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New Austin dating app helps singles find true love in good-hearted ways

New Austin dating app helps singles find love in good-hearted ways

Couple dating
This app wants to "put the soul back in dating." Swoovy

Dating is, of course, a romantic pursuit. After all, what's more romantic than believing you're one first date away from find your soulmate?

On the flip side, dating is also big business that costs big bucks. According to a 2018 report from, a date in Texas costs an average of $110.99, a very costly sum considering that — and assuming this is the goal — most dates don't end in a relationship. But a new Austin-based dating app wants to make dating a little less about giving over your credit card and more about giving back.

Swoovy, co-founded by Austinite Brooke Waupsh and Jeff McMahon in 2018, officially launched in Austin earlier this summer. Its mission is to turn dates into volunteer opportunities, giving users a cost-effective way to get to know someone while helping the community.

Like Tinder or Bumble, Swoovy matches users who mutually swipe on each other. Where it differs is in the date itself. After matching, the budding couple can choose a volunteer event with a local nonprofit, such as sorting donations at the Central Texas Food Bank or walking dogs with Austin Animal Center. On the day of the date, they meet up, help out, and maybe, just maybe, find love.

"Using this app is a win-win for online daters who are looking to make more meaningful connections and nonprofits who struggle to get new volunteers in the door," the company explains in a release. Swoovy also notes that having other volunteers around eases the initial pressure of getting to know someone. Plus, if it's a bust, at least daters can feel good about how they spent their time.

Currently, Swoovy has more than a dozen Austin nonprofit partners, ranging from Mobile Loaves & Fishes and Art on the Streets to Meals on Wheels and Habitat for Humanity, and the company says it's actively recruiting for more philanthropic organizations to join. (Interested nonprofits can find more information here.)

As for daters, Swoovy users have to be in Austin, but a rep confirms that expansion to Houston and Dallas is currently underway.