frequently asked questions

What is a Data Library?

We hope that millions of Americans will take our 60-second survey to tell us a little bit about their household. Once that information has been collected, it will be stored in a spreadsheet (or database) that contains names, mailing addresses, and survey responses. We call this a "Data Library."

Why are you creating a Data Library?

Our founder, Tavis McGinn, has been struggling with depression for 26 years. He would like to help other people who are also suffering from the same illness. Treatment for depression (therapy, medication, and hospitals) can be expensive, so Tavis would like to raise substantial funds to help provide FREE treatment options for people with depression. Tavis believes that one of the easiest ways to raise these funds is through a Data Library where people donate their data to help the cause. A Data Library could add to support that is already offered by charities and the government.

Why should I donate my data?

Every year, 16 million Americans experience depression. Even if you don't struggle with the illness, chances are someone you know (a friend, a family member, a coworker, a neighbor, etc.) is drowning in thoughts of sadness. They may feel so alone that they don't even have the strength to reach out and ask for help. This can lead to a life that spirals out of control and even suicide. Don't let that happen. Donating your data is fast, free, and easy. We're not asking for money. We don't want to "track" you online. We just want some basic information about your household. Think of this as a Census survey to help businesses be more efficient. We wouldn't be going through this effort unless we believed that this could make a real difference in the fight against depression. But we need your help to make it happen. Donate here

What services could be offered to people with depression?

We commit to send 95% of the proceeds from the Data Library to grants for creating FREE treatment options for people with depression. That could include therapy, medicine, books, hospital stays, apps, local groups, websites, and more. The main thing is that it has to be effective (based on science) and free. Unfortunately, there are many people today who have depression but don't seek treatment (such as therapy and medication) because it is too expensive. We want to change that.

Is my data secure?

We take privacy very, very seriously. We do not like it when companies track everything you do online such as the websites you visit, the messages you write, the pictures you post, the stores you visit, the products you buy, etc. We believe that advertisers really only need some basic information about your household to deliver the right ads to the right people. That's why we've made our survey as short as possible. If you donate your data to the Data Library, it will be kept in a secure server. Companies will only be able to license the data if they sign an agreement and agree to privacy requirements. We use Google forms to collect your data to ensure that the encryption is extremely secure.

Can I remove my data?

Absolutely! If for any reason you change your mind, you can always send us a note (at and we will remove your information from the Data Library. 

Can I get updates on your progress?

 Yes. We would love to keep you in the loop. If you donate your data, you will receive regular updates on our progress. Our goal is to get millions of Americans to donate their data so we have a large Data Library that would be valuable to advertisers. If we meet that goal, we can also keep you updated on how much we've raised for the fight against depression and the FREE resources and treatment options we've funded. 

Is Honest Data a non-profit?

No. Honest Data, Inc. is a Delaware corporation. We were incorporated in August 2014. We currently offer for-profit research services such as surveys, focus groups, and phone interviews. The Data Library is a new project for our company to show our support for the fight against depression. We commit that 95% of the proceeds from the Data Library will go towards grants to create FREE services for people struggling with depression. If the Data Library becomes large enough, we will probably spin it out as a separate non-profit 501(c)3 company. We are inspired by other companies that have successfully blended non-profit goals with for-profit operations (such as Tom's Shoes).

How can I get in touch with Honest Data?

Honest Data is based in Charlotte, NC. You can email us at or you can call our Founder, Tavis McGinn, directly at (415) 613-7317,

Can you share an example of how the data would be used?

Of course! There are many ways a company could use a Data Library that contains basic information about households in the United States. Here's one example. Let's imagine that there is an online store called "eChocolate" and they sell premium chocolate bars that are shipped directly to your household. Let's imagine that this store has been in business for five years and they have already sold (and shipped) chocolate bars to over 10,000 households in America. They want to continue growing, but they really don't know anything about their customers. All they have is a list of names and mailing addresses. Are their customers young or old? Male or female? Parents or singles? A company could answer these questions by matching their customer list to the information in the Data Library. The chocolate company could then learn more about the people who have purchased their products in the past. That information would help them create special offers, build marketing campaigns, launch new products, design their website, and so on. In this scenario, they would pay a licensing fee for access to the Data Library that contains information on American households.

How can I help?

If you want to help us in the fight against depression, you can donate your data. If you've already done that, you can send a link to your friends and family members encouraging them to donate their data too. You can also share information about the Data Library and your support for our cause on social media. If you're a mental health professional and you want to help us create FREE treatment options for people with depression, please reach out to us directly at to discuss future grants. Together, we can change lives. Thank you for your support.