PhotoThe average American spends $271 on gift-giving per child each Christmas and, between fleeting toy trends and technology that all too quickly becomes obsolete, no gift is guaranteed to last. One new company is seeking to boycott toys in favor of giving children and young people a more meaningful gift: goals.

“Sow,” founded by Tanya Van Court (former Senior Vice President at Discovery Education), is a platform that makes it possible for children to receive monetary gifts that support meaningful goals in their lives.

The idea came to her following her daughter’s birthday. “My daughter asked for two things for her 9th birthday: money to finish saving for her investment account and a bike,” says Van Court. “Instead, she got Rainbow Looms.” It was then she realized that the gift-giving dynamic between young people and those who love them was broken.

“We're encouraging them to want more and more things instead of saving for meaningful goals that can actually make a difference in their lives,” she says in a 60-second video for The Pitch, where female entrepreneurs must sell you on their product in under a minute.

Give goals, not gifts

The way it works is simple: create a profile and let people follow you and your goals. If you're a parent, add your kid and let them get support for goals that matter. If you're a college student, tell Sow what school you attend so alumni can support your goals.

Personal savings as well as donation seeds can be grown on the platform. “Sow gives parents and young people the tools and inspiration to launch goals in three categories: saving towards future goals, sharing with those who are less fortunate, and spending wisely on things that matter,” says Van Court in an interview with

Seeds for the future

One Sower, 20-year-old Sarah N., saves for her future after college. “I am searching for my future, which I have learned means I need to save for it, too,” she says on her Sow profile. Among her sown seeds: a new laptop, retirement, and the eventual donation of a large sum of money to the Special Olympics.

Sow promises to help teach young people the true value of money as they pursue their dreams in a financially responsible and socially responsive way. It can also help parents with the responsibility of sorting out the financial gifts their kids may get.

“On birthdays, holidays, and every day, their friends, families, and connected networks can give them monetary gifts that help to support their goals and grow their dreams,” says Van Court.

The platform is set to launch on Monday, December 7.

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