We saw a lot of firsts here at Charity Charge in 2016, it was an incredibly big year for us. As a way to remember the successes and also take a step back to appreciate the journey, we have compiled some of our most important moments from 2016 into this recap.


We attended the SXSW Startup Crawl in March of 2016. It was one of the first times we got to showcase what Charity Charge is and hear feedback from consumers. We learned a lot from the event along with enjoyed the positive response we received.

First Purchase

Having settled the partnerships with Commerce Bank and MasterCard, our founder, Stephen Garten, had to decide where to make the first Charity Charge World MasterCard purchase.

“Where should the first purchase be transacted and what organization should it support?,” Stephen thought to himself. Coming full circle, Stephen found both answers in one place: The University of Texas at Austin. Not only has UT been instrumental in his entrepreneurial development through ATI, and a few staff members are UT alumnus, but also UT’s motto of “What Starts Here, Changes The World” directly reflects Charity Charge’s vision. Stephen swiped the first ever Charity Charge credit card for the first time at the University Co-Op. Simultaneously, Stephen “charged it forward” to the institution that was such an influence on the creation of Charity Charge by donating the 1% cash back on the purchase to The University of Texas. This milestone truly brought to life our shared mission and represents much more to come.


Obviously, the biggest thing that happened at Charity Charge this year was the public launch of the Charity Charge World MasterCard on June 21st. The response was amazing! Our story was picked up by Fast Company, the Today Show, Huffington Post, and other major news sources. Also, we had a great launch party at Lustre Pearl East in Austin, TX. Making the dream that we worked on for so long a reality was truly a moment we will never forget. Thank you again to everyone who helped us celebrate, supported before we launched, and have continued to support us as we’ve grown. This company is truly about growing a movement of everyday giving, we would not be able to do that without each and every one of you.

Charity Chats

We started our web series Charity Chats which features nonprofits by telling their stories in a new interesting way. We currently have 10 episodes that feature nonprofits from The Central Texas Food Bank to Peloton U to Pencils of Promise, and much more. There is a real range of different organizations that we have covered. It was a lot of fun getting to know these incredible organizations and learning more about the work they do. Check out all the videos on our YouTube Channel.


We put in a lot of volunteer hours this year, one of our new year’s resolutions is to volunteer even more in 2017. A few of the places we volunteered were The Central Texas Food Bank, KaBOOM! (where we helped build a playground for the children of Hutto, TX), Operation Turkey, and Inside Books Project. We love getting out into the community and giving back, we’ve found that it helps reinvigorate us to continue to help spread the movement of everyday giving and it’s a wonderful way to get closer as a team. If you would like to join us in any of our future volunteer endeavors please email us at volunteer@charitycharge.com.

NYC Trip

On Thursday, October 13th, 2016, the Charity Charge team traveled to NYC, where we had a busy few days ahead of us. Check out our first and second episodes of Behind the Charge to get an inside look into this trip. Stay tuned for the last episode showing the end of our trip, including the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Central Park hosted by The American Cancer Society. You can also watch our NYC in 99 seconds video for a quick overview of the trip.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk in Central Park

Charity Charge was very fortunate to have 10 outstanding volunteers come out and help us spread the word about how the Charity Charge World MasterCard can be used to help fund the fight against breast cancer just by making everyday purchases. We had a great time interacting with participants and people were thrilled to find out how easy it is to give back every day. Plus, we got to debut our Charity Charge tent (more below)! You can give back to the American Cancer Society every day with your Charity Charge World MasterCard too, just click here.

Charity Charge Tent

For our big trip to the Big Apple, we acquired our brand new Charity Charge tent. Whenever we participate in an outdoor event we’ll have our tent there so that Charity Charge can be seen from far and wide in rain, shine, or snow…well hopefully not snow. Honestly, we can’t get enough of this tent and keep looking for reasons to put it up. Definitely, the best purchase we made in 2016.


In addition to starting the Behind the Charge series, we also began hosting Facebook live interviews on Fridays at 3pm CST, we’re calling it CCTV. First, we talked to Chelsea Collier from Impact Hub Austin and learned more about her journey along with her recent visit to China as part of a fellowship program, watch the full video here. Then we talked to Dan Austin from DivInc and discussed the need to encourage diversity in entrepreneurship, full video here.

We have scheduled many exciting guests for 2017 so be sure to tune in at 3pm every Friday to hear amazing things from amazing people. In case you miss an episode, don’t worry! Each one will be posted on Facebook and on our YouTube channel so you can watch anytime.

Named the Best Card for Giving Back of 2016

Wallaby Financial named the Charity Charge World MasterCard the Best Card for Giving Back of 2016. *insert long thank you speech here* Just kidding, we’ll keep it short. We’re thrilled by being honored with this title in our first year, it definitely helped us finish 2016 on a high note. Read more here.

Thanks for reading! See you in 2017 😀

~The Charity Charge Team