Have you heard the saying by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, “Tell me with whom you associate, and I will tell you who you are?” It indicates that the people you surround yourself with define you and determine your character.
Qgiv has been fortunate to make wonderful friends over the years. Our strategic partnership with Achieve is one that aligns with our company values and that we’re delighted to share with you.
Achieve was founded in 2008 and started off working in the nonprofit sector primarily in research, strategy, and fundraising. Achieve helped organizations with case statement, board development, strategic planning, and fundraising campaigns.
In 2014, a technology solutions-focused group of owners acquired Achieve and reorganized it into the company it is today. Achieve leverages technology in everything it does to cost-effectively help the nonprofit organizations it works with.
Like Achieve, Qgiv exists to help people fulfill their passion to make a difference. We love what we do and enjoy being able to connect and leverage our combined experience to help organizations succeed.
Q: Tell us a bit more about Achieve
When we started in 2008 in Indianapolis, Indiana, Achieve’s origins were around strategic planning, fundraising strategy, campaign development, and academic research on what motivates people to give and how to reach them. We did significant academic research on the millennial generation and emerging giving trends. As an example, the ‘Millennial Impact Report’ was a study commissioned by the Case Foundation. For those unfamiliar with them, Steve Case was the founder of AOL. At the time, the millennial generation was getting a bad rap; everyone envisioned them as kids absorbed only in their screens that didn’t care what happened around them. The initial study was focused on how Millennials engaged with causes and charities and how they contributed. The study found that they were every bit as engaged in the philanthropic world as their older peers and past generations. Given that they were the children of the financial crisis of 2008-2009, they didn’t have the income to support significant giving. At that stage in their lives, they were involved in non-traditional philanthropy, like peer-to-peer fundraising and promoting causes they believe in online through social media. Later studies found them giving more generous financial contributions and still being very heavily involved in causes via technology.
When we realigned the company in 2014, we brought our technology-focused company into the organization, which made a lot of sense. We evolved to focus on leveraging technology, like web design, social media, and other digital tools, to advance the causes nonprofits care about. We use those tools and techniques to raise awareness for an organization or cause to help them find supporters for their mission, and ultimately raise money, recruit volunteers, or anything else to help them with their mission.
Q: What is a digital agency?
Simply put, a digital agency is a marketing agency that specializes in digital tactics. Digital agencies usually do social media advertising, social media management, search engine marketing, search engine optimization, and websites.
Q: What services do you offer?
We do web design and development, and we help organizations integrate other services with their websites. On the campaign side, we focus on social media advertising as a very cost-effective way to help organizations reach new people and convert them into supporters. We also work in a more traditional search space, like search engine optimization and search engine marketing when those techniques will benefit our clients.
Q: How did you end up partnering with Qgiv?
When we brought technology to Achieve in 2014, we had our own content management system and a suite of tools similar to what Qgiv offers. We had built our system well before WordPress became popular. We decided in 2016 to pivot toward open source content management systems as the foundation of our technology platforms. In doing that, we had to decide on some of the donor tools we had built in our old platform. We weighed the cost of recreating those with the new technology versus what might be available in the marketplace. After an exhaustive study, where we looked at thirty to forty plugins and tools, Qgiv was the only platform that had all the features on the event registration side that our platform did. That made it easier to transition our customers. Qgiv also has a very robust, user-friendly, optimized online giving experience that integrates directly with a website. This means donors don’t have to leave an organization’s website to donate. The tool is also free to nonprofits–there are no monthly fees associated with the Start package. Many other tools, frankly, aren’t as good as Qgiv and charge a monthly fee plus transaction fees.
Q: What makes Achieve different?
Our focus, background, and the history of our organization makes us different. Most digital marketing agencies work for a variety of different customers and industries. We focus exclusively on the nonprofit sector, cause-based organizations, or mission-driven organizations. There is a psychology around generating engagement for a cause. The psychology behind getting someone to buy a shiny new car or a new t-shirt or shoes is very different than the psychology of someone giving to support a cause. This fundamental underlying difference in the type of transactions is what we specialize in. Our specialty is generating empathy for a cause and then using that empathy to convert someone to take action to support an organization. We use many of the same tools that other agencies use, we just deploy them in a different way.
Q: What types of organizations do you work with?
We work with all major nonprofit segments and do a lot of work in the health and human services area. We also work with animal shelters and animal-related causes, as well as with the arts, whether it’s museums, education, or other types of art institutions. We even work with some corporations through their corporate social responsibility offices. For example, we’ve been working with Florida Power and Light and Nextera Energy, on a project to help save and protect Florida manatees.
Q: Why should nonprofits consider working with you?
We can help them reach new people to support their organization. We have some very sophisticated techniques we’ve developed over the years to leverage digital marketing tools to attract more supporters. Whether they’re looking for people to sign a petition, show up for an event, buy a raffle ticket, make a donation, or volunteer, we have the tools to find new people and grow an organization’s list of supporters. We can amplify what they’re able to do today by improving the functionality of their website and optimize the website for conversions.
Q: What’s one of your favorite success stories?
One of our most successful campaigns is with the YMCA of the Treasure Coast. For over 30 years they have held a fundraising raffle called the YMCA Easter House Project. They came to us a few years ago to help bring new life into the event because the traditional way of reaching people through media partnerships was falling flat. They were even contemplating ending the fundraiser! Through digital tactics including social media advertising and text marketing, we have been able to generate an impressive ROI year-over-year ever since. In fact, this past year, every dollar spent on social media advertising generated at least six dollars or more of income for the organization!
Q: Is there anything interesting coming up in 2021?
A great website and donation page design can have a huge impact on donor first impressions and conversions. That’s why we launched a few things this year, including a discount program for Qgiv customers and a new grant program to help nonprofits upgrade their websites. Many nonprofits were forced to shift fundraising activities and events online and were severely impacted by the pandemic. We believe a strong web presence is critical to increasing support for organizations. That is why Achieve is providing up to $100,000 in grant funding to help nonprofits with the development cost of a new website.