By Angelina Strosahl (Co-Founder, DonationPay)
I am constantly struck by the parallels that we, as small business owners, have to folks working in the non-profit industry. Much of the ongoing business development required for a new company has to do with legitimizing your presence out in the market and making the consumers in your industry feel comfortable supporting your service or product, rather than putting their money behind established options.

For non-profits, the struggle is much the same — convincing your donor base to actually move from being generally in favor of your organizations work to being actual sustaining supporters (through ongoing financial support, volunteer work, service donation, etc.) has a lot to do with building credibility in the industry.

A major component of the workload of what we do and what our clients do is in eliminating the barriers to entry for the consumer/donor. For us, we need to make sure that development directors in incoming client organizations have as much information on DonationPay as they need, that they’ve seen and liked examples of our work and that they feel comfortable working with us.

There’s a lot of suspicion and anxiety around credit-card processing and online fundraising systems, as the industry is flooded with services that are criminally overpriced, under-functioning (that’s a polite synonym and I’m looking at you, PayPal!) or so confusing to interact with and understand as to be rendered unusable. Many of the folks that call us assume that, like their experiences with their previous service provider, they’ll be in an oppositional relationship with us and it often takes awhile before they believe that we’re on their side, not the bank’s.

Just saying, non-profits have had a lot of frustrating, confusing and enraging experiences with their service providers, so one of the major barriers to them migrating to our service is that they have trouble believing we’ll be any different to work with. I think we, in fact, are and I hope our clients agree.

Astia gave me a lot of time and space to creatively envision the future of DonationPay and to really reflect on our founding principles, company philosophy and how we can move forward and grow without sacrificing the qualities of our service that are truly valuable to our clients.

» Read the full article at DonationPay’s blog.
About the guest blogger: Angelina “AJ” Strosahl is Co-Founder of DonationPay, an innovative, affordable and agile online fundraising service for non-profit organizations and community groups. She blogs about the non-profit sector, with a focus on technology, social network marketing and other random stuff that strikes her fancy. Angelina is passionate about helping non-profits optimize their online fundraising potential. When she’s not at work, she’s usually playing Scrabble, writing, or hiking with her dogs. Contact her at