We started a million dollar donation program for Not-for-Profits. Well, maybe we are crazy. But then again, maybe it’s not a bad thing to do. After all, we live in the same world and should contribute in the best way we can.
The philosopher Peter Singer suggests that, when choosing how to contribute, we should choose the actions that will have the most impact. For some people that’s donating their time to a local charity. While, for others it’s working for a charity. And, for others it’s making a cash donation.
For us, the biggest impact we can have is to provide the Calxa application to organisations who are doing good in the world but wouldn’t normally have the resources to pay for it.
Who Are the Recipients of the Donation Program?
Our donations go to a wide range of small and medium Not-for-Profits throughout Australia and New Zealand. One or two have national recognition, like Black Dog Ride, but many are regional community groups. These include Umbrella Studio here in Townsville, Healesville Indigenous Community Services Association, the Old Treasury Building in Melbourne (worth a visit if you are ever in Spring Street), Radio Skid Row in Sydney, Reach Child Cancer in Christchurch and many more.
Measuring our Impact
A few years ago we used ACNC data to find out how much time is spent by charities on reporting. As a result, we calculated that our customers are now able to do their reports in a quarter of the time. Essentially, this is compared to the national average. This is a staggering saving of over $12 million dollars a year. We did this calculation solely on our paid customers. Ultimately, factoring in our donations would have increased the number of dollars saved significantly.
So, it’s easy for us to see that the best way we can help our community is by providing them with the best tools we can to save time with reporting.
As a reasonably small business, there’s no way we could have the same impact by donating our cash or our time. There are costs to us but one of the advantages of making software is quite different compared to a manufacture of physical goods. We can control our cost. Of course, there’s the infrastructure to provide the online services. However, the largest cost for us is our team and the tools that supports our customers. We have committed to providing all customers with the same high level of support. It doesn’t matter whether they are paying or receiving a donation.
Donation Program with a Million Dollar Target
It started as one of those wild throw-away lines that never actually got thrown away. In 2011, when we started the program, our friends at Connecting Up asked us outright: “How much do you want to donate?”. At the time, a million dollars’ worth of software seemed like something that would take a long, long time.
It actually took less than 4 years. But we see no reason to stop there!
If you work with a small or medium Not-for-Profit and want to help us get to the third million soon, we’d love to help.
Find out more about our donation program and see if it suits your organisation.