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Millennial Minded

uBack helps nonprofits catch millennials' short attention spans

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A sample of how uBack's app works for nonprofits.
A sample of how uBack's app works for nonprofits. - ()

Millennials, as we've often heard, are as socially conscious and philanthropic as they can be on typically tight budgets.

But, if it isn’t extremely convenient for them — and other generations, for that matter — to give back, nonprofits will continue to lose out on dollars that so easily could have been collected for their causes, Melissa Bodford said.

“Each of these nonprofits is working to change the world in some way, whether that’s feeding the homeless, providing clothes for children in need or saving animals from abusive homes,” Bodford said. “That means they need as much money as they can get.

“The problem is, many of them are missing out on contributions from the next generation of donors because they rely on old-fashioned donation mechanisms like paper pledge cards and pricey table sponsorships.”

Melissa Bodford, co-founder of uBack.
Melissa Bodford, co-founder of uBack. - ()

According to Bodford, research shows that the altruistic impulse, or the urge to give, lasts just eight seconds — precisely why 47 percent of donations are then started and abandoned.

She and co-founder Kaitlin Reimann set out to address this problem by creating uBack, a financial technology company with offices in Atlanta, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Chicago, in 2015 to allow donors to almost instantaneously contribute to nearly 800,000 nonprofits via their smartphones. 

“UBack empowers donors to give whenever, wherever they want and helps nonprofits reap the benefits,” Bodford said.

Now, the company has expanded to New Jersey, providing new and existing users with free mobile access to nearly 24,000 nonprofits across the state, Reimann said.

Kaitlin Reimann, co-founder of uBack.
Kaitlin Reimann, co-founder of uBack. - ()

“The process has to be easy — like shopping online — to achieve maximum participation and buy-in, so we built a mobile platform to accommodate that,” she said. “Then, we had to be absolutely everywhere, providing unprecedented donation access across the country.

“The addition of New Jersey’s nonprofits to our platform brings us one step closer.”  

With nearly 17 percent of last year’s online donations made on a mobile device, uBack is also currently working with companies who want to increase the effectiveness of their employee giving campaigns. 

“We are so excited about this nationwide rollout, because it helps us stay true to the uBack mission,” Reimann said.

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Write to the Editorial Department at editorial@njbiz.com

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