Written By: Nicole Moreno
As a nonprofit professional and someone who believes everyone should donate to their favorite cause, I was excited when our SFAMA VP of MarComm suggested I interview the people at Bright Funds. I researched the company beforehand and was quite impressed. Here was a company that has integrated two different worlds, finance and nonprofit. They created a modern fundraising platform for young professionals.
“Most nonprofits just contact people during campaigns. Instead of soliciting people, we are providing them a chance to invest in their causes,” stated co-founder Rutal Dave.
Bright Funds is your personal giving portfolio comprised of different “mutual funds” of different nonprofits. You choose the “fund” that is important to you and build your own portfolio. Their product is different and they are based in San Francisco, the city of start-ups. So naturally we wanted to know more about their marketing strategy. So in the middle of Hattery Kitchen with some chicken soup in our mouths we discussed marketing with Rutal Dave, Ty Walrod, Paul Brand and Julia Streuli.
We started off the conversation talking about social media. The team shared that social media is important to their business because people like to share their stories. Along those lines they mentioned that you should study what each social media platform is giving you. Their Twitter account allows them to share with more people and they post more links on their page. On their Facebook, they have a bit more fun. Walrod stated that one of their most popular Facebook posts were a picture of a dog in their office.
“Our integration into social media as a way of appealing to millennials and working professionals is particularly attractive to nonprofits as a marketing strategy,” stated Streuli.
Their product is not a product that is an instant buy. Their customers want time to think about it. The team has focused on email marketing as well. They know some people want to stay engaged but may not want to sign up for the services at that time.
But not all their marketing is behind a computer screen. Right before we had lunch Brand and Streuli were out in the field promoting Bright Funds. They were out in the SOMA district talking to young professionals about their product. They know it is important to physically show people the brand and introduce themselves to their customers. This allows their customers to see that they are people to and gives the team a chance to ask their demographic about their wants and needs. They originally started by going out
to the Embacadero area but soon realized that they were meeting more tourists than San Francisco young professionals. Their marketing is not just focused on their customers but their non-profit clients. We talked about how they built their brand to appeal to the non-profits.
“All the nonprofits we reached out to join our funds have outstanding reputations, so they needed to vet us (Bright Funds) as well. Once nonprofits discovered which other organization were on board/part of our funds, they were more likely to sign on,” stated Streuli.
As our lunch came to an end I realized that I just met four people that are truly trying to make the world a better place.