Givers: Reducing Financial Stress for Family Caregivers

By Mark Ogilbee posted 06-01-2023 04:50 PM


An AgeTech Collaborative™ startup participant, Givers is an app-based solution for family caregivers. With features tailored to the unique needs of caregivers, the Givers app reduces stress by making it simple to plan and keep track of the expenses incurred while caring for a loved one. Founder and CEO Max Mayblum took some time to tell us more about the company and its vision for the future. 

This interview has been edited for clarity and length. 

Please tell us about Givers. 

Givers is on a mission to lower the financial stress of America’s 53 million family caregivers. There are people across the country paying out of pocket to take care of loved ones, such as aging parents, and financial stress is one of the most challenging aspects of caregiving. We help them manage the financial impacts with an app to plan, track and save on caregiving expenses. 


These unpaid caregivers are often family or adult children of the person receiving care? 

Exactly — in most cases, it’s adult children, and often it’s the sandwich generation. Millennials are the fastest-growing segment of caregivers. Those are the ones starting to feel the stress of taking care of aging parents, and they’re looking for the kinds of digital solutions that they use in other realms of their lives to manage the situation. 


Can you give us an example of how Givers delivers on that? 

One of the big pieces of feedback we’ve gotten is around collaborating with family members, because often it’s a team effort. But there’s often a lack of solutions that facilitate having these conversations around caregiving finances with your family. 

For example, it used to be awkward to ask your friend to pay you back after dinner. But now, it’s simple with apps like Venmo. We want the same kind of simplicity with caregiving. Givers also provides transparency, because we give you all the data you need to see what was actually being spent on caregiving, so it provides a connection point to have those conversations in a more effective manner. 


Can you walk us through how the app actually works? 

We want to be a hub for all things related to financial support and planning when it comes to caring for your loved ones, and we have three pillars to our app. 

The first pillar is the ability to set up budgets, whether that’s for out-of-pocket expenses or long-term savings plans. This also allows you to tuck away some money for unexpected expenses, which is common when you’re taking care of a loved one.  

The second pillar is tracking. You can open up a bank account through us and add funds, and you’ll get a debit card that is linked back to your plan. As you spend money, you’ll see how your spending is actually working against your budget and your plan. This allows caregivers to keep caregiving expenses separate from personal spending for tracking or compliance purposes. 

The third pillar of the app is saving. We do everything we can to highlight savings opportunities for family caregivers and tie that in with the rest of their experience with us. Those opportunities might be cash back on their Givers Card, or helping them get plugged into government programs that are difficult to navigate, or that people may not even know they have access to. 


How does the Givers app differ from other personal financial apps on the market? 

In many cases, financial apps available today are either specialized for certain use cases, or they’re more generic for opening up a checking account and so forth. But there are so many nuances and complexities with caregiving, and we’ve learned that caregivers often develop their own system — using spreadsheets, keeping receipts or using pen and paper. They may even be willfully blind to how much they’re spending, but they’re still feeling that stress in the back of their mind. 

That’s why we’ve developed the three pillars for our app, and we’re excited to have a blue-sky environment where we can continue to iterate and create new features and products that can help serve caregivers in ways that have been neglected by the financial system today. 


What inspired you to found Givers? 

This all started with my own family’s experience when my parents were thrown into an intense caregiving situation. I was trying to help them navigate the complex web of resources that you need as a caregiver, and I found that there weren’t good systems set up for caregivers specifically. 

Prior to Givers, I was an early employee at a telehealth company, so I was on the frontier of digital health and building beautiful consumer technology experiences that change the way we interact with the healthcare system. Helping my family, I saw that the system was begging for the same sort of elegant consumer interface that should be as easy as streaming your favorite show or ordering a pair of shoes online. So it became obvious to me that there is an opportunity to build something as easy as what we were building in the healthcare space, but focused on caregivers. 


How did you find your way to the AgeTech Collaborative™? 

We pitched at a FinTech startup competition where AARP was present, and from there we were invited to join the Collaborative’s accelerator. We were super excited about it, because in the early days of the company I relied heavily on the research that was coming out of AARP to understand consumers’ key pain points and to guide decisions about the company.  

The Collaborative's accelerator helped us from a user research perspective, and it also helped us navigate all the research and expertise that’s available in the AARP ecosystem. Having that expertise in our corner has been extremely valuable. 


What’s next on the horizon for Givers? 

The thing I’m most excited about coming from a healthcare background is how Givers can help family caregivers get more formally engaged in the healthcare system and, as a result, actually get financially compensated for the work that they’re doing. There are incentive-aligned payers in the healthcare space, whether those are health plans or providers, who have tasks that they need to get done in the home — and who better to do it than the family member who’s already there and highly engaged and cares the most about the loved one? So as we build a really engaging tool on the financial side for family caregivers, we’re excited to partner with innovative health plans and providers who see the opportunity to incentivize family caregivers. 

We’re also excited to help support any companies that are working with caregivers and looking for solutions that they can point their caregivers to, to help them focus on their finances and help with the spectrum of impacts that they face. 


Visit their website to learn more about Givers.