Tiffany Williams, CEO and Founder of Givly, is making it easier to give back by revolutionizing the way donors and nonprofits do philanthropy.
Remember the days when it was standard to write a check or just mail money to the charity of your choice? Those days are long gone – a world away from the lightning fast way we transact now! While we order delivery, summon a ride, or make a purchase with a few taps in a mobile app, most nonprofit organizations haven’t quite caught up with these trends. Some nonprofits view young donors as energetic and passionate, but also skeptical and demanding. Many see this disconnect as an insurmountable divide.
Not Tiffany Williams.
“When it comes to charity, you’ve got make it super simple to give. We’ve grown accustomed to transacting in four steps or less, yet it takes more than a dozen steps to complete your average donation transaction. I wanted to solve that problem and equip nonprofits with the tools that could help facilitate donation transactions and increase engagement.”
Williams did just that. No stranger to nonprofit fundraising - having raised hundreds of millions for nonprofits all over the country - she knew that most charity organizations were using old, archaic methods to connect and communicate with donors -- which led to significant donor attrition.
“I developed Givly to help mitigate donor attrition and also to improve donor stewarding and cultivation. It brings nonprofits and charity organizations into the mobile digital space and allows them to manage their resources and better communicate with donors. On the donor side, Givly increases engagement and it also makes it much easier to give, especially for digitally native millennials. It’s a great way to harness the philanthropic spirit of a younger generation of donors. I’m very excited for how Givly will help transform the philanthropic landscape and inspire people to support causes they have an affinity for. They’ll be the change they want to see.”
Before Williams could provide the platform to nonprofits and donors, she had to launch and sustain a business. Although she had industry-specific experience, Williams knew that she had to learn more about the tech and entrepreneurial space before she committed to launching and bringing Givly to market.
“I knew I needed direction and a community of people who could help provide information and support on this journey. I’d heard great things about WiSTEM and when a friend of mine sent me a link to the program and encouraged me to apply, that’s exactly what I did -- it was a great decision.”
At WiSTEM, 1871’s accelerator program for women-founded businesses, Williams was able to network with the program’s community of over 3,000 women and learn the skills she needed to take Givly to the next level.
“The community here has been incredibly helpful in my journey as an entrepreneur; and I have learned so much from the wealth of experience here. I often meet people who have great ideas but don’t quite know how to put them into action. The WiSTEM program helped me turn the idea of Givly into a sustainable company with a strong foundation and a plan for success."
Williams also credits WiSTEM’s community for helping provide clarity and perspective about her entrepreneurial challenges. While she believes that having a strong support network is key to building a business, she says that entrepreneurs are often more capable than they believe.
“It can be hard while you’re in the center of the chaos, but you have to remember to step back and take a bird’s-eye view to what’s going on. You have to give yourself some grace -- sure, there are going to be obstacles, but it’s important to focus on your advantages rather than your disadvantages, and that’s something only you can do for yourself. I believe that everything you need is within you -- and you have to fundamentally, fiercely, and enthusiastically believe that.”
Still, Williams acknowledges the need for inspiration from time to time. After all, who doesn’t have at least one person they look up to?
“I’ve been surrounded by amazing, compassionate, and incredibly strong women throughout my life. I’m also an independent consultant, and I named that company after my grandmother and mother. As a Black woman, I know I carry the tenacious and courageous spirit of my ancestors who endured and overcame insurmountable struggles and hardships. I’ve also always looked up to Oprah – we’re both from Mississippi. Oprah’s also very positive, introspective, and philanthropic and just listening to and watching her inspires me.”
And to watch Williams’ passion and desire to help others give back, it’s easy to imagine that Oprah herself, would be inspired in return.