Home Feature Acquisition of Nashville SaaS Startup Shows Future of HR & Purpose-Driven Work

Acquisition of Nashville SaaS Startup Shows Future of HR & Purpose-Driven Work

by Maija Ehlinger

Charlotte-based isolved, a SaaS company for HR professionals, has acquired Nashville startup Givful

Founded in 2017, Givful’s platform organizes employee volunteering and fundraising opportunities.

The acquisition, isolved’s Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer James Norwood said, is part of the overall focus on purpose-driven work.

“Giving and volunteering was on our product roadmap for some time as employees are looking for purpose in their everyday work lives. When we began conversations with Givful we immediately recognized that our cultures were perfectly aligned,” said Norwood.

He added that isolved and Givful aligned on three key factors: the same ideal customer, a vision for those customers, and the technology needed. 

The Givful team told Hypepotamus that only a quarter of companies currently offer PTO for volunteer work. Walker Morrow, Co-Founder of Givful, calls this a “highly under-utilized area for companies.”

“Corporate social responsibility programs are often for enterprise-sized organizations only, as there are significant costs and extensive manual work to implement them,” added Morrow. “Givful and isolved remove the cost barrier to help companies of all sizes develop strong employee engagement through a purposeful and impactful business culture. So, when a company does offer PTO for volunteer work, it is effortless to connect with a charity in Givful and effortless to request that time in isolved and to get paid for it – all in one combined solution as we quickly integrate the two products and companies.”

Givful co-founders Sada Garba (left) and Walker Morrow (right)

At the time of acquisition, Givful’s database includes 2 million nonprofits for companies and employees to support. 

As part of the acquisition, Givful co-founders Sada Garba is now Givful’s Lead Software Developer at isolved, and Walker will become Product Owner at isolved.

The acquisition comes as the HR industry as a whole has shifted focus when it comes to engaging and retaining talent. “Even prior to the pandemic, HR departments were feeling the pressure to evolve from governance-like roles to marketing-like ones,” Norwood told Hypepotamus. “Engagement began to be the KPI that fed all other performance – like recruiting and retaining employees.”

“The pandemic accelerated the shift that was already in motion in a way that no one could have planned for…but was the catalyst for companies to invest in the future of work. If an HR department hadn’t invested in being digitally agile and being able to engage its workforce regardless of where they were located, the pandemic was a wakeup call,” he added.

A recent isolved survey showed that 92% of HR leaders put employee experience as a top priority this year, with 52% seeing an increase in their technology budget. This could help further propel isolved’s growth coming out of the pandemic. 

Morrow noted to Hypepotamus that, on average, employees make an annual donation of just over $331. “Now combined with isolved, we have the opportunity to drive results to every community across the United States. If only 4 percent of the 5 million employees that use isolved were to give that same average amount, we’d deliver $66.3 million in giving to nonprofits.” 

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*Givful Feature image: Blaise Gratton (isolved Software Engineer), and co-founders Walker Morrow and Sada Garba 

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