Business Plan Challenge Update

DonorCommunity expands services to nonprofits, adds personal fundraising, event management

 

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Email Business Plan Challenge coordinator Nancy Dahlberg ndahl berg@miamiherald.com


ndahlberg@miamiherald.com

A year ago, the Police Athletic League in Davie had a bare-minimum Web page, no social media, no newsletter and no real system to collect and track donor information.

“We were third world as far as technology,” said Tim Albury, the nonprofit organization’s director and a Davie police officer. “No one knew we were here.”

In August, Albury began using the all-in-one Web-based software platform from DonorCommunity, the Sunrise company that won first place in the Business Plan Challenge Community Track in 2011. Now Albury can post pictures on www.daviepal.org while he’s at one of the many camps for children that the Police Athletic League runs, and his nonprofit’s new website is fully integrated with social networks. He can manage events, run auctions and send newsletters from his platform, as well as manage the donor database.

“If I could show you the before and after, you’d be amazed. It’s huge for us ...and I didn’t have to spend tons of money.” Albury said. He added that PAL’s attendance at its camps went from 20 kids to 95 and 530 people registered for its recent 5K fundraising run, far exceeding expectations.

DonorCommunity, headed by David Blyer and now with 34 employees, is a cloud-based software-as-a-service platform offering nonprofits the tools to cultivate donors, increase fundraising efficiency and raise awareness without buying and managing multiple software programs. Its platform offers constituent relationship management, email marketing, online auctions, online donation processing, social networking, website content management, and its newest offerings, event management and personal fundraising. Yearly subscription fees generally range from $2,400 for the very smallest organizations to $7,200 for most nonprofits. For an additional fee, it also builds integrated custom websites in 10 days or less.

“We have helped small nonprofits that have had less than $200,000 in donations and ones as large as ChildNet that is an $85 million organization,” Blyer said. “They all have the same needs to create awareness, cultivate existing donors, reach new potential donors and raise money year-round. They can reduce expenses and create efficiencies with an all-in-one solution and get a true return on investment.”

National and local clients include Boys & Girls Clubs of America, The Arc of Greater Prince William, St. Vincent De Paul Regional Seminary, Essilor Vision Foundation, Broward 2-1-1, the Children’s Fund for GSD Research and the Dan Marino Foundation.

In November, DonorCommunity acquired the assets of the Micro Giving Foundation, which included MicroGiving.com, a personal fundraising website with an online community of more than 50,000. The private transaction — terms were not disclosed — entered DonorCommunity into the crowdfunding space.

“As I’ve been traveling around the country meeting nonprofits, I thought why not open this platform for anyone in the world that has a cause or unfortunate situation? We allow anyone to build the page and send it out through their social network and we haven’t even started promoting it. ... We have had over 600 fundraisers already,” Blyer said.

ChildNet, the lead child welfare agency for Broward and Palm Beach counties, plans to use the personal fundraising application as well as online auctions. Since signing on last fall, ChildNet, www.childnet.us, has been using DonorCommunity for donor management, event planning, marketing and newsletters.

“I see it as the future of nonprofit fundraising,” said Elizabeth Wynter, ChildNet’s director of community relations. “DonorCommunity is really cutting edge.”

Editor’s note: We follow our Business Plan Challenge winners and finalists for years to come. Watch Business Monday for more updates on past winners.

Read more Business Monday stories from the Miami Herald

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