There’s 3 BIG reasons we’re not a fundraising intermediary

11 Feb

It has been a general rule of thumb here at the RAZ Mobile blog to not really talk a lot about all the (amazing!) things we do with our platform. On occasion we do highlight certain features and benefits of our platform and we do ask nonprofits interested in talking more about the space and our approach to it to contact us. We look at it as common practice and one that’s based on a spirit of helpfulness and service to our customers. We don’t really deploy a used-car, high pressure sales approach. Our customers are reaping manifold benefits and we’re thrilled to serve them.

But this week, I must shine a bright light on one MAJOR difference between what we do and seemingly every other software-as-a-service (SaaS) fundraising platform.

And that difference is: We’re not an intermediary fundraising platform. 

Here’s the 3 big reasons why.

1. Donors want to know their donation is going straight to the cause

Donations made through an intermediary fundraising platform are held by the intermediary for a period of time and forwarded to the cause at a later date. I think if you asked anyone who gives to those in need they would say 100 times out of 100 times that they want their money to go directly to those in need and having it held for any period of time isn’t what they want.

There are two extremes of intermediaries and some fill a great role like introducing small causes to large corporations. This to me is OK but not great.

On the far extreme are bizarre intermediary platforms that take donations to causes they don’t have a relationship with and then they promise to use “commercially reasonable efforts” to get the donation to the cause. If they can’t (keep in mind, the donation made is still sitting in THEIR bank account and not the cause’s) they take a slice of the donation and refund the balance of the donation to the donor!!

I fail to see how this model has those in need at the core of their mission. Representing the presence of a relationship with a cause when there is none and deploying a highly legalistic promise about what will be done to get the donation to the cause is beyond the pale in my opinion.

Were we one of their kind, an intermediary fundraising platform, we would be seen as a peer of this bizarre platform. Not happening.

2. Our role is making giving frictionless on any phone, tablet or PC

By definition, an intermediary adds friction. They’re in the middle and I would say in the way between a donor and the person in need that the cause serves.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy has stated numerous times that there’s billions of dollars in lost donations caused by too much friction in in the online giving process. This is caused by 1) too many pages to complete each time a donation is made and 2) using a PC experience for a giving experience for the rapidly growing number of donors wanting to make a gift via the phone in their hand when the impulse to give hits them.

Compared to an intermediary fundraising platform, our platform is like comparing walking to a Ferrari. Sure, both can get you there but the Ferrari is much faster! (And more fun I would say!)

Not only is fast a word to use about our giving process but words like DIRECT and SECURE and FRICTIONLESS apply to what we do for our customers. We don’t touch donations, we don’t hold donations and we don’t see the donors credit card info. Moreover, we allow anyone to make repeat donations in seconds on any phone, tablet or PC with no app to download and no login and password to remember.

3. Direct connections are the promise and potential of the internet

One of the hallmarks of the internet is to connect anyone, anywhere, anytime to what they are looking for, wishing to buy or wanting to talk to. It follows then that there should be a direct connection between donor and cause online and yet the intermediary invites donations to be made under the auspices of getting it to the cause after they’ve held the money for awhile.

Again, when we built RAZ Mobile’s awesome donation processing features this promise of the internet was in our minds and it’s a promise we deliver on with the ability to give in seconds DIRECTLY TO THE CAUSE on any phone, tablet or PC.

In summary, there are good intermediaries that do things well and have value. Then there are the ones like I’ve described herein that take money for causes that they have no relationship whatsoever.

We’re not like them and never will be an intermediary. Donated money deserves to be where it’s needed as fast as possible and with as little friction as possible.

Dale Knoop is part of a great team working to make RAZ Mobile a great platform for any cause engaged in fundraising. Any cause can create an content-rich mobile presence, share it through text messages, social media, QR codes, advertising and more and best of all-quickly and securely process donations from motivated supporters. Dale holds multiple patents and applications for patent in the mobile space including advertising, content optimization, geo-targeting, negative QOS and a mnemonic device QR code alternative.

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