New Technology Platforms Reinvent Fundraising Communication

By Amy Soden, MPC 2014

When we think of traditional fundraising we often think of the more one-sided communications, where potential donors are solely recipients rather than direct contributors to the conversation.

Enter next gen giving, a new movement in the charitable sector, where charities are now empowering donors and prospects with a voice they haven’t had before.

Just as we’ve seen marketing and communication for products and services move to increasingly more web-based platforms, giving and donating have also found new spaces online where the advocate is now both the cause and the community.

Giveffect removes back-end hassle for fundraisers

Giveffect, a Salesforce-meets-Shopify for nonprofits, is an example of this shift in communication. Giveffect provides nonprofits and charities with a suite of cloud-based software services that include donor and volunteer CRM, accounting and financial management tools, data analytics and public-facing fundraising pages for clients.

Giveffect exists at the intersection of crowdfunding and management software­. In this new paradigm it is essential for charities to broaden the conversation with donors by making it easy to give online while taking the hassle out of their back-end administrative tasks.

Tilt empowers users and the social community

Another contributor to this shift in communication is Tilt, a technology company servicing communities and groups by making it easy to collect, fundraise and pool money towards specific projects—charitable or social.

Tilt Founders James Beshara and Khaled Hussein. Credit: Tilt
Tilt Founders James Beshara and Khaled Hussein. Credit: Tilt

Tilt, unique in its approach to online communication and fundraising, is also broadening access to giving opportunities and user-empowered action towards causes that matter most to them. Tilt’s tagline, “make things happen,” says it all.

Fundraising and communication have opened up to give prospects, donors and community members a chance to be heard.

Tech platforms are helping to redefine fundraising as a collaborative rather than transactional process

Through Giveffect, donors can browse the marketplace for a cause to donate to or they can elect to create their own fundraising campaign on behalf of a cause. Similarly, Tilt allows users to collect, fundraise or sell something at the click of a button with the user’s decision-making at the beginning, middle and end of all engagement with the platform.

By placing more and more decision-making in the hands of the donor, technology-powered platforms like Giveffect and Tilt are increasingly becoming collaborators rather than transactional entities, signaling a shift in how charities and donors are interacting with one another.

Conan O'Brien teams up with Tilt to sell carved wood emojis at $100 a piece for charity. Credit: Tilt
Conan O’Brien teams up with Tilt to sell carved wood emojis at $100 a piece for charity. Credit: Tilt

Technology blended with philanthropy has amounted to a number of positive leaps for the third sector. When lines of communication are opened, greater transparency can be achieved and specific impact from donor dollars can more easily be measured. Charities can achieve greater reach, benefit from easier and more direct means for donors to give online and get access to donor data that can then be saved and retained for future solicitation.

Third sector challenges remain prominent

The challenges, as always, stem from the realities of an ever-crowded marketplace:

How do you convert a one-time donor into a regular contributor amongst the “noise” of so many charitable platforms competing for web users’ attention?

How do you maintain a personal connection with the lack of face-to-face engagement that comes with inevitable technological changes in our society?

These continued challenges signal the need to consider blended approaches of old and new to build lasting relationships both online and off. The best way to maximize the value of new technological platforms may be to look at them as additional assets rather than replacements for traditional fundraising approaches.

The future looks bright for fundraisers

Platforms like Giveffect and Tilt show us that the philanthropic conversation is expanding, that the platforms for cultivating two-way dialogue are increasing and that causes are becoming sources for collaboration to create unprecedented impact.