The sophisticated donor lives in a world of endless possibilities, with wide-ranging and niche charitable causes, varying forms of currency, and evolving technology that’s forging new pathways for philanthropic giving. Where do philanthropic technology and service providers fit into this grand, evolving picture?
Between 2019 and 2020, the US recorded the highest number of new millionaires, a trend that has not ceased despite a global pandemic. Due to the pandemic, the number of banking customers using their institution’s digital banking tools jumped to 54%. Digital transformation is in full swing, yet the charitable world has found itself behind and now requires a technologically sophisticated bridge that falls in line with recently cultivated donor preferences.
Ren, the leading philanthropic solutions platform, offers charitable giving solutions catered to the needs of tech-savvy donors, supporting US$16.6 billion in charitable gifts in 2020 alone. As donors search for who they will trust with their earnings, some key factors are accessibility and significant resources, but ultimately it’s the technological ease and variety of options that make the difference.
“The future of financial services is bursting with new ideas and methods that empower donors, yet partnerships will be absolutely vital to the success of this digital change.” said Joe Fisher, President and CEO at Ren. “Customer expectations are rightly increasing, requiring solid technology and a longstanding reputation in the philanthropic world, both of which Ren is proud to offer.”
Cryptocurrency, a long-maligned yet recently accepted form of payment, has grown in popularity among the millennial millionaire population, and continues to steadily seep into more mainstream circles and provide greater flexibility to take advantage of the crypto asset class.
An example of Ren’s innovative partnerships is the recent collaboration with The Giving Block, an online giving platform for charities that accept cryptocurrency donations. Through this partnership, Ren can accept over 45 types of cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin on behalf of its institutional clients. This capability plays into the accessibility factor that both donors and not-for-profits look to cultivate. This is especially important as Ren enables its institutional clients to differentiate their offerings and provide their donors and advisers another onramp to the growing philanthropic super-highway while connecting them with their not-for-profits of choice.
Another example of Ren’s commitment to innovative partnerships is their acquisition of Pinkaloo last year. Pinkaloo is a fintech charitable giving platform that incorporates giving technology into products and services. This partnership allows Ren to fully leverage the potential of donor-advised funds, which are giving accounts established by public charities on behalf of donors. They are a popular giving option because of their ease of use as well as their flexibility and streamlined process of grantmaking to charities. In 2020, donor-advised funds grantmaking rose by 27%, totaling US$34 billion amid a global crisis. Larger banks, such as Bank of America have been a long-time innovator in the charitable giving sector, partnering with Ren and clients of their private bank looking to establish donor-advised funds.
In this endeavor, Ren has supported its mission to democratize philanthropy by incorporating Pinkaloo’s technology into its donor-advised fund infrastructure so that establishing a donor-advised fund is a matter of will rather than means. This allows donors of any giving capacity, large or small, the chance to join the philanthropic table. And this is what sets a financial institution apart from its competitors, especially as the need to serve a diverse array of wealthy clients becomes a more personalized task.
The donor’s palate is changing, and rightly so. Philanthropic causes and varying forms of financial transactions, like GoFundMe and Apple Pay, have made a significant impact on the habits of individuals and organizations, requiring more of wealth advisers and the platforms they rely upon. Although charitable organizations may require an extra push in their digital transformation, the service providers that act as a bridge between donors and causes must be ahead of the curve.
Partnerships with key leaders in the software and services space are integral to this transition, particularly as financial institutions embark on a fintech journey that may require outside expertise. Ren has continued to partner with leading institutions to help grow the overall philanthropic economy through a powerful combination of robust technologies and heavily-praised services.