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Soraya Alexander thinks about the role technology plays in digital fundraising

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Over the last two years, nonprofits have seen digital marketing and fundraising accelerate at lightning speed. In this season of Group Thinkers, we’re dedicating each episode to discussing digital advancement with some of the industry’s leading experts.

On this episode, we sit down with Soraya Alexander of Classy, to discuss the role technology and modernized payment solutions play in digital fundraising. Tune as we talk about:

  • How the role of technology has evolved over the last 10 years 6:51
  • The importance of modernized payment options 17:30
  • The growth of major giving through digital avenues 22:00
  • Findings from ‘The State of Modern Philanthropy’ study 29:14

As a special treat for our Group Thinkers listeners, use “RKDGroup20” for a discounted rate on Classy’s upcoming Collaborative conference June 15-16. 

Meet our guest

Soraya Alexander Headshot

Soraya Alexander

Chief Operating Officer, Classy

“On the generational side, you tend to see bigger gifts with older people who have established more wealth. But now you are seeing the preference of where to give go to digital in every generation but the Silent Generation.”

Podcast transcript

Justin McCord: All right. Well, here we are. Welcome to this episode of Group Thinkers. I'm your host, Justin McCord. And with me, as always, is Ronnie Richard. Ronnie, we both did an excellent job of making sure that our dogs are entertained so that Soraya is not interrupted. So, we're optimizing. That's what we're doing here is we're optimizing.

Ronnie Richard: That's the theme, right? Dog’s got a Kong. I think she may have fallen asleep, so I think we're good now.

Justin: Even better, even better. So excited for this conversation. Very excited for this conversation. When we first started, you know, connecting with the team at Classy, we didn't know, Soraya, that we were going to end up getting to chat with you. So we're thrilled to have you. Welcome to Group Thinkers.

Soraya Alexander: Thank you so much. Thanks for having me. I had to escape my house so my kids wouldn’t distract me. That's my optimization today. So it's good to be here.

Justin: Good. Yeah. Yeah, that's very good. You know, it's funny, I've been lamenting as everyone else in my house … you know, I've got a middle schooler and a fifth grader. So, a second one soon entering middle school and my wife's an assistant principal. They're all counting down the days until summer because they could not be more excited. And I'm counting down the days until school starts next year because it's going to get loud. It's going to get loud.

Soraya: Yup yup. Yup. Yup, you can join, you can join me here in our offices for quiet podcast recordings going forward.

Justin: Yeah, we can definitely figure it out, for me to get from Dallas to San Diego to take in the view that you have. And so, anyway, so …

So this is Group Thinkers. It's the podcast from RKD Group. On each and every episode, we have someone connected to the nonprofit marketing space who's helping solve complex problems. And so, Soraya, that's the buildup that we're giving you today.

Soraya: Love it.

Justin: That, that is certainly part of what your team at Classy does, and complex problems are a way to think about the current conversation theme that Ronnie and I have been walking through with a number of individuals around digital advancement and how nonprofits are kind of taking things one step forward at a time in terms of how they resource or approach or activate and leverage digital. And it's rather complex. And so we thought it would be good to bring in someone who knows a thing or two about the complex and specifically in the world of technology.

So, Soraya Alexander from Classy, welcome to the show.

Soraya: Thanks so much for having me. I'm so happy to be here. It is complex, and frustratingly so, I think, for this sector. And so I'm really, I'm really eager to chat with you about some of the things we've learned. But it's a tough world to be in. So happy. Very happy to be here.

Justin: Yeah, it's an ever-changing world. And there are times where, you know, I feel like Ralph from Wreck-It Ralph whenever he first gets into the internet and the speed at which things are moving and those sorts of things. But it's OK, we're going to get through it. We're going to get through the conversation today.

But I want to start, Soraya, with your journey and understanding the ebbs and flows of how you got to Classy. And then, obviously, you know, your current role as chief operating officer, kind of your scope and what you oversee. But tell us, tell us your path into this nonprofit space.

Soraya: Yeah, absolutely. Well, it probably helps to say up front, Classy is a fundraising software for nonprofits. It helps organizations raise money online through, you know, core donation pages, through event ticketing, through registration with fundraiser, peer to peer. You know, we've got a whole suite of products. And so, my journey to this, actually, I started in the nonprofit space. I worked in D.C. First, actually, I spent a whole semester in college, basically taking a gap from classes and working at Amnesty International and the refugee department. Absolutely love D.C., went after graduation to work for a public interest strategy and communications and digital agency. Just working for some of the largest nonprofits and foundations.

I ended up getting hired by one of our clients, PBS, out in California. Worked on one of their national nightly shows and a series of documentaries doing publicity, strategy, digital engagement. Again, like, you could see the theme here, and then took a detour a little bit, went to business school and spent some time in digital engagement, transformation and e-commerce, as well as customer loyalty. So, I went to media for a while and then went to retail, and I worked actually at a Fortune 500 retailer. So, Dick's Sporting Goods for like six years in eCommerce and loyalty.

And what that teaches you, the amount of money and sophistication and robust analytics that go into selling people's stuff really kind of makes your mind spin. And so, then I said, OK, great. I understand the sector. And I understand what great technology can do in terms of helping engage people in ways that feel really compelling and actually can be financially really transformative.

Then I found Classy and said, it's the best of both worlds. It's essentially in a lot of ways, you know, e-commerce and digital engagement and kind of, quote, customer loyalty. But for the sector that needs it the most, that deserves it the most. So, I joined Classy, and in my last four years here, we've really undergone kind of seismic shifts in how we engage and support our customers and what we can do to help empower them with great technology.

Justin: From afar, we've seen those seismic shifts. And so, congratulations for what Classy is today and what you all continue to put out to empower nonprofits.

That idea of a seismic shift is something that has definitely happened with technology in the last 5 to 10 years. We're not going to talk about the last two years because we've talked about it a lot, but I do want to talk about the last 5 to 10 years. And if we can think about 2012, and what technology looked like then versus 2022, you know, how has the role of technology changed in its seat at the table for nonprofits and for-profit entities as well?

Soraya: Well, I love it. So, one of the things that we have the benefit of is there has been billions and billions of dollars spent in optimizing technology to make it ever easier and more almost mindless to get consumers to buy.

And so, one of the things, you know, I will start by saying, it's so frustrating when you work in the nonprofit space and, you know, for-profit professionals come in and say, like, oh, you just have to model yourselves after us. That is not what I am talking about. It is a fundamentally different landscape. You are dealing with different problems, you're not selling widgets. You are trying to transform deep, intractable problems. And the people you are engaging with are not necessarily your donors.

And so, the dynamics are totally different. I am not going to pretend to be able to say, oh, I worked, you know, in for-profit space, let me tell you, you know, how to run this. What the for-profit world does have that I think we should steal from is an understanding that data at scale can tell you what will work and what will not to get people to act digitally. And then we can steal all those learnings and apply them to engaging donors. And so that visibility at scale of every step on a journey. Where are people finding you? Where are people then learning more about you? Where do people decide to spend money or not to support you? And then do they come back?

All of that is benefited by really great technology in ways that you start adding up little points. That's the other thing that great technology does. It adds up little points of change and over time, back to the optimization opening, you get massive, massive changes and what you can drive to your cause. And that's the most exciting thing. And that's the changes that have gone, you know, been in place over time. That's internally.

Kind of at a macro level, we're all sick of talking about the last two years and, frankly, living through the past two years. But what it has done is now everybody is really comfortable with that. So we knew the people who were paying attention to digital engagement channels, you know, we could really figure out ways to talk to them in a way that they felt connected to the cause and they wanted to support. Now that’s everybody. Everybody is comfortable online in a way that’s really accelerated because of what we’ve been through in the past two years, and that change, you know, you don't get re-uncomfortable with it. You know, you might want to go out and explore the world again. You might want to engage with nonprofits in a different way. But in terms of that transaction point, that's not going away anymore. And so, that's been the really exciting thing that we're seeing.

Justin: And you know, it's when you put it in those terms, Soraya, technology, what it was pre-pandemic was a commodity. And it was … I was trying to think of, it's not exactly like a filing cabinet, but essentially you would have these conversations, and you would build out your strategy, and then you would have these assets and your way of telling a story. And then you would have this place that you would store it and put it. And that was the place, and that was the technology. And so, whether or not you or with Classy or one of your many competitors in the marketplace, that was it.

And so, but now, even the way that you all engage your client base, it looks very different for you to be further up and closer to the strategic conversations, not further back as an end-delivery mechanism. Can you kind of talk about how that transformation has been either wrestled with or how you all have processed that internally at Classy as you've seen more of the strategic seat coming about for technology?

Soraya: I just love this question because it gets at so much of the heart of what we try to do. And I will say there are, you know, hundreds of thousands of nonprofits, and they run across the map in terms of how they think about engaging with technology. So, this is, you know, blanket statements that are, you know, not accurate. You know, your listeners are going to say, well, we weren't here on the spectrum. The fact that they're listening to you means they're probably a little bit more sophisticated than what you're looking at in the landscape.

But what we generally saw is, there was a real focus on programmatic impact, of course, taking that aside. But on the development space, it was relationships first and then the sense of you spend a lot of time talking about your impact, putting out, you know, materials to help educate. And then the transaction point felt like a luxury to invest in because you're just accepting a credit card.

If people are, if you've really done your job well in telling your story, telling why people should support your cause, the transaction point, they will be moved to give. And it can be seemingly like it might be a big investment for you to buy great technology. And then you feel like you need teams to manage it, and you need teams to kind of support it and optimize. What we've tried to do by measuring everything, we're crazy about our technology, is you tell us your digital strategy, or sorry, you tell us your fundraising strategy, you know your constituents, you know your programs. You know how to talk about that impact. We will spend lots of money, hire really great technologists, and we will build technology that allows you to elevate that strategy.

So we will spend time figuring out how do you optimize when you've gotten those potential donors’ attention? How do you optimize that engagement point to make sure you can capitalize on it?

What we have seen is technology is very much not a commodity anymore. I don't know if it ever was, but now we've really got a ton of data to show that it's not.

So, I'll give you an example. You know, everybody talks about conversion rates. Well, like why are conversion rates so different? Why would it matter? Like, I'm accepting a credit card, I check out, like, on you go. Maybe it's an obvious statement now, again, because everybody else, you know, everybody's world is digitized. But we launched a payments offering, our own payments offering, Classy Pay, and at the time, even we didn't understand the power of it. We said, you know, we wanted to actually build a platform that helps with better reconciliation on the backend, better, you know, credit card retry attempts if a credit card fails, better recurring capture and credit card update or capabilities. And then we wanted to launch more payment options because we knew that would help.

We didn't even understand how transformational great payment options—you know, having lots of payment options, having it processed very quickly, having really great fraud protection—how transformational that can be. We now see that transactions made on Classy Pay are 1 and 1/2 times bigger. It's almost $190 versus, let's say, like $120-$130 on non-Classy transactions. Massive differences, plus the conversion rates on those pages that have Classy Pay, because of all these payment options, because of the speed, are almost three percentage points higher.

So, you start taking your own performance and analyzing what an extra three percentage points of conversion is, plus 1 and 1/2 times what your, you know, average donation size is, you can start seeing like, oh, maybe I should pay attention to payment options, maybe I should pay attention to my checkout flow. And I can, you know, give stat after stat because again, we've become a little obsessed with it. But it really can transform how much you're able to drive to your nonprofit.

The other thing I'll add is that, you know, there's about $500 billion of giving, philanthropy, that happens in the U.S. every year. It's always been a couple of years ago, it was at like 9% was online. We were seeing that grow about a 10% compound annual growth rate every year. It's accelerated like crazy, unsurprising. But now the amount that's coming online and the significance of that, it's not pennies that you're optimizing, it's real dollars and suddenly real dollars to the cause. So, yes, a little bit obsessed with this idea.

And you were asking a little bit about how we oriented the company, so I'll take a break just cause I'm talking a lot because I'm very excited about this, but I would love to talk about, you know, how do we engage customers to make sure they can see those benefits? And it's not just like, cool, you did some analysis in a vacuum.

Justin: Yeah, no. I think that's, I do want to go into orienting the company. I think it would be good. I will say on the payment options front, yesterday, so I was thinking about and kind of mentally getting, you know, getting my mind right for our chat today, Soraya, but I was doing so, and I had to run to the store yesterday, and it wasn't for a last minute Mother's Day gift. I had taken care of that, so that everyone's aware.

And so, I was standing in line at a store near my neighborhood that has recently removed all of the physical human resourced checkout stands and replaced every single one of them with the self-checkouts. So, they still have some people there to kind of monitor and help and, you know, that sort of thing. But all physical checkouts are gone. It's all self-checkout, and so, there was a little bit of a line. And this gentleman in front of me, he had his AirPods in. He was having a conversation. He was trying to hold, like, five bottles of wine without a basket, just hold them while he was waiting in line. And as we got closer and closer to the actual checkout stands, he asked the associate. He said, “Hey, excuse me, do you all take Apple Pay?” And they said no. And he put down probably $100’s of bottles, you know, a $100 purchase with those bottles of wine and walked out.

And so, it was like I was watching the idea of an abandoned cart in person and in real life. But it was such a perfect tee up for my mind. And Ronnie, you've talked about this as well. Payment options, it's not what you immediately think of as something that should be at the forefront of your digital strategy. Maybe it should be. I mean, Ronnie, you were sharing something similar.

Ronnie: Yeah, I mean, it's like if I'm ordering lunch, you know, I'm going to order on my phone. And if it's, I've had different experiences with different apps from restaurants that are near my house, and it's, you know, one is seamless. I'm going to go back to that one. If all I have to do is punch in my order and click a button to pay versus having to stop and enter my credit card info and all this different stuff, it slows me down.

And you know, I hate to say this. I'm not going to give up on you because of that, but that idea of making it easy on the consumer, or in this case the donor in the nonprofit world, it makes a difference.

Soraya: It does. Well, you know, one of the things, we do several studies a year just to get a sense of one. We've got so much platform data. You know, we processed over a billion dollars of donations last year on thousands and thousands of campaigns. So, we can do a lot of analysis internally.

But we also do this study ahead of giving season every year, which is a consumer sentiment study. So, it's called, “Why America Gives.” Last year, we went out and said, you know, tried to understand in the mind of the donor what compels somebody to give, where are they learning about causes, where they’re deciding to give and then what might drive them away? And we asked about donor experience. And, you know, what will make you give, and then what will make you reconsider your gifts?

And, you know, maybe surprisingly, maybe unsurprisingly, what drives you to give, exactly the inverse is what makes you reconsider your gift. And the top thing that makes people want to give is clearly understanding the impact they have, which, you know, all donation pages, all good websites have, you know, a sense of where are those donations going?

The second, the second thing out of everything that makes you think about giving has nothing to do with the nonprofit. They said, do I see the payment options I care about? That's the second thing on their list, and that I just think is fascinating, that you have made all of this time to discover a cause to get engaged, to get all the way to the donation page, and if they don't have a payment option you like, it's like, I just really don't want to get off the couch. And that's, I mean, that's horrible to hear. These are, you know, nonprofits spending so much time fixing this amazing, you know, addressing these huge problems, trying to do this great work in the world. And you're like, no, my donors would get up off the couch for me. Not … some of them would, but not all of them. And you don't want to miss out on those donations. Especially when now you can outsource that work, like, get a good tech platform partner. Don't worry about it. You shouldn't have to figure that out. You are doing more important things. We can figure that out for you.

But things like PayPal and Venmo and digital wallets and ACH, it drives different donor behavior. And so, it's not donor intent, it's the execution of it. That gap between intent and execution is what we're trying to kind of address.

Justin: And it almost like, I mean, it hints at the fragility of the conversion process. Because, ultimately, if that payment option that you either mildly prefer or strongly prefer isn't there, you're just like the guy in front of me in line to then all of a sudden, it's not worth it. I've stood here for 20 minutes, but it's not worth it because I don't have the, you know, I'm not going to able to pay the way that I want to pay or need to pay.

Soraya: That's right, and I think people's intentions are good. You know, I've been, I was about to say a victim, but no, I've been a perpetrator of this where I'll be on my couch, and I'll be watching something. I'll see a news segment. I'll read something on my phone, go to the site, want to give, not have my credit card in front of me and say, it's OK. I'll come back. I'll leave the browser open. Ten minutes later I’m actually looking up a recipe, and I've completely forgotten, and I have the best of intentions, and you lost me in that moment. I might have every intention to come back. I might say, I'm going to come back. It doesn't, it doesn't happen, though. So that's right, we don't want to lose anybody through that journey.

Ronnie: Yeah, we have so many things pulling our attention away, you have to make it absolutely seamless for donors.

One of the things I'm thinking of, Soraya, is, you know this is, we're talking a lot about individual gifts and smaller donors. But if we're thinking about major gifts and major donors, we don't often think about digital payments for them. Is there some way that that's moving into the digital space, or is that still that one on one, that personal connection, handing a check to someone? Are you seeing that, or are you seeing that move into digital more?

Soraya: We are. It's a really good question because there's always been this sense, and I'll answer it almost from two lenses.

One is actual just donation sizes. Back to payment options. I know I sound kind of obsessed about this. It's because I am. I think it's really powerful as we've learned more about it.

The other is actually a generational divide. So, on the generational side, again, you tend to see bigger gifts with older people, who have established more wealth. You are seeing the preference of where to give go to digital for every generation except the silent generation. So, you're talking baby boomers on down now, per our surveys, prefer giving online.

So, they are not giving online either because it's complicated or they're nervous about fees or they want, you know, some other, some other point of friction. But for major gifts, major gifts is really dependent on the organization and the size. Some benefit from, you know, a major gift size that is an order of magnitude bigger than some other organizations.

But we do see that as you introduce options like ACH, kind of bank transfer, you see donation sizes, double versus credit card. And one of the things we're learning as we talk to these organizations is the big donors are really sophisticated about fees, and there are credit card processing fees. So, as you can optimize your payment options to minimize fees to the organization, the big donors are more likely to go online because they know more dollars are going to the cause. And they're really in the boat with you on that, and they're really sensitive. And we can kind of offer that depending on, you know, if the organization prefers it.

The other thing is we see much bigger recurring donations on these alternative payment methods and recurring donations staying for longer. So again, when you talk about total donation size, recurring donations end up being much more valuable over time. You hang on to them longer. And so it's more money to your cause in the end. And you see people preferring things like ACH, even PayPal, to make their recurring gifts. They make them at a higher rate. They choose to do recurring at a higher rate, and they give much more than they would on other payment offerings.

And it's funny, because I mentioned the first two reasons that people want to give or, you know, draw trust in your organization, you know, the first being they understand the impact; the second being payment options. The third that they say is actually the ability to cover their fees. Like these, these donors want the dollars to go to the cause, and they're willing to take on some of the, you know, payment processing costs to do that. And so that's really great that they're the major donors, it's almost a behavior of taking care of the organization more than anything else.

But again, a check is, friction like that is going to drive people away. So, would you, do you want to have the option to minimize any chance of losing that donor along the way? And that's absolutely true.

Justin: So that's, so it's, so interesting. And it's just evidence, as we said, that technology has to be a part of strategy now that, you know, we honestly can't afford for it not to be because you're just missing out if it's not. If it's not sitting at the front to talk through, you know, the way that we can empower these great tools to go forward further for us.

Ronnie: I was going to say that I have a quick stat that I just looked up because I was curious. You mentioned the ‘cover the fee,’ and I remember we had written about this in our blog that we found 51% of donors opt-in when you present them with cover the fee, and that gives an additional 1.84% of digital revenue, which can add up to a lot and make a big difference.

Soraya: It makes a big difference. We actually see it even higher on our platform, and the latest stat for the people that have opted-in fees kind of defaulted. It's about 80%. So it's, yeah, it's a big deal. And donors really want to take on that support. I mean they're really happy to do it.

And the other thing I'll say, nonprofits get sometimes nervous when I talk to our customers that you do that and it's going to basically cannibalize the total donation amount. They wanted to give $150, but they opt in to cover the fees, so they give $120. We don't see that at all. It doesn't change the core donation amount through our testing, which is really encouraging. It's just a little bit of extra support. So how do you nudge people to, you know, just, you know, round up? That's a really easy way.

One of the things I did want to say, I kind of alluded to it early on, but you're talking about technology being core just again. I think the idea of comparative advantage is really important here. I will not be a better fundraiser than your audience. I will not be a better development director ever. That is not my job. And so, we are very clear about the role we play, which is you are the development director. You know your constituency best. You know what you want to try to drive. My job is to build great, great technology. I mean, we are spending over $100 million on our platform this year to make sure it's great for you. So, you don't have to think about things like stability and security and technological innovation and building things like crypto acceptance, like that's our job. And so, your job is to tell us what you're trying to do. Our job is to make sure the technology can support you at scale.

And you know, the things we're seeing around, honestly, you know, fraud risk. And you know, I mentioned security, like, these require big investments. It would be a little bit reckless for individual nonprofits to each try to build it up themselves. That is the beauty of technology platforms, but it's definitely not to say that, you know, we can supplant great fundraising professionals. This is just in service of that work, and we see ourselves as an extension of your teams and trying to drive that.

Justin: So, Soraya, I'm really glad you mentioned that you kind of got it, kind of comes back to that little sub-thread that we pivoted off of earlier, which was the idea of the orientation of the company, because I do think that that's important, that you know, that there is a need for technology to be core and a need for it to be a part of strategy. But it's not replacing someone else's swim lane. They’re swimming alongside and making sure that we're having these really important discussions and decisions up front so that we can ultimately divide and conquer.

And, you know, I say that as the member of ultimately a marketing company that works alongside technology and other partners to sit at the table with a nonprofit. So yeah, we're definitely aligned on that point.

You mentioned The State of Modern Philanthropy study, so tell us a little bit about the study itself. And because it's coming out in the next couple of weeks, it'll be out just after this episode is published. Beyond more great information about payment options, what can people expect or look forward to in this year's study?

Soraya: Yeah, this is something that we've done, oh, I'm going to forget, is this the fourth or fifth year? I want to say probably fifth year we've published this report. Every kind of spring, early summer we publish The State of Modern Philanthropy, and it's taking all of our campaigns and all of the transactions and all of the great platform data that we have and aggregating it to find important trends. And then publish it out for the sector, not just for our customers. We want everybody to have this information. We're really doing this in service of just better, better digital fundraising.

And so, the way that we've organized it this year is actually following a donor journey through a conversion funnel. And so, really traditional marketing of where people coming from, where do they discover your cause? Where do they come to the platform pages? What makes them convert or not? And then how do you hold on to them?

And so, we've kind of set it up as almost a choose your own adventure. There's, like, an interactive site that we've built where you say, this is where I'm thinking about, this is what I want to focus on this year or this next quarter. And you can just home in on really great data points with a little bit of editorial context around, like, what is that saying?

So, when you say things like, OK, ticketed events are the most year-over-year growth on customers who were around last year, who are around this year, we are seeing like a 50% growth in donation volume. Where is this coming from? How are people wanting to engage? What does the hybrid event space look like? You know, we get really far into that. And yes, that was an exciting little stat to throw in. Yes, we were seeing events come back, almost all hybrid events. We can talk about that.

Or security. You know, we've got, you know, with certain payment offerings. Again, you can reduce security risks substantially and, like, what does that mean for your organization when you think about recurring? We do a lot around social media, so social media is a huge channel where audiences discover your cause. Facebook by far the most, almost 90% of people who come from social are coming from Facebook. LinkedIn is much, much smaller, but actually has the highest conversion rates. And so those are much more, you know, it's less casual observers or curiosity seekers. It's much more, people who are saying, like, yes, I will support you. So lots of little nuggets like that we're hoping is useful for whatever, whatever the fundraising agenda is.

Justin: We're excited to see that study come out, and that's not, that's not all that's coming from Classy. Just at the outset of our conversation, one of your colleagues dropped us a note. And so I wanted to mention and tease out the Collaborative Conference that Classy is hosting in Philadelphia this summer. So, it's July 15. And 16th, and it's in June, June 15 and 16th. So it's both on site and virtual. Right, right. So, the on-site portion is in Philly. So, for our East Coast listeners, you can check it out, but then there's also a virtual option. Tickets are on sale now at collaborative.classy.org. So folks can head there and check that out.

Soraya: It's a real fun conference. You know, we've done it for years and years and years. The focus is very specifically on fundraising and specifically digital fundraising. It's not just a user conference. We really try to orient the programs to be what's the latest and greatest thinking?

We have a whole user conference day the first day, but then two days of just general programming. It's always a really funky conference, like there's no stuffy hotel room. You know, hotel ballrooms, like this is a really cool venue. But the most important thing for us, you can attend, you know, a million webinars online. We love webinars, but there's a dynamism of the, you know, conversations that happen outside of the panel room. So we've got amazing speakers. But the more important thing is, I just get so much inspiration talking to other people in this space, and that's what we wanted to really facilitate and why we said the virtual component is amazing. We're really proud of it. It's not, it's not enough, you know, and so we're happy to be able to be back with people for, frankly, back to the rise in events volume, like, we are not exempted from this. We're really excited about it.

Justin: Yeah, yeah. And no, and it's, well said. You know, I'll tell you that one of the reasons why we even began investing in this podcast was to try in some way to capture some of the dynamism that happens at in-person events and at things like the, you know, the Collaborative Conference because some of the more transformative conversations or seeds can oftentimes just be planted, if having coffee with someone, and the connections that you make. And then what comes from those. And so we love that you all are investing in that.

So Yeah. So June 15 and 16th, collaborative.classy.org. You can find out information about speakers and all that kind of stuff. We've actually got a discount code that we’ll hand out to our audience as well so that they can get 20% off of registration if they're interested in attending. And yeah, so Soraya, that's going to be really cool.

Soraya: Yeah, we're really excited about it. I hope I see a lot of people there and it is, it's a really fun, it's a really fun event. It's just, it's just fascinating. I mean, the speaker gets the opportunity to meet with everybody, just leaders from the sector. It just can't be replaced. So yeah, thanks for, thanks for mentioning it. We're thrilled.

Justin: Of course, we wouldn't be a good marketing company if we weren't comfortable plugging something. So there's that.

Soraya: That's what everybody walks away with, it's collaborative and payment options matter. Yeah, collaborative and payment options. That's right. That's right. Exactly right.

Justin: Soraya, it's been really fun chatting with you, and we really appreciate your time today and appreciate you sharing some of the data that you have from the new study that's coming out ahead of time to give people a sneak peek, but just for helping lean in and helping our audience think about their use of technology different. We really do appreciate it.

Soraya: Thank you so much. Thanks for having me. And I hope if anybody wants to chat more, you know, I'm always available. You can find me on LinkedIn, you know, all, all the ways, but I just love, I love the work we do. I love what it can support. I love the just incredible creative people that we are able to serve. And so I'm always happy to reconnect, and thank you so much for the time and the opportunity to speak with you both.

Justin: For sure. So, you can find Soraya’s information on the Classy site, as she mentioned. Also connect with her on LinkedIn. I'll tell you, we always make a point to say that if you like this episode, check out our other episodes and all of our content on the Group Thinkers blog at rkdgroup.com. Classy also has a tremendous amount of great content that they put out, and so would encourage you to check that out.

Ronnie, anything that I've missed today?

Ronnie: I think we got it covered. Payment options, right? And we feel like we also have to mention that you didn't hear any dogs on this podcast.

Justin: I was going to say, yeah, mission accomplished, no dogs or kids on the set, you know? There you go. No window washers behind Soraya’s window today.

Soraya: Yeah, that's right.

Justin: Thanks, so thanks again. We'll see you next time. We'll see you down the road.

Group Thinkers is a production of RKD Group. For more information, visit rkdgroup.com/podcast. Special thanks to our production team, including the talented Ryan Mellinger, for his work on mixing every episode. Also, a shout out to the content team that helps pull together research and guests, puts the marketing efforts behind Group Thinkers, Suzanne, Ronnie and others for their work on this and every episode of Group Thinkers.

RKD Group

RKD Group is North America's leading fundraising and marketing services provider to hundreds of nonprofit organizations, including hospitals, social service, disease research, animal welfare, rescue missions, and faith-based charities. RKD Group’s omnichannel approach leverages technology, advanced data science and award-winning strategic and creative leadership to accelerate net revenue growth, build long-term donor relationships and drive online and offline engagements and donations. With a growing team of professionals, RKD Group creates breakthroughs never thought possible.

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