BrightFunds Research

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Bright Funds: Competitive Landscape

While Bright Funds, Causecast, and Benevity are corporate workplace giving platforms, Fluxx is a dedicated grants management platform. Bright Fund's primary competitive advantage lies in their research-driven charitable giving tools and their personalized, skills-based volunteer matching. Benevity is a B Corp considered the global leader in workplace giving, matching, employee volunteering, and grant management products and services. Causecast, also a B Corp, touts its impressive implementation speeds and AI-driven, real-time reporting features. Fluxx is known for providing a streamlined, flexible grants management tool that allows grant makers and grant seekers to connect with ease.

BRIGHT FUNDS

• Overview

Bright Funds is a workplace giving technology platform that facilitates charitable giving, volunteerism, and grants management for companies. The personalized platform uses skills-based matching technology to find the right volunteer opportunities for employees, while providing administrative and reporting tools to corporations.

Companies can also set up a matching program to match the gifts given by their employees. Features include support for 501(c)(3) programs, international giving, payroll integration, disaster relief support, real-time reporting, and more.

• Competitive advantage / Unique value

Bright Funds' competitive advantage lies in their use of research on nonprofits and charitable causes in creating unique Flagship Funds, grouping together "highly impactful nonprofits that target strategic solutions to global causes." They "carefully select nonprofits with highly impactful projects and low cost overhead" and offer regular updates on nonprofits to show employees how their contributions are impacting the world. Using the intuitive interface, donors build a charitable "investments" portfolio, selecting charitable entities that match their passions. Donors can also select their own favorite charities to add to the portfolio.

Forbes praised Bright Funds for bringing together "the power of research, the reliability of a trusted financial service, and the convenience of centralized contributions and company reporting."

• Products and Services

Bright Fund's service offerings include:
Administrative
Giving
Volunteerism
Grants Management

• Marketing or Branding Position

The Bright Funds website is sparse and clean with almost no photos of people, instead showing high-brow photos of their product’s interface. The site provides a list of its impressive corporate clients, including Cisco, Box, Campbell's, Squarespace, and Birchbox. They offer information on causes, including water, education, poverty, environment, health, and human rights. In addition, they provide an interactive "giving advisor" that helps donors understand various causes and offer personal donations for the causes they want to support.

BENEVITY

• Overview

Benevity provides a corporate workplace giving programs that connect employees to causes. Their tagline is: “Benevity’s Goodness Platform empowers people and companies to make a real difference.”
Noting that its Spark platform meets all WCAG 2.0 AA standards, Benevity asserts it is "the most inclusive solution in the market."

They quote one of their clients as saying Benevity "changed workplace giving from a chore to an experience."

• Competitive advantage / Unique value

Benevity is a certified B Corporation, which means it is a for-profit entity that is recognized for its social mission. The company touts itself as the global leader in "online workplace giving, matching, volunteering and integrated grant management solutions" with 2 million users donating to 100,000 charities, worldwide.

• Products and Services

Benevity's products and services include:
Workplace Giving
Volunteering
Grants Management
Fundraising Campaigns
Disaster Relief
International Programs
API Solutions
Accessibility

Goodness Consulting is a service that offers one-on-one consultation "to take a look at your company’s unique culture, assess your metrics, benchmark against others and make specific, actionable recommendations to get the most out of your budget and help you lead change in your organization."

The website Double the Donation states that Benevity offers the following technical solutions for companies:
Custom cause portfolios & disaster response
Company & user-generated volunteering opportunities
Dynamic news & blog content
Charitable rewards & matching incentives
Comprehensive reporting capabilities
International capabilities"

• Marketing or Branding Position

Their About Us page says, "Our moonshot is global Goodness." they believe that goodness, paired with technology, allows companies to connect their values and their employees with communities and causes in need. As a B Corporation, they look forward to the day when all companies see "profit and purpose" as compatible concepts. Benevity has an "impact" corporate culture with employees joining in on volunteer projects. This corporate culture of goodness and impact is couched in a somewhat lighthearted website design that offers an inviting tone of familiarity.

CAUSECAST

• Overview

According to their vision and mission, "Causecast provides giving and volunteering technology solutions that help companies reach the highest levels of employee engagement and social impact." Helping companies design employee-led giving programs that are "globally meaningful, locally relevant, and easy to manage."

Causecast asserts that their platform helps companies save administrative time, increase participation, and grow revenue. The average customer increases donors by 29%, volunteers by 34%, and donations by 47% in their first year with Causecast.

• Competitive advantage / Unique value

Causecast is also a certified B Corporation that develops solutions "side-by-side with our customers." They tout their impressive implementation speeds, which have their clients set up three times faster. They also claim to be "the only real-time reporting platform with advanced analytics and an embedded AI assistant."

Double the Donations calls Causecast "one of the most highly valued peer-to-peer technology services."

• Products and Services

Causecast describes its services this way: "From employee activation to competitive crowdfunding, donation matching to fundraising campaigns, and even board service and grantmaking, it’s easy to engage everyone at every level of your company."

Solutions offers by Causecast include:
Volunteering
Giving
Reporting

Causecast provides ready-made employee giving campaign libraries and offers its unique "StoryCapture™ functionality" to capture employee volunteer stories and photos.

• Marketing or Branding Position

Causecast presents itself as a resource for clients in a more pointed way than the other companies, offering ebooks, white papers, how-to guides, case studies, and webinars, as well as a blog where clients can get advice on engaging employees in their donation and volunteer programs. Also, their website uses more people photography than other sites, with millennial-oriented photos fairly prominently used on the site.

FLUXX

• Overview

Fluxx is a bit different from the other companies analyzed in this brief because it is specifically a grant management platform, describing it offering as “Collaborative, cloud-based solutions for funders and grantees.”

• Competitive advantage / Unique value

Fluxx says its mission is "about enabling a transparent, accessible, and more connected ecosystem for all funders and impact investors."
A Fast Company articles describes Grantseeker as a platform that "streamlines the grant application process while helping nonprofits collect and analyze data on key performance indicators, so organizations looking for funding will have the numbers to back up their efforts." Fluxx has helped over 200 grant makers and nonprofits track around $7 billion in grants.

• Products and Services

They offer three products: Grantmaker, Grantseeker, and Impact Intelligence.

Grantmaker helps funders "seamlessly access data, accomplish tasks, and approve requests effortlessly throughout the charitable giving lifecycle."

Grantseeker is for nonprofits seeking grants. It allows them to "apply, track, post, and share impact stories all from one place." It allows for collaboration between funders and nonprofits, allowing easier interactions.

Impact Intelligence is for both grant makers and grant seekers, offering "an intuitive impact assessment platform," tracking program progress that facilitates strategic changes to deliver meaningful social impact.

• Marketing or Branding Position

Fluxx's tagline is "Igniting your mission." Their website uses video to share stories from grant makers who tout the flexibility and real-time access to data, as well as the ability to use data to make connections with grant seekers. Connections and streamlined processes are throughout Fluxx's marketing on their website and through their resources, such as white papers and case studies, as well as community networking opportunities. They offer community forums, conferences, and events to facilitate conversations and shared learning among philanthropic organizations.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, Bright Funds, Benevity, and Causecast are corporate employee giving, volunteering, and matching program platforms, while Fluxx is focused on grantmaking management solutions.
Part
02
of two
Part
02

Bright Funds: CSR

There are several ways in which Bright Funds stands out from its competitors. CSR professionals are motivated by companies that prioritize socio-politico issues, science-based projects, and location. The main digital platforms currently being utilized by CSR professionals are Network for Good, MissionFish, and Causes for Facebook, and yes, the analytics do matter.

I have divided the next section according to each individual question in the request to make my logic easy to follow.

OVERVIEW

WHAT MAKES BRIGHT FUNDS DIFFERENT FROM ITS COMPETITORS?

Bright Funds has a target market of CSR, or Corporate Social Responsibility, professionals. Bright Funds has several ways in which it stands out from its competitors. The first is that it promises to support and prioritize the specific social causes CSR professionals care about. To find these specific causes, they regularly poll CSR professionals on different platforms to make sure their money is going to the causes they most support. Another way in which Bright Funds stands out from its competitors is that it chooses projects with a low overhead cost. This keeps the professionals involved from having to spend any out-of-pocket funds on the project. The third way in which this company stands out is it keeps CSR professionals up-to-date on the goings-on of the organizations and projects they have donated to, ensuring their money is being well spent. The fourth and final way Bright Funds makes itself stand out from its competitors is by allowing CSR professionals to support the causes they care about, keep track of their impact, and take advantage of one-click tax reporting all in one venue.

WHAT DIGITAL CHARITY PLATFORM BRAND SPEAKS TO CSR PROFESSIONALS?

There are three main digital charity platforms that CSR professionals are currently using: Network for Good, MissionFish, and Causes on Facebook.

Network for Good is a hybrid organization—a nonprofit-owned for-profit. Network for Good’s nonprofit donor-advised fund uses the Internet and mobile technology to securely and efficiently distribute thousands of donations from donors to their favorite charities each year. This platform offers CSR professionals a suite of fundraising software and services that helps them raise money and reach more individual donors, plus the training that will make you them online fundraising superstars.

MissionFish is the partner charity of eBay, which runs auction and shopping websites in 30 countries. Through MissionFish, eBay users are able to donate to registered nonprofit organizations when they buy and sell through the eBay.com and eBay.co.uk sites. The programs are called eBay Giving Works and eBay for Charity, respectively.

Causes for Facebook is a tab option on Facebook mobile and Facbeook's website. A CSR professional can donate to and request donations for the charity of their choice by looking in the blue bar at the top of Facebook's page and selecting “Start a Cause.” They can then enter their cause's mission and designate an organization they'd like donations to go to. As long as their organization is a registered nonprofit with the IRS, they can receive donations through Facebook Causes.

WHAT MOTIVATES CSR PROFESSIONALS AND WHAT MAKES THEM CHOOSE ONE VOLUNTEER PROGRAM OVER ONE GIVING PLATFORM?

CSR professionals are currently most invested in socio-politico issues, such as equality. They are more likely to spend time with and donate to organizations and projects that prioritize current social issues. CSR professionals are also wanting to be more involved with science-based projects as opposed to religious ones. The final way CSR professionals choose one platform over another is location. There is a growing need for volunteers to be locally involved, and this need is rapidly being filled.

DO ANALYTICS OF THE PLATFORM MATTER?

Yes, the analytics of the platform do seem to matter. In this source, there are several customer cases where the analytics of the platform have helped them to improve their customer engagement and make their overall CSR program more effective. The cases are for RealScout, Eventbrite and Ooyala. Also, the analytical capabilities of Bright Funds help in slicing and dicing of client data that helps a client to generate their own reports based on the data they are interested in. Bright Funds not only meets, but exceeds CSR professionals' expectations, and the supporting data can be found here.

CONCLUSION

To sum up, there are several ways in which Bright Funds stands out from their competitors. There are three main digital platforms currently being utilized by CSR professionals. CSR professionals are motivated by projects that prioritize socio-politico issues, science-based projects, and location. Yes, analytics of the platform do matter, and Bright Funds is currently exceeding expectations of CSR professionals.

Sources
Sources

From Part 01