Late last year we were in a pickle. We were about to nearly double the amount of partner charities we work with and needed our tech systems to evolve too, but had no idea how and no time to make it happen. Then in walks Julian in his trademark slippers to work his magic. This is the story of how lucky we got to meet him and his insanely generous company 1000Minds, and how none of it would have happened without some tasty craft beer.
We've always wanted to give the generous peeps donating their 1% the best time possible. Just like any other industry we figure design, user experience and a personal connection is what can make giving to charity feel great.
So in the lead-up to December 2016, we we were keen to supercharge our technology – an easier website for people to understand, a shiny new signup form to make joining a pleasure, database and systems to cater for donors in the thousands. We were pretty much fizzing. Then all of a sudden it was October and we hadn't found a way to make it happen.
We hustled to get our intro video done ourselves, borrowing gear from mates and recording it in the Mt. Victoria forest behind Pat's house. Editing it like monkeys slapping a keyboard, with our friend Jason coming to the rescue with fancy crossfades and the final touches.
Same goes for the website, building it in Squarespace with design support from the good folk at Wipster, Xero, Trade Me and a tonne of other kind Wellingtonians.
But there was no way we could make the tech happen ourselves. How were we gonna integrate a signup form with Xero to split payments between our partner charities' accounts? How were we gonna securely store people's details to access through other systems? What's a jQuery??
He loved the idea, and with a low-key ‘yep I’m in’, he set about building the whole thing from scratch in the space of a couple weeks as a piece of pro bono work on behalf of his company 1000Minds.
On the day of the new launch, we were thanking our lucky stars that we sat down for that beer. Care of Julian, we had an interactive sign-up form for new donors where they could learn a little about each partner charity available and pick and choose how to share their 1% donations between them. We had a database system keeping their info snug and secure that worked with all the cloud-based apps we use and a dashboard for us not-so-technical folk to track and keep in touch with over 300 donors, as well as the future capability to generate live reports so that we get to be as transparent as humanly possible. Yep, 1000Minds even jumped in to pay the hosting fee for the web server it's hosted on!
Every time we asked if a thing could do this or a system could do that he'd already thought of it and would press a button and boom, done. And that's the reason we call him The Wizard.
And that's not to mention the wizardry that goes on behind the scenes at 1000Minds. In short, they offer decision-making software that makes it possible to let thousands of brains weigh in. Users go through real-world scenario questions to gauge how they feel about simple issues, which in turn is used to define with scientific validity how they would think or feel about complex concepts, giving companies and organisations a good way to engage the whole team in decision-making and prioritise tasks.
Yep, you know something is epic when it takes that many words to describe... the methods they use have since gone on to be used in research and teaching at more than 170 universities worldwide.
In the spirit of these amazing tech powers, last month Julian and 1000Minds put together a One Percent Collective login system for donors too. The idea being that we could put full control into the hands of the good people giving their 1%.
It’s just the basics on there now, with donors able to change up things like how their 1% donations are shared and the amount they give at any time, but the dream for the future is to have live reports and data on there so people can see their part in the bigger picture, and to keep building on the One Percent giving experience by making everything super easy and transparent online and tacking on the features that people want.
We've always wanted our donation system to be the best out there. We know how much the old methods of fundraising don't appeal to our friends – hustled in the street, endless envelopes, cold called by so and so from so and so asking for cash. And now with the support of 1000Minds and a legitimate wizard, we're stoked to have the tech side of things covered to help make that possible. We reckon what they've provided to the New Zealand public giving their 1% is enormous, and we can't thank them enough!
If you're a part of company that could do with some collaborative decision-making, we'd love you to check out what 1000Minds do here, they blow our minds.
Illustration by the talented and super generous Natasha Vermeulen.