As a budding lingerie retailer on Andover, MA and Newburyport, MA on the U.S. east coast, Merit Kuusniemi, the founder and CEO of OmniDonum experienced a daily barrage of requests from nonprofits for contributions for their fundraising purposes. The requests came via mail, email, but mostly literally through the door, from existing, good customers, sometimes from strangers from unfamiliar nonprofits. They asked for products to raffle off, gift certificates for auctions, taking up of ad space in program books, table sponsorships and much more. Merit ended up contributing, but mostly out of guilt or worry that by denying the word would get around and she’d be shunned as a retailer in the small town before too long. However, as much as the nonprofits sincerely believed that the contributions from the businesses would bring more business and increase the goodwill for the retailers and other businesses, Merit knew that the effect would be negligible. Mostly because after the fundraising event or campaign, her donation or her business, would not get much visibility.
Watch a short video to illustrate the problem
Merit also served on fundraising committees herself, seeing the other side of the equation, how difficult and time consuming the annual fundraising efforts were for the nonprofits that usually had to rely on large committees of volunteers to do the asking for them.
She realized that the expectations and motives of nonprofits and businesses in the fundraising landscape are quite divergent, and that the process was only marginally productive for both parties. She clearly recognized a need to create better alignment, and therefore more meaningful, mutually beneficial and long-lasting partnerships between nonprofits and their corporate supporters.
So, thinking from the business owner's perspective, what if:
- There was a website that gathered all the fundraising needs in my area and beyond
- As a business owner, I could go search and study the nonprofits and my own leisure
- I could find nonprofits whose goals and supporters align with my own business strategies
- I could go on the platform to find nonprofit fundraisers in new towns where there are potentially more new customers for my business
- I could have a way to celebrate and promote my contributions to the community in a tasteful way
And, thinking of the nonprofits and the communities they serve and rely on for support, what if:
- The nonprofit fundraising needs would have a central place for all businesses to find them, a distribution channel for all the contribution opportunities for businesses
- There would be a common on-line gathering place for the community to celebrate the collaboration, recognize the nonprofit program success and outcomes, and recognize the corporate sponsors?
Long story short, now we have that platform in OnmiDonum. We invite you to give it a try, use it, and send us your questions, comments and feedback through Zendesk.
We would also love to have your thoughts on how the nonprofit/business collaboration is working in your opinion by taking a short survey — we will send you the results and our analysis once we reach critical mass of respondents.
If you are a nonprofit click on this link.
If you are a business click on this link.
Looking forward to hearing from you!
Founder and CEO