OneCause Snags $4M Investment, Plans to Expand Fundraising Platform

OneCause, an Indianapolis-based fundraising platform formerly known as BidPal, has experienced a few changes over the past year: It has a new name, acquired Great Feats in April, and raised $4 million in venture funding last month.

“As we grew, we wanted to send a message to our clients and team by putting ‘cause’ first [in our company name],” says CEO Steve Johns. “It paints a more accurate picture of who we are. BidPal was a good name at the time, but we’re expanding beyond that to a full suite of fundraising solutions.”

Instead of focusing on app-based mobile giving, as it has in the past, Johns says OneCause now encompasses event planning, peer-to-peer social fundraising, mobile bidding on charity auctions, and other forms of online fundraising. The company’s customers are nonprofit organizations, which can facilitate crowdfunded giving.

Johns says the company’s acquisition of Austin, TX-based Great Feats earlier this year introduced OneCause to “a whole new market of peer-to-peer social fundraising,” in which donors solicit their social media networks for contributions. “It converts donors to fundraisers, and can be used on the front end of an auction gala to form competitive fundraising teams,” he explains.

According to Johns, OneCause is growing. Since the 122-person company launched in 2008, he says it has helped nonprofits raise more than $1.5 billion. The number of subscribers to the company’s platform has also increased by 40 percent in the past year alone, he maintains. “We now have 2,700 subscribers, but we’ll probably be at 2,900 by the end of the year,” he says.

OneCause plans to use its new investment funding—the $4 million round was led by MK Capital, with participation from Allos Ventures and WinTrust Ventures—on refining and expanding its fundraising platform. “We want to continue growing our core base of mobile bidding subscribers and attracting mobile customers to peer-to-peer giving,” Johns adds.

OneCause isn’t the only tech company focused on using software in the nonprofit sector that is growing. On Wednesday, Xconomy reported that Dallas-based iDonate, which also works with nonprofits to accommodate a variety of Internet- and mobile-enabled fundraising campaigns, has raised $10 million in venture capital. Johns says the intersection of millennials, who tend to prioritize donating to non-profits in ways that previous generations didn’t, and ever-more-sophisticated mobile technologies are fueling the sector’s development.

Johns feels it’s a good time to be in the giving industry, which grew to $410 billion in the United States last year. “We continue to see strong results,” he adds. “Proceeds are up, [non-profit event] attendees are up, and the number of subscribers is up. The economy has been good, and, in turn, people are supporting the causes they care about.”

Sarah Schmid Stevenson is the editor of Xconomy Detroit/Ann Arbor. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET_AA

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