YourCause Founder and CEO Matt Combs knows similar struggles plague many nonprofits.
Tight budgets, limited talent resources, and staying up-to-date with the latest technologies can hinder them from helping those in need, Combs said.
Since 2008, YourCause has aided companies such as AT&T and Dell in their social responsibility efforts. Through its private label technology platform, it coordinates nonprofit donations and volunteering and helps corporations measure their social impact.
Nearly half of its 118 corporate clients are Fortune 500 companies. This year, it expects a 52 percent year-over-year revenue growth from 2015.
“I’ve always believed that the nonprofits are the ones that are really trying to make the change and we should probably support them every way that we can.”
But, profits aren’t what drives Combs.
“I’ve always believed that the nonprofits are the ones that are really trying to make the change and we should probably support them every way that we can — whether it’s with technology, whether it’s with dollars, whether it’s with volunteers or just [giving them a] voice,” Combs said.
That’s why YourCause doesn’t charge any administration or processing fees. All proceeds donated through the platform reach the respective nonprofits.
Nonprofits also can register for a free portal page to upload volunteer events and organization needs and goals as well as gain access to donation information.
And, now the Plano-based company is equipping its 80,000 nonprofit partners with even more digital tools to increase efficiency in their operations.
FINDING THE TOOLS TO MANAGE DATA
In February, YourCause acquired Orange Leap, a donor management system. By the end of the quarter, it plans to launch a platform for nonprofits called NPOconnect, which integrates the Orange Leap system.
There are other donor management tools on the market, but unlike others that charge for the software, Combs plans to give it away. If nonprofits want to import external data into the platform, they can purchase a paid version, but otherwise, it’s free.
Keeping donor data accurate is a challenge Angela McCoy, philanthropy operations manager at the North Texas Food Bank, faces in her department.
“When we don’t have the right data and information, it confuses other departments and it also hurts us when we try to get in touch with our donors and when we try to solicit them,” McCoy said.
For donors who contribute through the YourCause platform, NTFB can gather information such as names and company affiliation that can be useful to gift officers in establishing fundraising relationships.
“We want [NPOconnect] to be used as a central repository for all donor data.”
Currently, to search that data McCoy must export it from the YourCause platform into NTFB’s customer relationship management database.
“When the new [YourCause nonprofit] portal uploads, it’s very user-friendly,” McCoy said. “Like when we want to see within the last year, how much one organization has donated to us, we’re able to just query that information within that portal.”
McCoy said she’ll still have to download the information into NTFB’s database since not everyone in the organization has access to the YourCause account.
But for other nonprofits, Combs hopes the new offering will serve as both a time and cost savings.
“We want [NPOconnect] to be used as a central repository for all donor data. We don’t want it going off into other places or if you were just using spreadsheets, we want you to use an online system to manage that because it will be far more effective,” Combs said.
SOCIAL GIVING BEGINS WITH ONE
Combs can trace his company’s roots to an hour of television about a boy thousands of miles away.
At age 10, Patrick Arob was abducted like thousands of others by Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda.
As Combs watched Patrick tell NBC’s Keith Morrison in 2005 about the night rebels forced him to kill his mother, he felt compelled to act.
“Then they say that we must kill our mother. Then they said, if you refuse, they’re going to kill us all. Then we do that,” Patrick says during the Dateline report.
In two days, Combs raised $2,500, which he planned to send to Patrick. Along the way, the tech entrepreneur noticed a few snags.
“In raising it I found all sorts of holes in what technology was providing me as a fundraiser,” Combs said. “I thought: ‘my passion and enthusiasm is there, yet my tools are missing.’”
“There’s a lot of ways the employer can engage their employee by providing them with really unique benefits that still promote the greater good … ” Matt Combs
So, he built an online platform to ease the process. First, the focus was on helping individuals fundraise for social good. When that didn’t prove to be a sustainable business model, he pivoted to enterprise. Now, he’s expanding offerings for nonprofits with NPOconnect.
In the future, Combs said he might venture away from strictly a “cause nature.”
“There’s a lot of ways the employer can engage their employee by providing them with really unique benefits that still promote the greater good of not only the individual but also the society,” he said.
He’s also planning to finally meet Patrick, the boy who inspired it all. The two have been emailing back and forth, but plans are in motion for an in-person meeting.
“I don’t know what it’s going to be like. I’ve thought about it a lot, though,” Combs said.
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