Canada’s non-profit sector has always been a vital part of our national fabric. Across the country, non-profit organizations work towards building better communities. The COVID-19 pandemic has made their work more complex – just as it has become even more necessary.
Most non-profit organizations would agree that their true goal is to make their community better. Exactly what that means varies considerably from one organization to another, but this idea of community service is central to almost all non-profits.
This ideal of community service brings its own challenges. Non-profit organizations devote considerable resources to recruiting and managing volunteers, fundraising, and raising awareness of the organization and the causes it works for. These activities are always in support of the main goal, but they are not the goal itself. The goal is to build better communities. To do that, non-profit organizations need tools that can efficiently and effectively connect them with groups, individuals, businesses, schools, and other organizations in their community.
There are many solutions that promise to help achieve parts of this task, but non-profit professionals who have used these solutions are aware that many of them bring their own set of challenges.
- Very often non-profit organizations must use a separate tool for volunteers, another for running events, a third solution for managing donations and sponsor relationships, and yet another if they want to run an online auction or store or peer-to-peer fundraiser. None of these solutions connect to each other (or to each other particularly well), leaving all the information siloed within each solution. You can’t see if a volunteer is also a donor or if a donor is also a fundraiser, or if any of them have made a bid on an auction item, purchased a ticket for an event, or bought something from your online store as well, without switching tools. In many cases, issuing a tax receipt for any charitable donation requires data to be ported into another program entirely. Figuring out all of the touchpoints for even one person in the database becomes a tedious chore that must be done manually. You can forget about advanced analytics that actually provide you with valuable insights. The time and expense involved essentially makes it impossible when you’re using siloed solutions.
- Many of these software tools have become “bloated” over time. More and more functions are added as time goes by, even if the majority of users never touch them. This clutter makes the program more difficult to use even for experienced users. New users are immediately lost and must spend hours trying to accomplish the simplest of tasks.
- There is the cost! Many of the software tools designed for non-profits carry high initial costs, subscription fees, paid usage fees or percentages of funds raised, or some combination thereof. These tools take up resources that are always in short supply. Wouldn’t these funds be better spent on serving the community, the non-profit’s true mission?
Gigit was created to meet these challenges. Founded in 2017 by a team of world-class and socially conscious software professionals, the Gigit platform is unlike any operational management platform you’ve used before. From the very beginning, the team knew they wanted to create something different.
“Our goal wasn’t to create just another operational management tool. We wanted to do some social good, and we saw a big gap in both the software that serves non-profits as well as having a social media platform that felt purposeful about community impact,” says Christopher McIntosh, President and Co-founder of Gigit. “There’s nothing else like Gigit out there, no all-in-one solution that can handle everything a non-profit organization needs to serve their community. There definitely isn’t one that’s free. And there definitely isn’t one that comes with a social media platform as its frontend to connect these organizations to engaged community members. Making organizations pay to make a difference? That didn’t make sense to us.”
This shared ethos may be one of the biggest reasons that the Gigit platform works so well for non-profits: the goals are aligned. The growing number of non-profit organizations that already use the Gigit platform have experienced this for themselves. The platform connects all community stakeholders in ways that wasn't previously possible.
"Since we started Gigit, the vision has always been to help everyone in the community give back and support in the way they choose," says McIntosh. "I've always believed that the greatest value of our platform is its power to bring all of these groups and individuals together to do great things, as well as share the great things they’re doing."
This vision is central to the Gigit platform and provides tangible benefits for the non-profits who use it. The platform is completely free to use, charging only small transaction fees. In addition, Gigit gives back a percentage of that revenue to each charity that uses it, based on the organization’s platform transactions. The central mission, as always, is bettering the community.
"We all want to see non-profits spend their budgets where it’s needed most, not on operational management software," says McIntosh. "One of my favourite things about the Gigit platform that we’ve built is how easy it makes it for non-profits to do what they need to do, for free, so they can concentrate on serving our communities."
This shared mission informs the platform’s design. Communities are at their best when everyone can contribute, so Gigit presents a simple and engaging user experience. Within minutes of first encountering Gigit, any community member can navigate the site, create an organization page or personal profile, and quickly and easily find or post volunteer opportunities, build custom events, create online auctions, participate in peer-to-peer fundraising, and more.
The platform offers tools to do almost anything a non-profit could require, from volunteer management to fundraising and event tools to donor and donation management. Gigit gives you the power to do all of this, in a single solution, and it does it with no cost to you or your organization. Here’s a quick look at some of Gigit’s capabilities:
Gigit lets you post opportunities, manage the volunteer application process, track, and verify volunteer hours, and schedule for shifts and events as needed, all within one tool. Potential volunteers can search for opportunities by name, of course, but they can also find you just by searching for the general cause you’re associated with or within a specific geographic area. The platform even gives you the ability to create custom forms, making it much easier to screen potential volunteers and confirm you’re accepting applicants with the skills and experience you require.
Gigit’s events component keeps things simple, while still offering flexibility and powerful options to run your event the way you want. You can easily create any kind of event, from low-key workshops to dazzling galas, with tickets sold, tracked, and issued through Gigit. All of the details you enter are saved in your organization’s profile. This is a huge time-saver when running multiple events or on a recurring schedule. You can even set up your Gigit event to automatically issue tax receipts, pay event workers, and sell event merchandise.
Donations, fundraising, online stores, and auctions
Gigit gives you the ability to accept and process online donations, manage offline donations, and provides powerful donor management and communication tools. Automated or manual tax receipts for qualified donations is simple to set up, and robust donor profiles give you the insight you need to steward your donors more effectively.
Peer-to-peer fundraising is a great way to raise money and create community engagement, but it may be one of the most complicated activities a non-profit organization can undertake. Gigit simplifies peer-to-peer fundraising with functionality that allows groups and individuals to create and manage their own event team and fundraising objective, as well as providing leader boards and space to tell their own fundraising stories, on simple to create and easy to manage fundraising pages.
Fundraising on behalf of is also simplified, giving individuals, groups, and organizations the ability to tie their fundraiser directly into your organization to collect the funds simply and touchlessly while still sharing the spirit of collecting pledges and watching their contribution to your organization grow.
Even when it comes to e-commerce activities, Gigit remains both simple and powerful. You can easily create online auctions or build an ecommerce store (or multiple stores!) to sell merchandise. All payments are processed securely, and you can choose exactly how everything is handled.
Data and analytics
The Gigit platform stores all of your donor, event, volunteer, etc., data centrally and in compatible data sets. This makes it much easier to run analytics without the need for data imports and exports. In addition, Gigit includes powerful tools for viewing your data and analytics based on all of your activities and connections, including donors, volunteers, ticket purchasers, merchandise sales, auction item bids, and others.
Planning for the future of your organization requires that you have the best possible information at your disposal. Gigit gives it to you in a clear and easy to understand way. Plus, as Gigit continues to grow, we can aggregate this data into sector and market snapshots, providing deeper insights into your community, your sector, and other organizations like yours.
In reality, this article has barely scratched the surface of what Gigit can bring to your organization. It truly is an all-in-one comprehensive solution attached to a social media platform, that helps non-profits fulfil their missions of building better communities, and it does it for free. Check out the chart below to see how other solutions stack up against Gigit.
So why Gigit is the best solution for non-profits?
Gigit was founded on exactly the same principles as many non-profits: that when we work together, we can build better, stronger communities that benefit us all. The Gigit platform helps you fulfil your mission with a free solution, a scalable platform, and an unbeatable user experience, while also giving you powerful tools to connect with individuals, schools, businesses, and other organizations in your community.
We can achieve far more together than we could ever hope to achieve apart. It’s time to get started on Gigit!