Better Giving Studio identified this concept through the 2020 Reimagine Charitable Giving Challenge, an open innovation component of the program which sourced nearly 400 digital giving products and concepts. The concept summary below is inspired by and derived from the Challenge entry submitted to the Challenge.
Why BGS is Excited
- The Golden app personalizes volunteer opportunities based on time, location, interest, friends and preferences, simplifying choice for the user.
- Golden converts volunteers to donors with effectively framed asks.
List-driven fundraising campaigns can feel impersonal to potential donors because they profile and segment audiences primarily by income and historical giving patterns. That leaves little room in fundraising to include underrepresented populations, facilitate new patterns of giving from donors who have been unable to give to their full potential, or to reach new audiences once legacy donors phase out.
Evergreen and inclusive giving begins with inviting people from all backgrounds to find an authentic way to participate in an organization’s impact. It evolves into understanding participants’ self-described identities, and it leads to lifelong relationships with supporters who are enthusiastic to give to their full potential. Technology has the potential to equalize systematic exclusion from philanthropy by giving everyone the chance to build a pattern of engagement with an organization. This often begins with volunteering. Once engaged, volunteers are more likely to become financial donors as they double down on their conviction for the causes they have supported through service.
Golden was founded on the strong belief that building the world’s most inclusive, productive, and rewarding donation offering should originate with the top of the philanthropic funnel—volunteering. Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund reports that volunteers donate 10X more money than non-volunteers, and the Golden platform includes features to address the entire volunteer/donor journey, whether online or in-person.
Golden’s apps allow users to define goals for themselves that can be celebrated with incremental and completion donations throughout their journeys. Users can customize their volunteering preferences and receive personalized recommendations (called “Golden Opportunities”) based on time, location, user interests, friends, and preferences. Golden is connected to a foundation, so users can choose to donate any amount at any time via a donor-advised fund (DAF) that enables them to manage future distributions from their app or web portal. They can also give directly to any 501(c)3 organization through several integrated payment methods.Through their mobile apps, web products, and system integrations, Golden develops volunteer/donor journeys, behavioral models, and key touch points for encouraging users to donate based on their defined goals and historical activities.
For volunteers and organizations alike, Golden’s products include features to simplify and smooth the volunteering experience, such as a tool that enables quick live background checks at a fraction of the normal price, allowing volunteers to perform just one check that applies to all organizations on the platform.
Currently, Golden actively supports hundreds of thousands of volunteers across their engagement with turnkey technology built to serve volunteer-oriented organizations such as Volunteer Centers, Multi-National NGOs, Nonprofits, United Ways, High Schools, Universities, Governments, Foundations, and Companies. Organizations managing volunteers receive analytics around the power and depth of their volunteer networks and activities, including insights around their volunteer outreach campaigns, allowing them to pivot their strategy based on tangible data.
Data optionally shared by Golden volunteers shows representation across age, location, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnic identity, level of education, languages spoken, immigration status, employment status, disability status, veteran status, family structure, background check status, and more.