Innovating CSR Technology with Our Partners

Brant Barton June 6, 2017 Product Innovation

Since day one at YourCause, January 3rd to be exact, I have looked forward to attending my first CSRworks industry summit for the opportunity to observe how our clients interact; how they share ideas and best practices from their day-to-day experience of running CSR programs; and, to help me envision the future of our company and products through the eyes of our users. The conference was a great success and did not disappoint in terms of the sheer volume of ideas and feedback we captured over just two days.  

 

CSR Innovation Group
Small groups gathered to brainstorm on CSR industry topics.

 

 

Our Partners Brainstorm with Us

During the event, we held an Innovation Challenge in which ten distinct groups of mixed clients and YourCause staff rapidly generated ideas on ten different industry topics. This challenge was highly useful to our product roadmap development and overall strategic planning.

Once the dust settled from CSRworks, our Product team consolidated close to 100 ideas sourced from the Innovation Challenge alone. And not all of these ideas were product related—attendees also made creative suggestions to enhance account management, program services, and other core functions of our business.

 

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Client Led Industry Ideas

We found several clear groupings of product ideas, each of which aligns with areas of focus on our existing product roadmap. These include the following:

  • Enhancements to Volunteering, including user interface improvements, a greater focus on skills-based volunteering, and the intelligent matching of volunteering opportunities to employee interests.
  • Expansion of our Fundraising features to better support corporate and employee-led fundraising efforts, as this space continues to evolve rapidly as charitable giving increasingly shifts from offline to online.  
  • Integration of data from our Global Goals Gateway into the Giving and Volunteering experience, enabling donors and volunteers to better identify and support the organizations that are focused on the issues that matter most to them.  

 

The ideas above, and many others, validated a core belief that we can intelligently leverage the data continuously generated by usage of our platform, CSRconnect, to improve the donor, volunteer, nonprofit, and program manager experience, thereby increasing employee engagement and, in turn, social impact. Our goal is to deliver innovation that sets a higher standard for CSR and Employee Engagement program performance. In doing so, we help to advance our entire industry.

Additionally, we identified a few new themes for disruptive innovation — new capabilities that could potentially have an exponential impact on program engagement and success but that will require experimentation and testing to get right. Interested in serving as a guinea pig? Let us know!

For those that attended CSRworks, we hope that the Innovation Challenge session once again demonstrated our commitment to continued innovation and showed the value we place on the ideas and input of our clients and their employees. (Check out our Facebook photo album to see more CSRworks photos.)

 

CSR Innovation Presentation
Each group would then present their ideas to the group.

 

 

Future Innovation at CSRworks

For CSRworks 2018, the Innovation Challenge may take on a slightly different and improved format, but the purpose will remain the same.

Going forward, we will be delivering the product roadmap and innovation updates on a more regular basis. This will include updates on the status of product roadmap items inspired and validated by the Innovation Challenge, as well as teasers on the disruptive ideas mentioned above.  

In closing, it was exciting and inspiring for me to experience, first-hand and for the first time, our clients’ passion for YourCause as the platform that powers their CSR and Employee Engagement programs. I look forward to sharing future product updates and disruptive ideas right here on the YourCause blog.