If you’ve spent any time working in or volunteering for a nonprofit you’re probably familiar with the fact that the goals of their organization are constantly challenged by the resources they have to achieve them. To put it mildly: budgets are tight.
Hence, my typical opening fact when describing RightGift is: “We are a FREE platform for in-kind giving,” a statement which is frequently met with a question: “What’s the catch?”
Well, there isn’t one.
Removing the financial burden
By using affiliate relationships with online retailers to fulfill the donations on our wish lists, we remove the financial burden put on our clients that other companies have to impose. In other words, when a nonprofit creates a school supply drive on RightGift and a donor purchases items from that list, the retailers fulfilling the transaction pay us a commission. Those commissions represent our sole source of revenue, thus allowing the full value of the transaction to remain between the donor and the recipient. A novel concept in the nonprofit technology world.
The first thing you’re instructed to evaluate as a new start-up is the market in which your products will exist which leads to making assumptions about the buying habits of your potential customers. In the nonprofit space, the general assumption remains that potential customers can pay little to nothing for new products. For these reasons, and many others, very few nonprofit technology companies are created for fear of lack of funding and support from investors. The result? Quality, affordable nonprofit platforms are few and far between.
Creating a better world for nonprofits
Our vision is simple: we want to create a world where nonprofits benefit from the best technology available at no cost. The typical business model for a nonprofit software solution is either charging a monthly fee or taking a percentage of the donation as payment for the platform. Sadly, often times, it’s both. Now, that’s not a criticism. In our view anyone building a business with the dual purpose of improving the world is on a good path. Providing free technological innovation for nonprofits is a core part of who we are and why we exist.
RightGift is guided by two key tenets: complete transparency and utmost efficiency.
In today’s world information spreads, for better or worse, at a speed we couldn’t imagine 15 years ago. For nonprofits that represents many benefits, but one massive negative is the proliferation of distrust amongst donors regarding charities that misuse or abuse their funding.
Transparency and efficiency are key
For the majority of us, giving is in our DNA. But when we doubt how our gifts will be utilized or distributed, it’s understandable to hesitate. Transparency is a core function of our platform and the single greatest reason our average individual donor gives more than $160 per purchase, over 2.5x the average on GoFundMe. When donors know where their gift is going and how it will be used, they feel more confident in the giving process.
While some donors enjoy the process of visiting a store, picking out a physical product, driving to a nonprofit’s office and dropping it off, many of us live in a world of efficiency. We believe anything we wish to purchase should be no further away than the screen in the palm of our hands.
Whether it’s from a nonprofit we support or a coworker hosting a donation drive, most of us are accustomed to the following message: “Our annual toy drive begins next Tuesday, so please don’t forget to bring a gift and drop it off in the box in our lobby!” RightGift doesn’t necessarily need to replace the box in the lobby, but you can think of it as your more efficient, digital lobby box. This might explain why we see employee participation within workplace giving campaigns surpass 40%.
RightGift launched last year and since then, we have worked with more than 300 organizations around the country, helping run their charitable giving campaigns, spanning a diverse range of causes. This spring we’ll launch a new cash back program for office and cleaning supplies: for any organization that purchases their supplies through RightGift, we’ll donate 1% of the purchase price to a nonprofit of their choice.
After that, you ask? We’ll continue to build free technology that benefits nonprofits, the donor experience, and ultimately, our communities. That’s where it all started and where we’ll always be.
Scott Goldberg has over twenty years of experience in technology companies of all sizes, from startups to Fortune 500s. With roles spanning almost every area, from Founder to product and business development leader, he enjoys learning from those around him. His main focus is on building businesses with a true double impact.