Fort Wayne ‘Pond’ hopes to connect non-profits to tech solutions painlessly

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Mitch Stein thinks Pond could help non-profit groups solve a lot of problems. Some non-profit leaders say it already has.

Stein compares Pond to an efficient dating site that allows two hesitant sides to get to know each other. The inviting Pond website (www.joinpond.com) tells non-profit leaders to “share your problems on Pond, and we’ll help you find and fund solutions.”

Stein saw the problem when he lived in New York City and was involved with the non-profit LGBT Community Center. “Nonprofits don’t have enough time, they don’t have enough money, they don’t have the expertise and they really don’t trust people that are trying to sell them something. So we can make that a safe space where they can just share what they need, they can do it anonymously, it’s free, it takes two minutes. It’s just something every nonprofit should use.”

Several area non-profit leaders at the Pond launch party agreed.

“I think all across the country people in the not for profit (sector) struggle with streamlining, struggle with access to technology,” said Josette Rider, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters. “There’s so much out there but to struggle through to find what fits your organization takes so much away from the service delivery.”

When the charity posts their need on Pond, the select tech providers decide if they have a solution to offer. If they do, they alert Pond. If the non-profit takes the meeting, the tech supplier pays $120 to Pond – $100 goes to the account of the the non-profit to apply to their Pond purchase. Pond collects $20 in service fees.

Stein knows most companies would rather spend their marketing dollars on a sure meeting than scatter it across an ad buy.

“They could have paid that $100 through a Google ad or a Facebook ad. We’re saying that marketing dollars could be reinvested into the non-profit sector and help.”

Pond worked for Super Shot, too. They needed new software to manage their donors.

“Pond really helped us narrow down our options and helped us prioritize what we were looking for,” said Executive Director Connie Heflin. “That was the first step: to really understand and look inward. And once we identified what we were looking for, then this platform really helped us prioritize and identify those different companies that would fit our needs.

“So yeah, it saved countless hours of just sorting through the ocean. Instead, we were sorting through the pond.”

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