With many businesses and organizations continuing to suffer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, non-profits were probably hit the hardest due to their inability to raise funds through traditional methods.
Most non-profit organizations typically receive the bulk of their funds through in-person events such as galas and athletic events (such as 5k runs). And with the absence of these events, they must figure out alternative methods, which is where Atlanta-based online fundraising platform Softgiving steps in.
“Lots of charities have struggled during the pandemic because their in-person events have been canceled for the foreseeable further and they no longer can raise money the traditional way,” said Matt Pfaltzgraf, founder and CEO of Softgiving. “Many of them have reached out to us to help them fill fundraising gaps in their budgets.”
“We’ve been really busy helping out charities that otherwise would have seen cuts in their staff and reduction in their ability to fulfill their mission. We get them up and going and raising money online.”
Softgiving features two platforms for charities, one called EVENTS by Softgiving where the company takes non-profits through the process of creating, organizing, and running events online. They also help with promoting to a non-profit’s target audience.
Their other platform is HEROS by Softgiving, which is 100% free for non-profits and content creators. The idea is that organizations or individuals can put together their own live stream events to benefit a non-profit.
With HERO, non-profits, content creators, and streamers can use it anytime they want just by signing up.
“Some charities have the ability to organize these events online and have their resources, so that’s why we wanted to provide HERO for them so that they can go and do their own thing. But the majority of charities lack the resources, knowledge, and capabilities,” Pfaltzgraf explained.
“One of the unique benefits of Softgiving is that it provides charities with an opportunity to activate their brand partners into a different demographic.”
Established back in 2016, Softgiving was originally a company platform that allowed individuals to link their debit and credit cars to non-profits so that change for their purchases would go towards the non-profit organizations.
This is similar to the feature that some banks have where they round up the dollar amount of a customer’s purchase and subtract the actual total of the purchase from that amount leaving the change to be deposited in that individual’s savings.
However, Pfaltzgraf explains that through establishing that business model, an idea for a more useful and effective one came his way.
“What we found through that was we could get charities to sign up but the charities really lacked the power to reach the target demographic that we were focusing on. And so, through a few iterations, we actually built our own marketing platform and capabilities that have really become what Softgiving is today where we help those charities reach a whole-nother audience to raise new donations in an innovative way,” Pfaltzgraf said.
His decision to have the company based in Atlanta came from having a potential investor in south Georgia, which eventually resulted in Softgiving calling Midtown Atlanta it’s home.
Prior to his move, Pfaltzgraf sat on a number of non-profit boards in his hometown of Ankeny, Iowa, and was the director of a payment association. He said that he’s always had a strong connection to non-profits.
“Growing up, my family and I were recipients of a lot of charity and goodwill benefits. Going to Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCA, we also participated in the American Cancer Society and Relay For Life. I’ve always been heavily connected to the philanthropic space,” Pfaltzgraf said.
Today, the company has helped non-profits raised millions and was called on to work on campaigns with CARE, Boys & Girls Clubs, Make-A-Wish, Microsoft, and T-Mobile.
They are currently working with Gamer’s Outreach, who helps provide entertainment for hospitalized kids, and have already helped them raise $50,000 in the last month alone.