Chief Apricot, Wild Apricot
Wild Apricot, based in Toronto, provides easy-to-use online membership software to help nonprofits, small associations and membership websites enhance their membership management, online fundraising, event registration and website performance.
Why did you get involved in charitable work?
We used to focus on complex expensive projects, mostly for large corporations. Occasionally we would do a project for a nonprofit and every time it was obvious that technology could solve many of their pains - but they never had a budget for a full-fledged well-designed system. Over time we realized that many of their needs are very similar - they need an easy-to-update website, contact/member/supporter/donor database, event management functionality, online fundraising, etc. So in 2006, we decided to make a leap and changed our course from custom projects to a SaaS offering tailored for small nonprofits.
What are the “returns” for working in the charitable sector (personal, societal, monetary, etc.)?
It's very rewarding on a personal level when you get feedback and praise from all these hard-working and passionate volunteers and leaders in nonprofits telling you how your service has made a difference and allowed them to thrive and grow.
What can nonprofits do to improve their fundraising or operations?
Not surprisingly, I am a big believer in the power of modern technology. I have seen it first-hand many times over and I know that many thousands of small nonprofits can do so much more with less if they can get the right technology in place. So they can focus on their passion and causes instead of wasting time with menial work or clunky, poorly-fitting software.
What makes an effective leader?
For me, an effective leader is humble and always willing to listen and learn - and help others to find the best in themselves.