Melville tech firm shares nonprofit know-how

A click away: Digital Donations Inc. produces cutting-edge fundraising tech, and will happily teach 501(c)3 organizations how to use it.

A Melville-based tech manufacturer specializing in “alternative fundraising solutions” has opened an online school to teach charities the fundraising ropes – and will pay participants to attend.

Digital Donations Inc. – which produces point-of-sale, ATM, online and mobile “donation-request” technologies – has opened the Digital Donations Learning Center, an educational platform offering ongoing training and mentoring for nonprofit founders, board members, staff and volunteers.

Keith Orlean: Full of surprises.

Qualified 501(c)3 organizations who sign up for Learning Center programs receive an “in-kind donation pledge” of $5,000 – basically, a Digital Donations coupon covering Learning Center webinars, workshops and coaching sessions. The pledge can also be used to offset the costs of Digital Donations’ commercial products and services.

Launched in 2014, the company integrates its proprietary payment platforms into point-of-sale processing systems, allowing charities to request donations during the course of other transactions.

The platform can be built into e-commerce and mobile commerce payment systems and automatic-teller machines. Digital Donations also offers an “interactive crowdfunding” solution, as well as new software combining purchases and donations into a single transaction.

Although company revenue – Digital Donations collects service fees from participating nonprofits – is dependent on developing and selling new tech connecting charities and donors, a top priority is helping well-intentioned but inexperienced philanthropists navigate the tricky waters of nonprofit management, according Digital Donations co-founder and President Keith Orlean.

“Anyone who has the passion for starting a nonprofit does so with the intent of doing good, but unfortunately the intention to do good doesn’t always come with the ability to run a nonprofit,” Orlean said in a statement.

Eyes are usually opened, the cofounder added, when the costs of running a nonprofit agency start to come clear.

“The big surprise to many founders is that they need expertise and capital to develop the basic foundation to fulfill their mission,” Orlean said, “making it almost impossible to be noticed in the very crowded world of philanthropy.”

With more than 1.5 million registered charities in the United States alone, the challenge is obvious. But Digital Donations, a United Charitable program partner, is dedicated to developing the payment-processing solutions needed to connect philanthropical organizations with consumers – and, according to Orlean, to helping charities find “the funding, expertise and infrastructure to compete successfully.”

“We believe the Digital Donations Learning Center is the missing link for many organizations in the nonprofit industry,” the president said.

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