New Online Donation Platform for Not for Profits
4 October 2016 at 11:25 am
A new Australian startup, Grassrootz says it’s creating digital disruption by offering Not for Profits an online fundraising platform that promotes a charity’s brand throughout the donor experience.
Grassrootz founder Ben Graetz dismissed claims the startup was joining an already crowded market of fundraising platforms and told Pro Bono Australia News the new platform offered significant points of difference for the sector.
He said the platform enabled Not for Profits to promote their brand throughout the campaign, providing a much better experience for donors on mobile devices as well as delivering low fees.
Graetz, a former Microsoft executive in the US and Australia, said he experienced first-hand the challenges of online fundraising in Australia when participating in a bike ride to raise money for charity.
“We had a personal experience with the Starlight Foundation. My younger son needed to have an operation and Starlight made a really big difference to his recovery in hospital. I sort of resolved then to raise money for Starlight,” he said.
“The [bike ride] was a great experience with great people and a great cause but it was a terrible experience using the software that we were using to raise the money.
“So we looked at it and with my background in technology I have access to some highly capable people and we spoke to a lot of Not for Profits.
“We don’t believe the market is crowded. There are two main players that work with Not for Profits and we believe we compare favourably.
“I spent 15 years at Microsoft in Australia and in the USA. Our team is a great mix of people with a background in fundraising and technology.”
Graetz said importantly the fees were considerably less than the main players.
“For example on a visa card on a $100 donation there is a $3 charge which is considerably less [than the major players]… it’s less than half,” he said.
“Not only does that leave a better taste in the donor’s mouth, we also make it possible for the donor to pay the fees and so 100 per cent of the donors funds go to the Not for Profit and we are finding that about 90 per cent of our donors are choosing that option.”
Graetz said his team had spent a lot of time consulting with Not for Profits.
“We heard that loss of brand control was a real pain point for charities. The incumbent providers promote their own brand, not the charity’s brand, which is a missed opportunity and source of frustration for the charity. In contrast, Grassrootz promotes the charity’s brand throughout the entire donation experience,” he said.
As well he said Grassrootz was the only fundraising solution in the market that was designed for mobile from the ground-up.
“Leading Not for Profits, including The Starlight Children’s Foundation, Cure Cancer Australia and UNSW are already adopting Grassrootz,” he said.
CEO of The Starlight Children’s Foundation Louise Baxter said: “Starlight has an incredibly strong brand, and Grassrootz gives us the ability to promote our brand and engage people with our brand throughout the donor journey.”
CEO of Cure Cancer Australia Floyd Larsen said: “Cure Cancer Australia is using Grassrootz for our high-profile BARBECURE campaign this summer. We looked at the other offerings in the market and we see Grassrootz as a game changer.”