A few years ago, tech entrepreneur Jon Lincoln had an idea—a handmade marketplace that donated 100 percent of its profits to charity. He took his idea to Reddit forums to ask makers what they thought. “I got enough people saying they would be interested. And that led me to start my own Facebook community, Goimagine – Official Makers Group, in January 2020 with about 50 people. And it started with a discussion of what makers would want [in an online marketplace],” Jon said. The founder took their feedback and created the Goimagine platform.
Jon believes that the power of collective impact to create social change is one of the reasons handmade sellers join Goimagine. “There are people that want to see a better world, and they recognize that it’s going to take effort from the community to create that better world, and it’s not going to happen overnight.”
In addition to donating profits to charity, Goimagine differentiates itself from other marketplaces in a few ways. For one, it has strict rules about what can be sold on the platform. It doesn’t allow any mass-produced products. Makers also need to apply to sell on the platform and pay a monthly membership fee ranging from $2.50 to $10 per month. The $10 tier gives sellers their own branded website. The membership provides sellers with benefits, including access to Maker Business Academy and Maker Circle. “Maker Business Academy is a training center where we have a few different consultants constantly giving advice on how to grow your handmade business,” Jon said. Maker Circle is a social network where makers and artists can connect.
The founder shared why Goimagine gives members perks beyond a place to sell their goods. “At the end of the day, we’re trying to wrap our marketplace together with other benefits so that the makers and artists are getting more than just being a marketplace, which gives them a reason to stick around and support what we’re doing.”
Goimagine’s charitable focus is on nonprofit organizations that help children. Jon hopes that his company’s success will inspire other founders to create businesses for social good. “Our bigger goal is to prove out the model of being a marketplace that gives all profits to charity. It might inspire someone to create the Airbnb to help environmental causes, and someone else will create the Uber to help cure cancer. Someone else will create the eBay to do disaster relief. At the end of the day, Goimagine is proving a model that marketplaces are, as I believe it, a public good, not so much a corporate good.”
You can learn more about GoImagine at goimagine.com.