGBTQ youth.” Also a member of the EqualityCard Board of Advisors, she added, “We also feel reassured that the EqualityCard™ sought guidance from LGBT movement leaders prior to launch to ensure that this product positively reflects our community.”

The model EqualityCard uses is exactly the same as its predecessor, Philanthropy Ventures’ flagship brand HaloCard, which was launched in 2013. The site describes it as “an initiative to revolutionize charitable giving,” and states “we would love all non-profits to embrace the HaloCard.” In April 2013, Forbes highlighted the company in a feature story titled “A Startup Aims to Disrupt The Charity—And The Credit Card—Business.”

Those who are interested in meeting the people behind EqualityCard can find them at the company’s booth at the New York City GLBT Expo on March 22 and 23. EqualityCard also has a website here.

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