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Who are the Rohingya?

The Rohingya are the World’s Most Persecuted Minority

Have you heard of the Rohingya? If you’re like most Americans, probably not, and that’s understandable. There are so many loud voices competing for our attention everyday, that the quiet voices are often drowned out. And unfortunately, the voice of refugees is too often silent.

The Rohingya are an ethnic Muslim population in Myanmar that many consider to be, “the world’s most persecuted minority.” Nearly the entire Rohingya population live in Rahkine, the country’s western coastal state. Despite living in Myanmar for centuries, the Rohingya are not recognized as one of the country’s official ethnic groups and have been denied citizenship for decades. They enjoy little protection and must get the government’s permission before leaving their home state.

After an outbreak of violence in late 2016, the government conducted a brutal crackdown against the Rohingya by destroying homes and villages and killing an unknown number of people. Government troops stand accused of numerous human rights abuses in the process, and some are accusing Myanmar of conducting an ethnic cleansing campaign. To escape the violence, nearly 500,000 Rohingya have fled to refugee camps in neighboring Bangladesh. By some estimates, 60% of Rohingya villages within Myanmar are completely abandoned. This is a desperate group of stateless people who need the world’s help.

How Do I Learn More?

The podcast Pod Save the World recently aired an episode dedicated to the Rohingya crisis where the host – former President Obama National Security Spokesman Tommy Vietor – interviewed The Nexus Fund Executive Director Sally Smith and New York Times columnist Nick Kristof. Together they provide a succinct overview of the Rohingya’s plight and offer a few suggestions for how people can help. Click the link below to listen:

“The Pie Isn’t Big Enough”

At the end of the episode (22 minute mark), Smith outlines three ways the average person can take action to help the Rohingya. The first is knowledge, which is simply learning about what the Rohingya are facing. Second is social, which means sharing your knowledge with your circle so that awareness increases. And the third is time and money. While most people can’t fly to Bangladesh to volunteer, money is desperately needed to help feed this huge group of refugees. But so far, that isn’t happening. Smith refers to the Rohingya as an “orphan cause” as there are currently no full time donors giving to this issue, because as she says, “the pie isn’t big enough.” In other words, there isn’t enough money to go around.

This is Why We Exist

Smith didn’t know it, but her closing statement perfectly articulates GroundSwell’s mission. We don’t direct existing money to nonprofits or redirect funds from one cause to another. Instead, we generate brand new sources of money that will fund the kind of people and organizations that would help the Rohingya. Our mission is to harness the collective power of commerce to add extra good into the world. And that’s something we desperately needs. If you can afford to give money, we hope you’ll choose to support Rohingya relief efforts. Here are a few links to organizations currently working in the region:

International Rescue Committee

Save the Children


Doctors Without Borders 

World Food Program

How Banks Make Billions from Invisible Fees

Card Fees Generate Huge Revenue Each Year

Every time we swipe our plastic cards, a small fee is charged. It’s not much – just a few pennies – but when those fees get multiplied millions of times over, every single day, those pennies really begin to add up. In fact last year alone, credit and debit card purchases generated more than 60 billion dollars in transaction fees. So where did that huge pot of money go? Most of it went right back to the big banks that issued those cards. GroundSwell was founded on the idea that those fees could be used to make the world a better place.

Every time a GroundSwell card is swiped, we collect part of the transaction fee. But instead of keeping those dollars to pad our bottom line, we share them with the people and organizations who are doing real good in the world. Our cards can fund clean water initiatives, wildlife preservation programs, food distribution initiatives, or any effort working towards a greater good. To learn how your organization can get involved in the GroundSwell movement, contact us today and we’ll start doing good together.

Open Your WeFunder Account Today

UPDATE: The WeFunder round of fundraising has ended. 

You Can Join the Groundswell

We’re a startup company and the last few months we’ve been doing startup things like building out our infrastructure and pursuing funding from professional investors. But that’s mostly done now and we’re excited to announce our next growth phase: We’re partnering with WeFunder to raise the round of funding that will release our program into the wild.

Start Your WeFunder Today

If you’re interested in learning more, check out our WeFunder page. But there’s another important step you need to take.

So if you’re not already a WeFunder investor, get started today so you can be among the first in the country to join the Groundswell.

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You can read more about why we decided to partner with WeFunder here.

Join the Groundswell, Change the World

UPDATE: The WeFunder round of fundraising has ended.

This is Exciting

Have you read our manifesto? We don’t really like to call it a manifesto because that implies a kind of serious self-importance, and that’s just not us. Don’t misunderstand us! We believe our work is important – very important – but we always want to talk about it in open and genuine ways because those values are at the heart of what Groundswell is doing. Anyway, all that to say if you haven’t read our manifesto yet, you should. It explains exactly what we’re trying to do and why we’re trying to do it, which is what a manifesto does. You can see how this gets complicated…

If you don’t have time to read it, we understand. You’re busy. So here’s the gist:

  • Groundswell was founded on the belief that capital and capitalism can be harnessed for the greater good.
  • Our program creates co branded VISA cards for our nonprofit partners they can give to their supporters.
  • Then, every time one of their supporters uses that VISA card, Groundswell shares a portion of the processing fees with the nonprofit.
  • It’s not a lot of money per transaction, really just a drip, but when you multiply all those supporters and each of their daily transactions, those drips quickly turn into geysers.  
  • So all those little, everyday transactions for stuff like gas, groceries, and coffee generate real, ongoing revenue for organizations doing good in the world.
  • That’s pretty exciting, right?

You Can Join the Groundswell

We’re a startup company and the last few months we’ve been doing startup things like building out our infrastructure and pursuing funding from professional investors. But that’s mostly done now and we’re excited to announce our next growth phase.

We’re partnering with WeFunder to raise the round of funding that will release our program into the wild. Why are we using WeFunder for such an important step? Because their mission looks a lot like ours.

You see, until only recently, the wealthy had a government-protected monopoly on investing in high-growth startups. That locks ordinary people out of the investing cycle and greatly limits entrepreneur’s access to investment funding. WeFunder changes that by connecting ordinary investors directly to entrepreneurs doing the really important stuff in America.

We could have pursued these same wealthy investors but that runs counter to our mission of harnessing the power of capitalism for a greater good. By partnering with WeFunder, we’re interrupting the investing monopoly enjoyed by the wealthy in the same way we’re interrupting the big banks’ monopoly on credit card processing fees. This way, everyone can be a part of our exciting new mission

Start Your WeFunder Today

  • If you’re interested in learning more, check out our WeFunder page.
  • If you’d like to invest, there’s an important step you need to complete first. To start this process, you need to open a FREE WeFunder investment account.
  • It only takes a few minutes and you should hear back within the day. So if you’re not already a WeFunder investor, get started today so you can be among the first in the country to join the Groundswell.

Together We Can Do Something Big

Our mission has always been about doing great things together. Together we can use the combined power of small, everyday actions to fund HUGE change in the world. But first we can join together to form the solid backbone of the company that will drive those big changes. We can all rise together and that starts today.

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If you’d like to stay up-to-date along the way, sign up for the Groundswell newsletter.

Use Your Debit Card To Fund Nonprofits

Money on Mission

GroundSwell creates branded debit card programs for nonprofit organizations and their members. Instead of transaction fees going back to a big bank, we share it with your nonprofit.

There are never any fees for the card holder, no credit checks, and all your money is FDIC insured just like any bank would (also, there’s rewards!)

Contact us today to learn more about how GroundSwell can help your organization create a new, sustained source of revenue that will help fund its mission.

Groundswell: Funding Organizations Who Are Doing Good

It’s Tough Out There

It’s easy these days to look out at the world and wonder how things will ever change. The problems we face appear insurmountable, especially when our society seems so bitterly divided. And momentum is difficult to slow, even when it’s carrying us in the wrong direction.

We All Try, in Our Own Ways, to Work Around the Edges

To pitch in where we can. We shop local. We recycle. We give our time and money to the organizations and causes we believe in. But deep down we wonder if it’s actually making a difference.

Something New is Coming

But what if it didn’t have to be that way? What if it were possible for like-minded people to make a difference through simple, everyday actions?

What if those simple, everyday actions redirected millions of dollars away from big businesses and back towards organizations dedicated to doing good in the world?

What if those organizations suddenly had access to ongoing and never-before realized revenue streams they could leverage towards making large, lasting impacts?

If all that were true, could an ordinary person change the world? GroundSwell believes so.

Putting Money On Mission

Spending money is a simple, everyday action. We buy gas, groceries, lunch, movie tickets every day without much thought. And most of the time we use a plastic card to make those purchases.

But did you know that between your card and your bank lies a tangled network of money interests that each get a piece of your transaction?

It’s not much – a few dollars here and there – but when you’re collecting dollars off of a few hundred or a few hundred million daily transactions, those dollars turn into billions of dollars.

In 2016 alone, credit and debit cards made over $42 BILLION just on debit and credit card transactions fees alone (this doesn’t even count interest charges).

Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date with the latest from Groundswell, and learn how you can invest in our company.

What Does this Have to do With Me?

So what do card transaction fees have to do with changing the world? This is where GroundSwell steps in.

Our organization operates as a unique kind of financial organization that builds custom branded VISA debit card programs and collects a portion of the processing fees those cards generate.

What Makes Us so Different?

Instead of serving individuals or for-profit companies like a traditional big bank…

GroundSwell partners with nonprofit organizations dedicated to doing good.

  • We make it possible for these organizations to issue their own Visa debit cards to their dedicated supporters.
  • Those supporters, in turn, use their cards to make everyday purchases.
  • As the financial organization, GroundSwell collects a portion of those simple, everyday transactions and then returns a share of that revenue back to our partner.
  • We create ongoing, never-before realized revenue streams for our partner organizations, generated by the simple, everyday actions of their ardent supporters.

A GroundSwell is Starting

Before GroundSwell, that annual $42 billion in card transaction revenue did nothing to help the world. In fact, by enriching only a few at the expense of many, that money actually contributed to making the world much worse. 

After GroundSwell, that money can now be liberated to begin doing the impactful work our society and our world really needs.

Imagine 1,000 non-profit organizations, each with their own card program generating millions of dollars in ongoing revenue for their good causes. What kind of change could come then?

We Rise Together

By its nature, a groundswell moves to encompass everyone in its path. We believe our idea – our way of doing money better – is no different.

GroundSwell is about sharing the wealth with those who will use it best. And once that idea starts gaining momentum, it won’t be stopped because it’s carrying us all in the right direction.

Learn More

If this idea excites you, get involved by clicking the button below. You’ll be the first to learn all the latest Groundswell news, including information on how you can invest in our company. Together, we can be the force that moves the world towards the light. Join us today in that movement.