The announcement follows a successful first year from company’s flagship equality brand, the EqualityCard® Visa Credit Card. Since its launch in February 2014, credit-card startup EqualityCard® has consistently added new credit cardholders as well LGBT non-profit affiliates which benefit each time an EqualityCard® Visa Credit Card is used to make a purchase. Created by the Denver-based company, Philanthropy Ventures LLC, EqualityCard® Visa Credit Card revolutionises fundraising for non-profits by allowing business and consumer cardholders to make tax-deductible donations equal to 1 percent of their purchases to the LGBT non-profit of their choice with no out of pocket expense to the cardholders or the non-profits.
Given the strong response to the brand, Philanthropy Ventures, LLC, has now developed a General Purpose Reloadable (GPR) Prepaid Visa Debit Card under the same distinctive EqualityCard® brand. The prepaid debit card version of the EqualityCard® differs from a credit card, in that it is not paired with a credit line which can be drawn upon for purchases, but rather, the cardholder pre-loads funds onto the card with which they can use to make purchases at retail establishments and online. GPR prepaid cards are one of the fastest growing segments of the financial services industry as they provide a valuable alternative for individuals and communities that are underserved by traditional banking products.
“We have been so inspired by the positive and energetic response from the LGBT community over the past year that we began looking for other ways that we could add value for our cardholders and the LGBT non-profits that mean the most to them. A prepaid debit card with the same distinctive EqualityCard® branding seemed like the perfect next step,” said Nick Lepetsos, Philanthropy Ventures LLC, Founder/CEO and EqualityCard® creator.
“During our first year of operation, we realised that for a number of individuals in the LGBT community, a credit card may not the right fit for them for a variety of reasons. Several such individuals conveyed to me how much it would mean to them to be able to carry and use the EqualityCard® brand, and to give back to the LGBT community. One person told me that the EqualityCard® brand was the only one they ever truly wanted. At that point, we knew that we had to develop a prepaid card to allow every individual in the LGBT community to become part of the EqualityCard® family,” said Lepetsos.
The EqualityCard® Project launched in February 2014 with just over a dozen original non-profit LGBT affiliates. Since that time, it has grown to serve 94 LGBT non-profit affiliates with national, regional and local impact, along with approximately 2,500 cardholders residing in 47 states. In its first five quarters of operation, the EqualityCard® Project has generated nearly $40,000 for LGBT non-profit organizations, with no out-of-pocket costs to its cardholders and very little administrative effort on the part of the recipient non-profits. The EqualityCard® Project is led by a Board of Advisors comprised of individuals from across the LGBT movement, including non-profit leaders, professionals, executives, and activists representing many areas of the country.
The EqualityCard® Prepaid Visa Debit Card is issued by Fifth Third bank and serviced by Vantiv, LLV. Due to the manner in which the prepaid debit card industry differs from the credit card industry, prepaid cardholders will not be afforded the ability to direct donations to specific LGBT non-profits. Instead, Philanthropy Ventures, LLC, will allow each prepaid debit cardholder to identify the specific cause category within the LGBT community that they would like to see supported with the donations created by all prepaid debit card users. Philanthropy Ventures, LLC, will take that information into consideration when distributing an amount equal to 10 percent of all net revenue generated through the prepaid debit card platform in the form of grants and sponsorships to its LGBT non-profit affiliates.
EqualityCard® actively participates in LGBT events throughout the year. It is launching the EqualityCard® Prepaid Visa Debit Card to the public in connection with Pride Season events in Indianapolis, St. Louis, and Denver throughout the month of June. EqualityCard® is also a proud supporter of Give OUT Day, the online day of giving for the LGBT community, and sponsored a prize contest for the 2015 event to reward the EqualityCard® non-profit affiliates that secured the largest number of donors during the event.
To learn more about EqualityCard® , visit: www.equalitycardproject.com