Coming off a hugely successful IPO last year, the founders of Israel-based website builder tool provider Wix.com are giving back to the community — in the form of an investment in give2gether, the crowdfunding platform for non-profit organizations. Wix did not say how much it was putting into the fund, but the investment is said to be “significant.”
Give2gether CEO Arnon Shafir welcomed the Wix investors to the platform. “The Wix co-founders believe that give2gether is outsmarting the crowdfunding heavyweights,” said Shafir. “Give2gether powers a new generation of smart crowdfunding campaigns to go beyond being just social or cool — but effective.” The Wix co-founders, Giora Kaplan, Avishai Abrahami and Nadav Abrahami, will not be taking on any official role in give2gether and will not be involved in the day to day operation of the company.
Give2gether was developed by Shafir to battle what he calls “donor fatigue” — where donors, tired of being tapped for endless causes, close their wallets. “We advise organizations to use non-intuitive methods to appeal to donors, based on extensive research our team has done on what makes people give to causes. Much of our methodology is based on game theory, as applied to social network-based fundraising campaigns,” said Shafir. The system is somewhat similar to the product crowdfunding techniques used by sites like Kickstarter, but the 10,000 hours of research that has gone into give2gether’s methods, said Shafir, “makes us like Kickstarter on steroids.”
Some of those non-intuitive methods could include limiting the amount of money donors can give to a cause, said Shafir. According to research by give2gether — and proven, Shafir said, by numerous case studies — capping donations at a certain amount paradoxically increases the overall pool of money raised. When individual donations are limited, more donors feel they have a stake in the success of the project, because their money appears needed — and they’re more likely to urge others to get involved as well.
“Every dollar does not necessarily count,” said Shafir. “What’s more important, and more beneficial for non-profits, is widening the circle of donors. In the end, organizations will raise more money when the crowd is bigger, and everyone feels they have a stake in their success.”
There’s a long record of success to give2gether’s off the beaten track approach. The average give2gether crowdfunding campaign is five weeks and raises $38,000. One give2gether campaign raised $60,000 in less than 24 hours. A campaign called “Save a Child’s Heart to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro” raised over $700,000 through give2gether. Investor Nathan Low’s “Bike for Chai Life Line” individual fundraising page raised more than $155,000 using the platform. Give2gether won the Best Start-Up award from the Israeli military Unit 8200.
Wix, which provides users with a web-driven, easy to use method to build sophisticated websites, raised $127 million when it started trading on the NASDAQ exchange last November. Wix’s drag and drop method to build HTML5-based websites has proven popular with users, who can choose templates from among hundreds as models for their site, and add basic web interface services as well as advanced apps like music, shopping forms, and social media additions. Wix operates on a freemium basis — basic and some advanced services free, and additional services, support, and hosting of sites available for a price.
The Wix folks are impressed with give2gether and believe in its ability to help non-profits, said Wix co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Giora Kaplan. “My Wix co-founders and I invested in Give2Gether not only because of its great product and the intelligent way they disrupt this $20 billion market, but also because we know this investment goes beyond great return on investment. Every dollar invested in it will yield a 10 times multiplier in some charitable cause this year, and that’s a great double impact investment.”