Featured Startup Pitch: RAZ Mobile wants to help nonprofits go mobile and make it easier for individuals to give
RAZ Mobile seeks to disrupt the philanthropy space first by delivering an iTunes model for nonprofits. With credentials in the Cloud, any donor can give to any cause on RAZ Mobile in 20 seconds. Secondly, RAZ Mobile will encourage federal subsidies for online giving tools just as the use of direct mail is subsidized (and dying a slow death). Lastly, RAZ Mobile will seek to bring the carriers together to offer a welcome alternative to text-to-give.
RAZ Mobile started in 2011 with one idea in mind: To launch a web-based platform to help nonprofits of all sizes engage and fundraise via their supporters’ mobile phones.
I had a deep concern about what the transition to the mobile web would do to nonprofits and became highly motivated to take my deep knowledge of mobile data services and apply them to the creation of RAZ Mobile. Just as I had disrupted the space of live TV and video with the launch of MobiTV in 2003 and Sprint TV in 2004, I sought to disrupt the space of philanthropy.
To me, I saw the chance to create a platform for all nonprofits to use wherein giving would be as easy as buying music online. In a store like iTunes, I could use my stored information to buy any song I wanted. I see the need to make giving this easy and highly democratized—unlike text-to-give is today. In reality, RAZ Mobile is more about making it easy for a donor to give to any nonprofit.
I founded and created RAZ Mobile to be a preeminent SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) platform for any cause engaged in fundraising. With RAZ Mobile, any cause can create a content-rich mobile presence, share it through text messages, social media, QR codes, advertising, and more, and best of all—quickly and securely process donations from motivated supporters.
I hold multiple patents and applications for patents in the mobile space, including advertising, content optimization, geo-targeting, and negative QOS. In 2005, I won an Emmy for delivering live TV to cellphones while at Sprint. In my role as general manager of TV and video, I oversaw the launch of the first live TV service to cellphones, and in just nine months the service had 300,000 subscribers.
With RAZ Mobile, any cause can improve their Google SEO using a mobile-optimized version of their primary domain. The web app allows increased donations by no longer relying on a donation experience designed for a PC to be the mobile donation experience. The easy-to-use PCI compliant ‘repeat giving’ allows donors to store their information via a four-digit PIN. With a PIN, any donor can give to any cause on RAZ Mobile in 20 seconds—much like buying music online.
Since its launch, RAZ Mobile has helped major charities, including Ronald McDonald House Kansas City, Susan G. Komen Kansas City, Big Brother Big Sisters, and CASA San Antonio. Two years running, ArtsKC has raised $10,000 in just one day using the RAZ Mobile platform. River of Refuge, a nonprofit helping the homeless find housing, raised $15,000 in 10 days.
Right now, 84 percent of nonprofits’ donation landing pages are not optimized for mobile; however, 62 percent of Generation Y would give by mobile phones. This audience that prefers to give via the mobile platform will only continue to grow, and creating a mobile-friendly website or app is increasingly crucial to nonprofits.
Seventy-two percent of the $312 billion donated to nonprofits in 2012 came from individuals, yet 65 percent of nonprofits make their donors click three or more times to give a donation. RAZ Mobile streamlines this process so donors are presented with an easy and simple donation process.
RAZ Mobile differentiates itself from competitors by being superior to text-to-give, which for many is synonymous with mobile giving. The RAZ Mobile platform is less expensive than building an app, easy to deploy, offers real-time donor info., CRM integration and unlimited text messaging. The user experience is simple, frictionless and easy to follow. Most importantly, 100 percent of the donations go to the cause—RAZ Mobile doesn’t touch any of the money donated.
RAZ Mobile has a simple, success-based business model: No contract, no set up fees, and a low platform fee of $29/month billed in arrears. To help cover variable costs we also charge 3.9 percent of donations processed into a customer’s existing merchant account or PayPal account.
With the average cost of a dollar raised in the nonprofit sector at 20 cents, RAZ Mobile raises the ROI of the nonprofit while lowering the overall cost of generating donations.
RAZ Mobile is currently seeking additional investment to scale growth and to add three-to-four employees to service the growth in the area of sales and marketing.
# # #
HEADQUARTERS: Overland Park, Kansas
FOUNDER: Dale Knoop
INVESTORS: Private Angel investors (raised just under $1.5 million to date)
YEAR FOUNDED: 2011