Engaging Consumer with Your Corporate Philanthropy: Interview with Amar Shah, President and Co-founder of Change
I recently read a post on Linkedin by Amar Shah, president and co-founder of Change, titled “A New Era of Philanthropy”, where he told the story of how Made in America embedded giving into their mobile app, social media, on stage and in-between acts, to engage their consumers through their entire experience with the brand to be a part of their philanthropic efforts. Change allows companies to build giving experiences for their customers by adding things like a donation round-up as part of the online checkout process. We interviewed Amar to learn more about why he’s passionate about this software and how they envision companies engaging consumers to participate alongside them in social responsibility.
What is CHANGE and how can companies use this to build giving experiences for their consumers?
Change is a donation processing platform that powers customer-facing giving experiences. Companies around the world use our platform for charitable initiatives ranging from roundups at checkout, carbon-neutral shipping, loyalty programs, to even charitable NFTs. Companies can jumpstart their giving experiences in minutes with our Shopify app or build a custom experience with our Donation APIs.
What other ways can companies engage consumers in philanthropy besides the traditional ‘Would you like to donate to XYZ charity?’
Companies can add donation rewards to their loyalty program to boost user engagement. Companies love it because they’re not left with the liability of unused points in their loyalty programs. Consumers love it because they’re able to donate their leftover points to a cause they are passionate about. Separately, companies are always trying to drive particular user actions — anything from completing customer surveys to trying new in-app features. Instead of sending over a $5 gift card, companies can build a much more meaningful relationship with their customers by gifting a donation on their behalf to a cause that consumer is passionate about.
How do you see this impacting the future of corporate philanthropy?
The 2020s are the decade of purpose and corporate philanthropy is the new way to build a brand community. Customers are demanding change from corporations and are aligning themselves with companies that reflect their personal values. Today, we’re just scratching the surface of corporate philanthropy and this market will continue to grow. From charitable NFTs to luxury fundraiser experiences, companies will continue to innovate and launch new philanthropic initiatives.
What benefits do companies see by offering giving experiences for consumers? (Increased revenue? Improvement in ESG? Improved brand perception/social media presence?)
As mentioned, customers choose brands that align with their values. Giving experiences boost customer retention and loyalty, leading to increased revenue for the company. One of the most interesting benefits we’ve seen is increased community engagement. After launching their giving campaigns, brands we’ve partners with have seen heightened engagement on their social media and community forums, like Discord.
And as a follow up to the question above, what are the benefits to nonprofits?
Nonprofits have access to an entirely new suite of software tools they can offer corporate partners to support their cause. 100% of the funds processed by our donor-advised fund, Our Change Foundation, is donated to the nonprofit. Our fundamental goal is to build a world of transparent giving, so we don’t charge nonprofits to receive funding – whether it’s selling NFTs or joining a corporate loyalty program.
Can you talk about your vision for how this can ignite Millennials and Gen Z in participating in driving social impact?
The younger generation knows how to tap into the power of social media to increase community consciousness and impact change. With every donation, Change generates social media content that is unique to the brand and nonprofit. This allows customers to easily share their impact online – bridging their physical and digital worlds. Millennials and Gen Z may not have large savings, but the rising generation is more charitable than ever. This social sharing feature will enable everyday moments to be tied to meaningful donations which boosts awareness for critical causes like climate change, social justice movements, gender equality, and more.
Change is Blackbaud partner as part of the Social Good Startup Program.