Give Lively’s guiding principles for working with nonprofits

David DeParolesa, Give Lively CEO
David DeParolesa, Give Lively CEO
Photo by Give Lively, illustration by Zach Williams
Give Lively CEO David DeParolesa (with microphone) talks about the "Future of Fundraising" on a panel hosted by Be Social Change in November 2017.

Give Lively’s guiding principles for working with nonprofits

This fundraising technology iterates with nonprofits instead of at them.
July 11, 2018

Hunger, contaminated drinking water, unsafe spaces, failing schools, migrants in crisis: these are just a sample of some of the major issues facing our world. And during a time of weakness and instability in our own government, we look to nonprofits working on the frontlines to step in to fill the gap, to meet these needs and right these wrongs.

We know nonprofits can’t do this without donations, but online donation platforms often come at a significant cost to nonprofits. Simply put, if every time a nonprofit raises a dollar, around 10 percent is taken away in fees, how will they ever catch up?

Give Lively was created by philanthropists in 2015. Our founders have seen first-hand the positive impact innovative tech can have on fundraising so we provide nonprofits free fundraising technology. Over the years we’ve developed a few key, guiding principles that underpin our partnerships with our thousands of nonprofit members – and should underpin any meaningful relationship between nonprofits and the businesses that service them.

First, small nonprofits deserve high-level technology to help them reach new donors and expand their presence – but it’s usually expensive. We work to address that challenge by developing products and giving them away to nonprofits of all sizes at no cost.

Second, we believe large organizations deserve simplified and streamlined systems to counter the existing myriad complex fundraising solutions they already use, help reduce overhead, and allow them to experiment more with digital fundraising. Unfortunately, typical business relationships are ones in which the service provider creates a solution in isolation and then drops that solution on their customers, often without testing or feedback mechanisms.

We make an effort to get nonprofits involved and engaged so that our business can deliver something that’s useful and effective every time. We believe Give Lively’s collaborative process results in better products and makes for happier, more successful nonprofit organizations because we iterate with our customers, not at them.

Last, services built for nonprofits are often a generation or two behind the curve. They can include long-winded forms, mobile-unfriendly platforms, and no third-party integrations, resulting in wasted time and poor experiences for nonprofits and donors alike.

We believe that, at a minimum, nonprofits should have a donation experience that’s easy to use. Because why should it be easier to buy a cup of coffee than to make a donation to a child in need? Access to services like Apple Pay and Google Pay allow nonprofits to raise more through modern means. We’ve been able to provide that, and it’s working.

Nonprofits on our platform have reported an uptick in donations and a reduction in drop offs so we believe these principles are proving themselves to be effective. More importantly, these principles, not revenue or profit, guide us as we advance our mission of helping nonprofits raise more online.

David DeParolesa is the CEO of Give Lively, a tech start-up that builds fundraising technology for nonprofits and distributes it for free.
David DeParolesa
is the CEO at Give Lively, a tech start-up that builds fundraising technology and gives it away to nonprofits for free.