Changing the Gift-Giving Game: How Eshed Doni of GiftCrowd Enhances the Giving Experience

Changing the Gift-Giving Game: How Eshed Doni of GiftCrowd Enhances the Giving Experience
Photo Credit: Eshed Doni

Eshed Doni moved from Israel and built his entrepreneurial career around leveraging technology to improve people’s lives. Some of his first professional highlights include developing SendM, one of the earliest mobile group messaging solutions, and App2Go, a developer of mobile applications. 

Doni’s most recent innovation, however, is GiftCrowd. Inspired by a frustrating experience organizing his son’s teacher’s gift, he set out to design an online platform that utterly reimagines the group gifting process.

How Eshed Doni finds his passion for connecting people’s problems with tech solutions

Growing up in a small Israeli town, Doni had little access to technology and electronics, spending most of his childhood playing outdoors and developing relationships with friends. He cut his teeth in the Israeli Air Force Technology Unit before moving into software engineering, where he rose swiftly through the management ranks, but after a decade of success, he still felt something was missing.

Doni managed to get his direct manager to authorize an unpaid leave so he could figure out what was bothering him, and during this break, he made time to travel. After three weeks exploring Central America, Doni found himself on top of a bus stopped on a muddy Guatemalan road. 

“As I took in the breathtaking scenery around me, I came to an abrupt realization,” Doni recalls. “I saw that my career lacked a broader perspective. From that point forward, I was determined to return to tech with a holistic view.”

Rather than concentrating just on technology, Doni prioritized building bridges between people and machines. His passion for utilizing technology to enhance everyday living fueled his shift from product development to product management. Since that moment, this decision dictated the course of his entire career.

How the problem of purchasing teacher gifts inspired an all-new tech solution

Creativity is Doni’s most robust entrepreneurial strength. He approaches familiar problems with fresh eyes and develops novel solutions, which is how GiftCrowd, his latest venture, was born.

“When I offered to be in charge of the holiday gift for my son’s teacher, I discovered how frustrating, difficult, and time-consuming it is to organize a group present,” Doni remembers. “I was under the impression that all it would take was a few emails. I could not have been more mistaken!”

Doni spent hours composing tactful email reminders, phoning unresponsive parents, and carrying small bills to make change for cash contributions. After all that, he still couldn’t decide what to buy. “I went to a local pharmacy to purchase a gift card,” he says, “and within minutes, another parent approached me with their contribution!”

After that experience, Doni was sure there had to be a less complicated process. The fact was that thousands of other parents endured the same nightmare every time teacher appreciation week, the end of the school year, or the holidays rolled around. When he could not find a solution, he took on the challenge of building one. He wanted a fresh approach to simplifying group giving and an innovative business model free of usage fees.

Doni put his creativity to work and designed a digital platform to streamline every aspect of the group gifting process. The experience was once notoriously exhausting and stressful, but now it is simple and easy.

GiftCrowd allows people to celebrate an important person, like a teacher or coach, in seconds. Furthermore, It invites others to pitch in, collects contributions in the payment form people prefer, keeps contribution amounts anonymous, and collects thoughtful messages to personalize the gift with a heartfelt card. Best of all, the platform allows recipients to redeem their gift from over 450 popular brands, including Amazon, Target, Nordstrom, Crate & Barrel, Walmart, Visa, Lowe’s, Celebrity Cruises, Delta Airlines, and more.

GiftCrowd is a web-based platform that democratizes the process of group gifting. Everyone can add as much or as little as they like and write their personalized message for the gift’s recipient. By streamlining the ordinarily tedious and uncomfortable steps involved in conventional group gifting, GiftCrowd ensures that the organizer, the participants, and the recipient all enjoy the experience of giving and receiving.

“Gifts are a huge part of the human experience,” remarks Doni. “Sometimes, we want to give tokens to the people in our lives to show them how much we care. At other times, we are given gifts as loved ones care for us.”

Through GiftCrowd’s innovative platform, Doni has successfully streamlined this essential giving process and hopes the technology will cause more people to give and receive gifts. Ultimately, he wants more chances for people to form and deepen their emotional connections.

“Our society can only benefit from giving and forming connections,” concludes Doni. “Whenever I embark on a new design project, I always consider my ultimate legacy and the impact I hope to have on the world. I believe I impact the happiness of those around me just as they impact mine. As human beings, using our talents to better the lives of other people — both those we know directly and those we don’t — will be our greatest gift to the world.”


Published By: Aize Perez


This article features branded content from a third party. Opinions in this article do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of CEO Weekly.