Every year non-profits spend $500 million processing online donations.
Yes, that is the same as the entire fund Bill Gates has dedicated towards tackling the burden of infectious diseases in developing countries, and the same as what Mark Zuckerberg has donated towards education in Silicon Valley!
Unfortunately, most online donation platforms require cash strapped non-profits to pay to be on the platform – this fee varies on the basis of the features they want to access, going up to $150 a month for some platforms. In addition, platforms take anywhere from 2% – 10% of the donation, plus in some cases a separate transaction fee, AND a credit card processing fee. In other words, a good portion of the money you think is going to a charity, is not reaching them.
Friends at Catapultian have found a way to reduce that cost of $500 million to $5 million a year, by making it free for non-profits to be on there, and charging donors a small flat fee that covers their transaction costs.
Catapultian is an online platform that aims to encourage more young people to get involved in charitable giving, while helping non-profits save on their costs of receiving donations. Organisations like TOMS (for every pair of shoes you buy, they donate a pair to someone in need) and Kickstarter (one of the most successful crowd-funding platforms) have managed to make charitable giving mainstream by offering a non-traditional way to make people think about giving, and making it easy for them to do. I think Catapultian falls in the same bracket.
By making innovative tools for donors that don’t cost much money and provide enough information, they are facilitating easier decision-making to those who want to give. Launched only late last year, their platform already has hundreds of charities registered and allows for everything to be centralised, so you don’t need to go anywhere else with your money. It has no minimum donation; allows you to make monthly payments, save money for future transactions, and even donate in BitCoin if that is your preferred currency. You can read more about Catapultian and the inspiration behind it, here. Currently all charities are US-based, however I hope they will be able to expand to be global soon.
If you live in the US and are looking to start your philanthropic journey (which you are, or you wouldn’t be reading this :)), do check out Catapultian as a channel to do so. If you are a non-profit, you might want to have your organisation listed on here, and you could possibly benefit from their advisory services. If you are curious to learn more about how technology can make change, the guys are Catapultian welcome you to pass by for a coffee!