CEO Insights: Why Funraise made our product free

November 24, 2020
10 minutes
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Before I started Funraise, I spent 12 years as a fundraiser. I was in your shoes, fundraiser.

More specifically, I fundraised through the Great Recession when the economy collapsed back in 2008. I think all of us who were fundraisers at the time were curious about how our nonprofits were going to survive.

And what we saw was that although overall giving was down during the Great Recession, individual giving actually grew. For me, seeing that swell of personal support from donors emphasized how tenacious and generous they can be, even during tough times.

Fast forward a decade or so, and we've experienced a pandemic that has changed the philanthropic landscape yet again, forcing many organizations to wonder what the state of giving will look like as we move into a post-pandemic world.

Here at Funraise, we're on a mission to help nonprofits modernize their fundraising. With the rise of new channels like virtual events, the opportunity to acquire donors at scale has never been more exciting, and all nonprofits should be able to break into that from where they currently stand.

Throughout my decade-plus experience of starting and building nonprofit organizations and raising $100M+ in donations, I’ve learned what it takes to scale a nonprofit business. I've been in your shoes, working ridiculous hours, dealing with data in too many inefficient platforms, trying to somehow get it all to work together.

What I learned along the way is that a lot of nonprofit technology sucks—and it’s kinda our fault as nonprofiteers. Including me! I've duct-taped things just to get it done... more than once or twice.

Which is why we built Funraise in the first place: the work we had to go through as nonprofiteers to accomplish our nonprofits' goals was silly. When you persist with inefficient systems, raising more becomes impossible... and ultimately your mission suffers.

Real talk...

There are over 1.4M nonprofits in the United States. These nonprofits work hard each day to improve the way we care for each other, the planet, and so many other important causes that make society better for us all.

The majority of these nonprofits are under $1M in annual revenue. For too long, size and budget have held nonprofits back from using world-class technology like Funraise—they can’t afford it.

It's something we all face; none of us are immune: Most nonprofits don't prioritize good technology. Almost always due to budgets, but sometimes because we nonprofits hold onto the idea that a duct-taped solution is better than taking on new financial costs. It’s a frustrating, circular problem…

...and a pretty big problem as well. There are thousands of organizations in the US that believe they don’t raise enough to justify the costs of quality fundraising technology. They believe—or have been told—the right tools for the job are simply out of reach for organizations below a certain size.

We disagree with those who put limits on nonprofits.

Nonprofit missions are too important to limit. Funraise believes that your organization is a critical component of the health, wellness, and quality of life that we all experience. You deserve the best technology, no matter your size.

So rather than convince a bunch of organizations to rethink their budgets, we’re going to meet organizations where they're at—and champion their growth, one step at a time.

That's it. Accessible technology for all nonprofits is why we made Funraise Free. That's the reason.

Now more than ever, we need every cause and every voice to have the tools they need to succeed. To do that, we've got to close this technology gap. We've got to rethink how resources are disbursed and shared.

So, we engineered a version of Funraise with essential fundraising tools and made it available for free to ensure all organizations have access to tools that will support their growth.

Funraise wants to be your long term partner, nonprofits. We want to be a part of each stage of your development.

Most importantly, we want you to achieve your mission.

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