Elke Pichler of Impactory tells us how to donate to a project, invite others to donate, or give away a donation voucher.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Elke Pichler: We are doing fine. Of course, we miss a lot of things. But it also reminds us what really matters in our lives, considering what we don’t miss that much. Vaccinations have started in Austria. That makes us optimistic.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Impactory.
Elke Pichler: I studied real-estate business, loving the idea of creating rooms for people. Then I saw in various jobs how tricky it is to make CSR credible and sustainable. Besides, I was still working voluntarily and saw how expansive and hard it is to get the necessary funds. In this field of tension, my co-founder and I saw an excellent opportunity for change.
How does Impactory innovate?
Elke Pichler: We empower people to live social sustainability and support non-profit-organizations to generate more donations. We want to help them so they can make the world a better place! For this purpose, we provide an online-donation platform with many different features for non-profit-organizations, private donors, and companies. We make fundraising up to 10 times cheaper for non-profit-organizations so that more money reaches their projects. We help organizations to address the young and digital generation. For some of them, we are the only possibility to do risk-free online-fundraising. With our corporate-tools, we open up new budgets in corporations to turn them into donations. The most popular tool for that is our donation voucher. It is given away as a Christmas present, at events, in cafeteria-systems, as goodie in employee-recommendation-systems and so on.
The innovation process during our projects is customer-oriented and agile. We work with OKR’s and Sprints and try to involve as many stakeholders as possible!
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Elke Pichler: It affects us in different ways. At the beginning of the crisis, we had more donations than usual in the spring. During summer and autumn, it stagnated before it really peaked during the Christmas season. Our non-profit-organizations are very affected by not being able to do face-to-face fundraising as usual. That’s why we try even harder to support them with our online tools. With corporate partners, it was very difficult at the beginning of the crisis. Social engagement wasn’t important for most companies. It is getting easier now.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Elke Pichler: Yes, we did. We were unsure whether it was the best time for the company to grow and find new team members. Luckily everything turned out well.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Elke Pichler: We use OKR to keep track of our goals and stay focused. We started to use Click-up and continued to use Slack for team communications. Our weekly meetings via Google Meet are an important part of our routine.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Elke Pichler: We have different competitors. On the one hand, there are common means of fundraising, like payment slips or face-to-face fundraising. But there are also other platforms. We stay in the game by focusing on B2B and our donation vouchers.
Your final thoughts?
Elke Pichler: In every crisis, there is change. It is up to each, and every one of us to use it for good and not forget people in our society who are suffering because of it.
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