Madison Mikhail Bush from the Point app is creating an easier way to volunteer and connect so that causes can have the necessary support. In her own words, she describes Point as “your starting point for doing good”. Regular volunteers may be familiar with the tiring task of learning about organizations and how to get involved. Discovering a nonprofit to support can also be its own task. Volunteering and donating should be much more seamless for people who want to be active.
Madison discussed making the volunteering process smoother for volunteers and nonprofits. She recalls her first failed venture of an online giving site during her college days. After failing, she raised $20k on Indiegogo and hired San Francisco based help to develop the point app. Unfortunately, those developers from San Fran took most of the money without giving Madison a product, but she didn’t give up and persevered to develop a solution.
Not only perseverance but her resourcefulness. Madison’s journey is an excellent example of reaching major players through seemingly minor connections. One instance is Madison randomly calling an old friend about an old offer. The friend casually offered to build an app for Madison two years ago. She hadn’t spoken to that friend since then. To her surprise, the friend agreed to honor that offer. More surprising, that friend happened to be working for Google when she called.
Point app still experienced hurdles. Madison shares her stories of the challenges raising funds. She expressed how grateful she is to Point’s early supporters; including the Columbus Foundation who gave Point a boost to get more done.
Now, Point is focused more than ever on supporting good in the midst of COVID-19. Harnessing more passion and drive, Madison talks briefly about her approach to remaining active at this time. She mentioned the virtual hack-a-thon, Can’t Stop Columbus, being one way.
Madison did mention how people react to the word “volunteering”. She admits it’s not associated with a cool or exciting image. Through Point, she hopes to re-brand the word. In her work, she sees many exciting things take place. Madison found that volunteering brings very different backgrounds together, like varied socioeconomic class.
“Your time matters. How you spend your time matters.”– Madison
She explained the stories that can be shared during these interactions can really bring more creativity to someone’s life. Almost widening a lens, or enlarging a canvas. Madison thinks everyone has “value to give”.
I can understand the value Point has to give. Point becomes this lens of focus saying, “Hey. Here’s where help is needed most, and here’s how you can jump in and get involved in a productive way without wasting your time. ”
*Note: Madison is center in the photo. This is what I love about Columbus – this was a chance encounter with local change-makers at the Roosevelt Coffeehouse (a social enterprise), with Emily (left, organizer GiveBackHack Columbus), Madison (Point), Mico, (a local restaurateur), and Nicole (President of Alleviating Poverty Through Entrepreneurship over at OSU.) As a bonus, Emily is wearing a Jeni’s t-shirt, a great B-Corp ice cream company that started in Columbus.