Editor:

I am writing in response to a Letter to the Editor printed in the May 1 issue of the Business Examiner.

Through a miscommunication with the editorial staff, the letter that was printed was actually an e-mail sent in follow up to a previous interaction with a Business Examiner reporter.

I want your readers know that the point of the e-mail was to discuss the headline your newspaper attached to several paragraphs of a press release announcing the launch of DonationDepot.com—not to imply that Tacoma is without experienced and viable investors.

In fact, DonationDepot.com is very happy to be part of the exciting high-tech revolution taking place in Tacoma and appreciates the support we’ve received from the City of Tacoma, fellow startup companies and local investors and businessmen.

In fact, because of more than $500,000 in investments, we’ve been able to launch our online donation and volunteer match services, hire key staff and rent a nice office downtown. As a result, we’ve already raised thousands of dollars for Washington charities and are experiencing more than 100,000 visits to our website every month.

Without the help of Tacoma investors, none of this would have been possible.

In addition, several members of Tacoma’s large and experienced pool of investors have provided invaluable feedback on our business model and other topics.

One example is Jeff Von Schmauder of Capital Connection. With guidance from Jeff and other Tacoma investors, we are already rapidly achieving our $1.5 million goal for Round 2 funding.

We’re using the additional money we’ve raised to add additional services such as online auctions and shopping to our portal site, as well as to promote our customized online giving application. The application allows nonprofit organizations to receive online donations on their own websites using our backend services. It also allows companies to offer online giving to their employees at low cost. We’re currently working with several businesses, universities and charitable organizations who are customers of this application.

Because we are committed to raising additional capital for our own business and helping Tacoma and its many startups succeed, DonationDepot.com is proud to be a part of Techoma.com.

This informal group, which began as a weekly meeting of local dot com company CEOs, held its first startup forum June 6 at the DonationDepot.com auditorium.

Six Tacoma startups—Ideal Rental.com, ImprintStore.com, BetterNic, Inc., FanActive.com, HomeAuction.com and DonationDepot .com—made brief presentations and met with interested persons about their business models.

Afterward, Ed Drosdick of Moss Adams observed: “I think the Techoma.com 1.0 presentations were well done and represent an opportunity deserving of funding consideration. It’s clear to me that Tacoma will be a tech hub in the future— it’s always nice to be in on the ground floor.”

Techoma.com’s first session was well attended and provided a great networking opportunity for those who attended.

We plan to hold similar forums each quarter, inviting different Tacoma companies to present at each event.

DonationDepot.com and Techoma.com also recognize the importance of working with existing institutions such as Tacoma Technology Consortium, Tacoma Network and the Chamber of Commerce.

We have contacted these organizations about how we can work together. Hopefully, all of these groups, as well as the City of Tacoma, fellow startup companies, and local investors can continue working together to promote Tacoma, America’s #1 Wired City.

By Matt Ashworth, Vice president of Communications, DonationDepot.com