Get Gifting in 90 Seconds or Less With inLieu

- Lauren Miura



…perfect world, we’d all have wrapped, hand-picked hostess gifts at the ready for this week’s holiday soiree.  But in the event you find yourself dashing out the door tonight with a re-gifted candle in hand, we’ve found a genius alternative that your host will love and appreciate way more than an item they may never use.

InLieu is a new app that makes it easy to donate to any nonprofit in honor of a loved one or friend “in lieu” of a physical gift. Simply download the app, select a recipient from your contact list, and make a gift to their favorite charity. Your friend receives a message that you donated on their behalf via text, email or Tweet. In the meantime, the charity gets funding for its mission and you get to be the most popular person at the party -- not to mention, the most thoughtful and creative. 

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…brainchild of Austin, Texas-based serial entrepreneur Kathy Terry, inLieu came to life while she was out on a run one Saturday morning and realized she hadn’t bought a hostess gift for a party that evening. “I stopped and thought, ‘Wait, does my friend really need another bottle of wine or scented candle?” she said. “I’d much rather give a donation to her favorite charity in her name.”  

Terry began searching for a tech platform that would let her donate to any nonprofit and instantly create a personal message for a friend or loved one via text or email. When the search came up empty, the idea for inLieu was born. “The biggest challenge I faced was attempting to build a mobile app with no technology experience,” said Terry, who co-founded the P. Terry’s Burger Stand chain with her husband Patrick. “But like I tell people, never doubt a woman driven by passion.”



…vision for inLieu, which launched just this past March, is for the app to transform how people give. In fact, inLieu has already become a verb in her household. “Not long after we launched, I was heading to a dinner party and grabbed a bottle of wine to take, and my 10-year-old said, “Mom! Shouldn’t you just inLieu them?” Terry recalled. “I had to explain that this was actually a party that required me to take a bottle of wine. It was admission into my ‘wine club.’ Gotta love that girl!”

In addition to donating on someone’s behalf, inLieu also enables users to create their own fundraisers and invite their friends to support. We love that inLieu is linked to GuideStar, so that every U.S. registered nonprofit is already listed in the app -- giving all charities an opportunity to be on the receiving end of a gift. 

So the next time you need a gift fast -- save the wine for yourself (cheers!) and give a gift that lasts, and matters, with inLieu. 

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