Does it make any sense that our digital economy produces all kinds of innovation yet millions of ordinary people still can’t find a better source of emergency funding than payday lenders and pawn shops? Not to us. So we rolled up our sleeves and came up with an alternative.

We knew would have to mobilize a mix of resources. That’s why we made it our mission to launch a self-help community for friends, family, nonprofit institutions and local community organizations. The LiftRocket platform enables teams to self-organize and support each other with a trustworthy, renewable source of safety net funding. Our goal is to enable our members to build a track record of responsible behavior that will help them qualify for traditional lending products. Down the road, we may offer those products ourselves or in partnership with mainstream banks and lenders.

Our first product is called a Lift because it’s halfway between a loan and a gift. A Lift allows members to specify a financial need and request voluntary contributions from other members, provides payment technology to move funds, and tracks member activity to promote positive behavior and resource sharing. Members launch their Lift request with small starter contributions from friends and family and we supplement what they receive with additional funding from the LiftRocket Community Fund. A Lift includes a trust-based Pay It Forward plan that enables the recipient to make small monthly installments that replenish the Community Fund and support future Lifts to additional members.

Our business model to make this work is a best-of-breed approach. The LiftRocket Company (officially LiftRocket LLC) is led and funded by its founders. The LiftRocket Community Fund (officially LiftRocket Charitable Fund A) is a nonprofit organization that devotes 100% of the funds it raises from contributions from the LiftRocket Company, individual and group donors and Lift Pay It Forward installments to supporting Lift requests. Our ambition is to follow the model of organizations like USAA and Vanguard and deliver innovative products and services that serve members’ best interest.

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