Ep 3. What is Tiltify?

Episode Description
The first step to innovating your fundraising is getting on board with fundraising platforms that are innovating how fundraisers and donors interact. One such platform is Tiltify. Tiltify is the fundraising platform for the digital generation, providing live, interactive telethon-style technology that engages donors to invest in the cause. This week we are joined by founder and ceo of Tiltify, Michael Wasserman, who discusses with us just how he innovated fundraising.

The following transcript is done by Temi. Temi is an ai robot based transcription service.

INTRO
Alyssa:
Thanks for tuning in, I’m your host Alyssa Sweetman and you’re listening to Influencer Fundraising the Podcast. A podcast for the curious nonprofit professional who wants to take their digital fundraising strategy to the next level. Each episode I’ll bring on a guest to discuss a question as it relates to influencers and digital fundraising.

Alyssa Sweetman:
Hi, thanks for joining us today, Michael. You’re very welcome to get us started. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

Michael Wasserman:
Sure. So, um, my name is Michael Wasserman. I’m the CEO and co-founder of Tiltify, which is a fundraising platform. Um, very well known for livestream and content creator fundraising, um, in the space on sites like Twitch and YouTube, uh, tic talk now and others. Um, before that I was, uh, a consultant in the charity space for a while with my own firm, used to do events and galas and poker tournaments and, um, all sorts of, sort of live things. And before that had a strange life and movies and music, um, that oddly, I think prepared me well for the kind of stuff that content creators do on fundraising live, live streams.

Alyssa Sweetman:
Where are you in anything? We, uh, we could go spot you in,

Michael Wasserman:
Um, a few things that I had done. Um, so probably the most popular and find-able movie is, uh, a movie I produced called the final season, um, that Sony released in theaters with, uh, Sean Aston, Tom Arnold, uh, Rachel Lee Cook, James Gammon, um, Powers Boothe. That was a true story. Baseball movie, about a high school baseball team in Iowa, um, which is probably on Netflix or Amazon prime or something like that. And if you find the, uh, like the cut with like the director and producers commentaries and stuff, I’m on all that stuff.

Alyssa Sweetman:
Oh, that’s pretty cool. I didn’t even know that, we’ve been friends for a few years. I guess I never asked that question before.

Michael Wasserman:
Secrets.

Alyssa Sweetman:
So talking about Tiltify, how did Tiltify get its name?

Michael Wasserman:
Uh, it was kind of a weird trend story. So we were, when we created till the five, we were trying to think of something, A we’re trying to think of to name it and anyone who’s done a startup knows you play this weird game, especially when you’re a, uh, technology web based startup. You play this weird game of what, uh, domain names are available and you can get and what you should call it. Um, and we made these like endless lists of like hundreds of names. And back then, um, we were very focused on fundraising on Twitch and bringing that out. And you can only stream games on Twitch at the time. And I was very much into old games and in one of the brainstorming sessions, we started talking about pinball and how you’d tilt the pinball machines. You know, you’d kinda like basically push it into doing something that you wanted and doing something good. So we kind of looked at as like, well, you can kind of like tilt things for good. You can kind of make the games, do what you want in a good way. And we kind of all sort of like, like the idea of the word tilt, um, using it in a positive way. Um, and then, but we wanted it to then be an action. So we worked on all these, like, you know, tilting, tiltify, tilt arise, like when did this whole phase until we was like, until Tiltify, just a better word. And like, we were talking about things like waze and like other than Spotify and other types of sites that kind of like, you know, we wanted a brand that was kind of original and not just call it like livestreamfundraising.com. Um, so we were trying to think of something original and like action oriented and kind of just like brainstormed a bunch of names. And, you know, it kind of grew on us over time. We kind of go back and forth as to like, why did we name it that? And then we’re like, Oh yeah, that’s why

Alyssa Sweetman:
That’s that’s. I mean, that’s a really cool story to, to think about. I would say that’s a little bit different than other people’s. And when thinking about getting into this, you were, you mentioned that you were doing your own consulting firm and helping folks with these kind of in person live events beforehand. How did you segue from that to fundraising through the internet?

Michael Wasserman:
So I got very into the black tie dinners and the poker tournaments, a lot of celebrity driven stuff. That’s really where I, how I got into charity was through working with celebrities and bringing them to charity events, and then ultimately producing those charity events from my experience in producing movies. Um, so what I started to realize from doing a lot of that is you’d spend a lot of money on an event a lot of time. And if you did well, you’d make a 200, 300 hundred and 50% ROI. Um, and I just, you know, as the internet started to grow, as I did this, I started thinking about better options. And we started to consult some clients on online platforms. Like I knew the people that ran crowd rise at the time that was a relatively new platform. Um, and we would consult on people to get on there and do more fundraising.

Michael Wasserman:
And we started creating probably some of the first online auctions. I partnered with sites like Gilt. I don’t know if you remember guilt from back in the day. Um, they might even still be around. Um, we would do things like we were some, probably the first people to create, like go to the set of like entourage and hanging out with Jeremy Piven, um, you know, by like purchasing some sort of ticket through guilt. Um, that’s now sites like Omaze and prize. You kind of do that more widely. Um, so, uh, we started doing this kind of internet sort of testing, I would say. Um, and realizing that the return on investment was just a lot better and it was a lot more economical for charities. Um, and then as a weird sort of segue, one of my clients said basically like, I want to throw an event for a bunch of charities, but do whatever you want.

Michael Wasserman:
We had been very successful raising tens of millions of dollars for our clients. And it was at the point where a client was literally just like, I love that you come up with really new ideas, like do anything. So I said, I really want to do a video game tournament. So it actually started with Zac Efron versus Michael Strahan. This was 2011 in Madden. Um, and that was like what launched in the press. And then it became all these, like the head of the, uh, champion of the WWE versus the champion of the UFC. It was like rampage Jackson versus the ms and UFC. And like Snoop came and Chris Evans and MOCAD Brooks and all these big celebrities ended up coming to this event that became way bigger than we intended. And it was all about just playing video games and having fun and also raising money for charities in live event. But as we did that, we started exploring the video game space more because everyone had so much fun that then it got followed up with a bottle of charity RED, reached out and wanted to, this was still when I had my consulting firm reached out and wanted to do something in the gaming space. And we created something with them in 2012 called the Red Rush Games, which was a gaming initiative that you three, where you could donate to have a chance to play with different celebrities and create awareness with Tiesto and Snoop and Kate Upton and all these people. Um, and we just realized that there was a lot of interest in activity, but it wasn’t really until 2013 where I had met Twitch in that year difference that I started making the transition in my head of these online streams, are this, are this hugely untapped future resource that are essentially telethons that no one’s thinking about and should be, it gives everybody a chance to create their own telephone, which would usually be very expensive and production heavy. Um, and really, it was just that I actually went into Twitch’s offices, I think in, in late 2012, early 2013, um, met with the people there was like, I have this cool idea of making like a Kickstarter for live streams, I think is probably what I called it, um, for charity. And they’re like, Oh yeah, that’s a cool idea. Um, and, and really like, we just, I just really felt passionate about it. So we just kind of went, made it happen, I guess, to make a very long story short.

Alyssa Sweetman:
Uh, I always love it. We thought of it. We liked it. We made it happen. Perfect.

Michael Wasserman:
Yeah. That’s simple

Alyssa Sweetman:
For those of you that are listening, thinking about Twitch and gaming, um, the time period that Michael is referencing is when Twitch existed, but the only thing you were allowed to stream on Twitch was gaming. And I think that really came from the adage of do one thing really well before you expand. And so they really nailed live streaming for gaming. And as, as you know, if you’ve looked at Twitch today, we have, there’s so many more things on the platform.

Michael Wasserman:
Yeah. And I think that the good thing to note on that same point is for us, it worked really well too because, um, gamers are classically early adopters of technology. Um, so it was a really great demographic to test our Tiltify features and the platform before giving it to people outside of, of that more technologically adept world, um, which really helped us build the platform better.

Alyssa Sweetman:
Yeah, that’s, that’s really great. Speaking of the Tiltify platform, what tools, you know, our audience on this podcast is going to be pretty heavily leaning towards nonprofits and folks that work with nonprofits. What tools does stultify offer nonprofits that a traditional peer-to-peer or crowdfunding platform doesn’t

Michael Wasserman:
I think in general, we took a different approach from the start. So one, we looked at our platform as what a fundraisers need. Like, you know, I was in the part of the world that worried about charities for a long time. I think the switch was tilt fly was really, I think the first time in awhile that anybody had said, well, what a fundraisers want? Um, you know, we get the charities one, all this data and tie into their CRMs and send emails and all that cool. But before we even think about that, what are the fundraisers want to do? And so we spent a lot of time talking to at the time, people that fundraised on Twitch, uh, or that streamed on Twitch and realized that they wanted engagement. Um, and that, that wasn’t really happening because most fundraising pages are essentially mailboxes, you know, a donate button, a picture and some text. So we started looking at the interactions that were happening online. And first we created something called milestones, which allowed people to essentially create sub goals. Um, so, you know, typically people would have zero and their goal let’s call it 10,000 and people would get relatively lost in the middle. And the statistics would show that that people would kind of lag in that middle time. So by creating these milestones of saying, cool, well, if I get to a thousand dollars, this will happen to $2,000. This’ll happen, took people’s focus away from the end goal and kept them focused on unlocking this new entertainment, uh, which changed the value proposition a lot. Um, then we created a feature called rewards is probably our most popular feature by far, which allows you to. So every fundraising platform has suggested donation amounts more or less. We decided to put that in the hands of the fundraiser and say, well, you know, your audience, you know, your community, your friends, your fans, you create the donation amounts you want to, and can either create an incentive of your own, like writing them a thank you card or recording something cool for them. Or you can just note, uh, you know, an impact point that goes along with that, you know, at $50, you, you know, buy a, uh, you know, something for an ICU or, you know, blankets for a disaster. So it gave the power to the fundraiser to outline those ideas. And I think that’s that feature alone has made a massive difference in fundraising, um, which until then I had only really seen on things like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, where you give perks for people to buy things. So, um, we’d never seen anybody really apply it to charity that much. So that was a big one. And then from there, we got into things like polls, um, and targets, which are more ways of, of interacting and giving people options of choice. Polls are obviously very self explanatory. You can choose between options. What song do you want me to play? What ingredient do you want me to put in this? Um, and then targets are sort of like mini goals. Like you can unlock me doing this thing if you want to donate to it specifically. Um, but I think overall to all that, which is our, like our feature stuff, we decided to work with social platforms first and foremost, the idea was initially work with Twitch. Then it was worked with YouTube or with mixer that doesn’t exist, work with Facebook, where we’re tic talk. How do we, instead of saying, you have to come to our house, how do we come to where you’re already hanging out? And I think that was a big difference in our thought process and continues to be as we grow out.

Alyssa Sweetman:
Yeah, I think that’s really cool. I saw the announcement with TikTok where there’s a direct integration on TikTok now, which I think is stellar. Do you, um, you want to share a little bit about how that came about and what you can share about the plans for the future?

Michael Wasserman:
Sure. So, um, that actually came about in a very cool meeting. I give credit to the United way worldwide actually pulled us into a meeting with TikTok who was, you know, a partner of theirs and said, um, you guys are two really innovative companies you should meet. Um, so we did, and we started talking, uh, about things and, um, you know, after about six months of kind of chatting and brainstorming and getting to know each other better, um, we essentially made the deal to, uh, create donation stickers for live stream and videos on TikTok, which, you know, the idea was that people would be able to create a video, put a sticker on it to a charity that they want and be able to collect and accumulate donations from that video and also do live streams. So phase one, which, which is out now, uh, has about 20 charities on it. So far, we’re taking it slow to kind of test the features, add more charities all over the world, uh, in multiple languages, not just the U S but the UK and, uh, you know, Ireland is coming out and Canada and Australia, um, all these other countries. Um, and so first was really basic, uh, much like Facebook fundraising rolled out where it’s curated by TikTok. They choose the charities. Initially they get added to the list and people can choose from that list. Um, the next phase that’s coming out is going to add our milestone features to TikTok. So you’ll be able to create milestones of things that can happen if certain amounts of money or reach. And that will be visually added to the ticktock integration. Um, the cool part of that is it all lives completely inside TikTok, uh, which makes it, you don’t have to go to Tiltify to set up a campaign. You can literally just go to TikTok and start. Um, and then we intend to bring our, all of our other features along and then allow people to connect completely to their fundraiser on Tiltify to TikTok. So for example, like the end goal of ticktack talk and everything is that let’s say you’re fundraising on TikTok, you have your campaign on Tiltify, , you connect it to your TikTok fundraiser, but then if you also want to drop a video on YouTube, you can connect it to that too, and connect through the same fundraiser. And then if you want to go live on Twitch, you can connect it to that too, and also collect it in the same fundraiser. So allowing you to utilize all these tools from the same hub,

Alyssa Sweetman:
I think that’s really cool. And I know, um, you also have an integration with Twitch called the Twitch extension. Do you want to talk a little bit about what that is and how charity setting up for your platform can leverage it?

Michael Wasserman:
Absolutely. So the Twitch extension is, is what Twitch calls our integration with Twitch, which is essentially an on page integrated button. So you don’t have to leave Twitch to fundraise. You can basically create your fundraiser, that’s on Tiltify, and then in your Twitch dashboard, you can actually connect them. So it connects directly into your Twitch account. Um, and then what it is is below your stream. There’s a panel that will appear when you activate the extension that will pull in all the information. It will pull in your, uh, I believe it already does your polls, your rewards, your milestones, your totals are all right there. Um, currently it works with Amazon pay, but depending on when this airs, um, we’re launching on August 15th launching an updated version, which we’re really excited about because the updated version will not only allow additional payment providers, um, into the integration, but that as a byproduct of that, it will allow more charities around the world to access it. Um, because charities that are using like Stripe or PayPal will also be able to access it, not just charities that are initially approved by Amazon. So we’ll now open it up to our UK clients or Australia clients, our German clients, et cetera, et cetera, um, uh, around the world to be able to get more access. So we’re really excited for that. Cause we think that’s gonna create a huge increase in the use of the tool and its effectiveness, because there’s not a, there’s a bit of a, a couple of weeks application process, which is very short comparatively. Um, but you know, it still takes a minute, whereas this will now just allow all charities to go and use it.

Alyssa Sweetman:
And I do believe by the time this episode airs, this extension will be live. So if you’re listening to this now, um, go and check because I’m sure it’s live at this point.

Michael Wasserman:
Yeah. I mean the list of charities available on it. I haven’t checked it recently, but will most likely quintuple like within a day?

Alyssa Sweetman:
Yeah, that sounds really exciting. And, um, you mentioned global charities where, what charities does Tiltify op sorry, what country the countries do Tiltify operate in?

Michael Wasserman:
So we operate in a large majority of countries. Um, uh, I mean there are some exceptions of charities where, so wherever we can legally verify a charity status and there’s no law against, uh, in American platform processing, uh, you know, basically are the fees that go through those, those platforms, excuse me. Um, we exist. So the majority of Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand, um, we’re working now on India, um, uh, South Korea, um, Japan, places that we probably will not be in anytime soon, like China, um, couple of the middle Eastern countries can be very difficult legally. So, you know, wherever we can sort of legally function and also wherever our payment providers are widely accepted. So PayPal and Stripe or the providers we use most globally. And we’re probably going to add some, um, to cater to some more countries in, uh, Asia. Um, but our, our biggest, um, I would say our biggest markets right now is North America, uh, UK, Europe and Australia.

Alyssa Sweetman:
Okay. Have had still divide considered working with you, work with PayPal, but also incorporating cash app or Venmo into Delta Phi.

Michael Wasserman:
So we haven’t examined cash app yet, so I can’t really speak as much on, um, what we will or won’t do there. We have looked at Venmo a little bit. Um, there are some security concerns and some tracking concerns that we currently have with Venmo. Um, you know, those may get resolved. Um, obviously Venmo is owned by PayPal and we have a very good relationship with PayPal. Um, it’s definitely something that we have that we have our eye on. Um, but we’re very, we like to be very methodical, making sure that we do two things. One actually introduced something that people really want to use into something that’s going to be safe. Um, there’s a couple things that we’ve learned about Venmo, the way it works for charity currently that makes us a little bit uncomfortable. And if those things get solved in the future, then we’ll kind of look into it more. We’ve been looking a little bit more, to be honest, and to things like WhatsApp and their payment processors and things that don’t have some of the issues that we’re concerned about now.

Alyssa Sweetman:
Oh, that’s, that’s really interesting. You mentioned WhatsApp, especially given that it’s owned by Facebook.

Michael Wasserman:
Yes, exactly. Right.

Alyssa Sweetman:
I will keep an eye on that. That’s that sounds very interesting. Um, and in developing these tools, have you learned anything in particular in the development of Tiltify, that might be interesting to the audience?

Michael Wasserman:
Oh man. I mean, I’ve learned, I mean, so much from so many different levels. I mean, it, I guess it kind of depends on w and from what perspective you want me to touch on, um, whether it’s from a, a charity perspective, a startup perspective, a business perspective. I mean,

Alyssa Sweetman:
Let’s break it down this way. What have you learned from the perspective of a charity looking to increase their online fundraising? And then what have you learned from the fundraiser side that maybe you didn’t consider or think about when you started developing tilt buys tools?

Michael Wasserman:
So I’d say the biggest thing I’m going to take the second one first, cause it leads into the first one. So the biggest thing I learned from fundraisers, so there’s this theory that I always had and I had this theory when I created Tiltfy fly. And the theory was this, most donors, according to the data are 60 plus years old. And that’s where charities focus. And I always had this sort of question that I would ask charities, which was, is that because those are the only people that are interested going people that are financially able, or the only people that you’re technologically catering to. And I always kind of leaned toward the third being the answer. Um, and as Tiltify has grown, it makes me believe more that people in the millennial and gen Z space are very socially active, very philanthropic and have not been as involved because the way the charities have designed their marketing and technology excluded them up until recently. And the reason why I think this has been bolstered is because when things happened, like the Australian wild fires, we at Tiltify were inundated with people reaching out to us, same with the Black Lives Matter movement. People would reach out and say, I want to raise money. And they, they tag charities and tag us. Now all of the charities they’re tagging, whether it’s American red cross or NAACP or innocence project or whoever it might be, um, have their own fundraising pages. And that was the most sort of profound discovery for me until Tiltify because I saw it over and over again, is that it was like, well, all of these charities have purported, you know, DIY platforms of their own and donation pages of their own. Why aren’t all of these people, just not only using them now, but haven’t been using them. And, and why do they insist on Tiltify? Why? And then when we launch it on Spotify, you know, literally million like for, uh, you know, the wild fires, you know, $2 million was raised in a matter of weeks, we launched a couple of charities with COVID with black lives matters, same thing. We saw these demands and we said, cool, now these charities are available. Uh, you know, millions and millions of dollars were raised in an incredibly short amount of time by a lot of fundraisers. So what I feel I learned is the charities are not catering to this massive section of society that wants to support them. And then on the flip side of that, I learned that some charities are incredibly great and responsive and some charities do need a little bit of a push to come over here. Like there’s sort of a, of a mini phenomenon that we sort of, we don’t really name it, but insight tilt vibe. That’s kind of like, you know, I mean, I guess it goes with that sort of the early bird gets the worm theory. Whereas the charities that have joined Tiltify that have been demanded the fastest during a crisis pandemic movement raise the most money. Um, and the charities that don’t don’t. And I think that’s interesting from a charities perspective that they’ve in a way kind of like declined that money, um, uh, by not availing themselves to whether it’s true tilt to fire, not just availing themselves to some of these technologies that are now available.

Alyssa Sweetman:
I mean, that makes a lot of sense. I get asked all the time by people saying, Hey, can you help me get ahold of this charity? I want to fundraise for them, but their current tools, they aren’t great. And if I can’t get them on something that makes sense for me, then I’m going to fundraise for a different charity. So I definitely I’m seeing that same thing across the board. And ultimately why I’ve really started diving into a sort of free public educational thing with my influencer fundraising website. And this podcast is because I see the same thing, charities are leaving money on the table because they are scared of technology or they want to stick to doing the same thing forever. And if you look around in our world, the way we communicate today, isn’t the same way we communicated. You know, even when I was a kid,

Michael Wasserman:
Yeah, it’s changed rapidly. I mean, there’s this sort of chart that I show a lot when I speak, you’ve probably seen it, seen it about how many people use smartphones and how many people use social media in like between 2005 and 2010, and how many people use them now. Um, and you know, we’re talking about a difference of, you know, five to 20% back then, depending on the year and 80 to 90% now. So that massive shift has happened to people that are using their phones, using technology, um, have high speed internet, um, and are on social platforms. But you can like the, the other thing that we do a lot is we go on the way, the way back machine, which is a fun website to look up old websites, um, and we’ll go back and we actually pulled old fundraising pages. And you can’t tell, and I don’t want to call out names of platforms, but you can’t tell if it’s XYZ platforms page from today or their page from 2009.

Michael Wasserman:
Cause they do the same thing. And I think that’s, what’s been missed. There’s been a shift in technology. People are upgrading their cell phone every two to three years, but we’re saying, Hey, use this 15 year old fundraising page with a site, for example, like Twitch, that didn’t exist until 2011. And it wasn’t popular until now. And now there are people growing up. Like my favorite example is I think it’s those fine brothers videos where they take like, like seven year olds and try to get them to use like an Apple Toohey. And they can’t figure out that the power buttons in the back and that you have to put in the floppy disc and they try to tap the screen. Cause it’s not a touch screen. That’s sort of what we’re doing to people now is we’re being like, use this page. And we’re like, why doesn’t this page? Do any of the things that I do? And like kids are growing up with a smartphone in their hands. Um, if you’re not adapting your technology, they literally don’t know how to your site. The

Alyssa Sweetman:
Most interesting thing I learned is that this year in 2020 generation alpha will be entering high school and generation alpha is the first generation to be born essentially with a screen in their face. They have never lived in, they will have never lived in a world where they did not own a screen or interact with a screen that wasn’t touchscreen screen or something like that. And so when I hear things like this and you say you went to a way back machine looking at fundraising platforms, I think about some of the charities that I’ve always supported or thought about or known about. And if I go look at their website and I go look at their website on the way back machine, you know, 10 years ago, it’s identical. Their marketing is the same. Their wording is the same. These long form emails they send out for the support is the same. When I get a long email, the first thing I do is I try to look for that one point that they’re trying to communicate to me. And if I can’t find that one point, usually I respond back and ask what it is because time is extremely valuable and technology has only made it easier for me to get the most out of each second of each day.

Alyssa Sweetman:
And I just don’t see, I don’t see charities making that shift today. Not a lot of them, at least

Michael Wasserman:
I’m with you a hundred percent. I mean, a lot of charities have been doing what they’ve been doing for a long time and, you know, they don’t necessarily know, uh, you know, what’s happening with the younger generation and a lot of things that I think the speed at which technology is adapting now, um, back to when it adapted, like I remember, you know, not to date myself too much, but you know, I remember into the eighties, you know, you get, you got the cassette tape and then we slowly moved into the CD player and then we slowly moved into the DVD and then there was blue Ray and they tried LaserDisc and there was an iPad. Now things like that 20 year span now happens in like two years and technology moves so fast like that. If you’re not adapting quickly and thinking about that, and that’s really what tilts five is trying to provide as a platform. If you’re not thinking about that, your, your you’re going to have a lot of trouble cause you’re going to have farm. And that that’s staggering what you said about, uh, generation alpha. And, you know, we started with the same premise of gen Z that they were at just growing up as digital natives, um, that they at least, you know, they didn’t know life without a Facebook, you know, and, and social platforms at least. Um, but yeah, they’re there, it’s really hard for some charities to get past this new technology and to embrace everything that’s going on. It’s, it’s hard for anybody to keep up generally, but the charities really need, and you know, COVID is exasperating that situation. Um, and, and showing the, um, weakness in a lot of the programs, uh, very deeply.

Alyssa Sweetman:
Yeah. And that not to go too much into another tangent. Um, but I’ve seen most of the emails I get are my black tie gala can no longer exist. How do I make this exact same experience online for these exact same people? And I’m curious to know if your thoughts are similar to mine. Um, what are your thoughts to charities trying to do that?

Michael Wasserman:
Um, I mean, generally I think it’s a mistake. It’s a little bit like putting a, uh, a square peg in a round hole, you know, um, it’s sort of like, you know, to throw back to the old, like, you know, gaming analogy, uh, if we want to go back to where this started, you know, how do I play my Nintendo 64 in my new X-Box you don’t, you have to get a new game. Um, you have to adapt it. You gotta rethink the process. Um, and think about how people are interacting. You can, I believe you can give a large majority of the benefits that the people that look there’s always going to be people that love that handshake dinner in person. I mean, they’re great, right? And they’re great for big money, donors, donors, but you can’t always do them, but there are amazing ways that have been shown from COVID that you can connect with people in huge ways virtually and give them huge experiences virtually and charities really need to rethink. I mean, I’ve never liked most of the event models for years COVID aside because of the expense and time it takes with the money. It makes, there are a few charities that do it fantastically don’t get me wrong, but a lot of charities try to do that model and end up just spending a lot of money to not make enough money to make the time spent worth it. And I think rethinking these strategies in these more sort of what I’ll call like the telethon phase, um, bringing that whole thing back is a much smarter use of time.

Alyssa Sweetman:
Yeah. I fully agree. I’ve been to a handful of black tie style events and what I thought people got out of those and why they liked those was less than it had anything to do with the charity, but the amount of power you’re putting in the room and that’s super great for those types of events. But I think that if we shift the focus like looking at generation Z, looking at generation alpha, coming up, that’s just not going to be effective and it’s gonna continue to be smaller and smaller. Like when a charity is trying to convince me to work with them, they still send me this overwhelming Lee long email and story and pitch stack. And I want to know, I want to know a little bit more straight forward. I don’t need you to tell me a full story. Some people do like the story, but the stories could be told in much shorter formats. I mean, tic talk is short as hell and videos like these long videos, no one is sitting down and watching these long form videos anymore. So I just think that we’re pretty aligned. I also feel like they’re a waste of time and money. And when I see charity spend money on it, I always wonder how much of the money intake from other donors does it take to spend wooing these donors?

Michael Wasserman:
Yeah. I mean, one of my sort of pet peeves and, and, you know, probably get a little bit of shit for this. Excuse my language. You can beat that. Um, is that I never love the concept of, well, it didn’t cost anything cause we had a sponsor pay for it. Well, but the sponsor’s money came in and you had to spend that money. So, you know, you’re kind of like stealing from Peter to pay Paul kind of thing. So it’s like if that sponsor would give you a hundred thousand, but your event cost a hundred thousand, maybe you could have gotten a hundred thousand and re situated the event where you didn’t have to spend the a hundred, 5,000 that came in. Yeah.

Alyssa Sweetman:
And all of those people getting in the room, if my perception is accurate, that they want to be in the room with other powerful people. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get them in a room. You just get them in a room, can change. It doesn’t have to happen.

Michael Wasserman:
How many people, how many people would just, yeah. How many people would just go to a, like a, you know, a hangout that like, uh, just, uh, any like instead of building this whole cause like, you know, the popular thing is you build out this entire thing in this massive ballroom from scratch. Right. And it’s very expensive. You know, it would be much cheaper, you know, if you just bought at a restaurant for the night, right. Like significantly cheaper and cheaper and brought everybody there. If they wanted to hang out with George Clooney who was coming, like there’s a better way to have them there. And it’s the people want to be the heroes, right. They want to like when they do those big asks in the room, those live auctions, which make all the money and the in room asks and people sort of raise their hands and by their tables, you know, that’s where they make all the money.

Michael Wasserman:
But I think all that needs to be rethought out at this point, because there’s so many great digital ways of connecting with people and delivering people like even like, look at sites like cameo right now that’s blowing up right. Where celebrities are creating messages, right? Like people love these things, like think about it that way, where you could create personalized messages to your constituents from the celebrities that like to thank them for the gala, from the celebrity, it actually takes the celebrity less time. Um, and spoken to many celebrities who hate going to those gals because I used to drag them there. I used to be that guy

Alyssa Sweetman:
Totally kind of shifting gears. Um, what would you say one of the more common reasons nonprofits tell you that they’re not going to sign up until defy or they’re not going to even revisit their strategy is,

Michael Wasserman:
I mean, I don’t usually get great reasons. Uh, a lot of the time it’s we have this platform and we’re not looking right now or we’re too busy, uh, are probably the two biggest responses I get when they say no, I don’t really get a, what I would consider a, a response that makes me say, Oh, okay. Yeah. Um, I mean, I totally get when people are like, we’re super inundated right now. Can you get back to us in a couple of weeks? It happens. Um, and it makes sense. And we are, uh, you know, tilt fight is a platform. Um, but we do allow everybody to join it for free. So, um, so we sort of took away that you have to pay us to come on thing, um, which I get from a lot of platforms and sometimes they may think it’s more sales vehicle than it is, which I get to. Um, and I try to kind of work with our staff to kind of make it, you know, cause usually it’s by request, right. We’re reaching out because somebody wants to raise money for you and we want to be able to make that happen. Um, but yeah, usually it’s just like, I’m not interested. I’m busy. Bless you. Um, and really just trying to say like, Hey, we don’t have time right now or we’re, we’re happy with our platform and we’re not interested in looking at other platforms. Yeah. I’ve never gotten an answer. I’ve never gotten an answer that I’ve been like, Oh man, that’s a really good answer.

Alyssa Sweetman:
Yeah. I mean, that’s really fair and um, real, real quick. Um, since, since you already mentioned that it’s free to sign up to questions aside from just offering tools to fundraisers, uh, what other services or tools to still defy provide and then to, if you mind just bullet pointing out like what the signup process looks like.

Michael Wasserman:
Sure. So one of the things that a lot of charities that don’t know us don’t realize is that we’re a, what I would call a full service fundraising platform. So, you know, they’ll have their backend and their admin and their data and, you know, be able to, you know, get the appropriate donor information that we have analytics, uh, geo tracking, all that kind of fun stuff. Accounting, uh, on the backend can create full campaigns and registrations, uh, monthly giving, um, all those types of programs that we have. So whether it’s your DIY prep, prep programs, your peer, peer pro programs. So if I can sort of, how’s all of that on the charities end. Um, and we’re continuing to expand that every month we’re sort of working with our clients and adding new features to kind of make that, um, you know, make it a better home for their fund rate raising, sorry, I forgot your second question.

Alyssa Sweetman:
The other question was if you would just bullet point what it looks like when someone goes to the process of signing up so they can understand how, what the lift is, if they sign up.

Michael Wasserman:
Yeah, absolutely. So signing up is pretty simple. So we have a page it’s at causes dot [inaudible] dot com, or if you go to tilt, fly.com, there’s a button at the top, says charity portal, click on that. There’s a sign up form. So you basically fill out your information about the charity you put in your, you know, if you’re in the U S your EIN or your appropriate, uh, government ID, we verify that you’re a legally registered charity in the country that you work. Cause if you’re not, you can’t be on tilt fly. Um, so once we verify that, uh, one of our reps will reach out to you, give you a quick demo of the services, um, turn your, your, your free account on, and then show you some of the additional upgrades you can have if you want, you know, custom pages or more advanced features that’s, um, that, you know, have additional monthly costs, if you want it to go down that route.

Alyssa Sweetman:
That makes a lot of sense. And do you have any final wisdom or parting words for those listening today?

Michael Wasserman:
Um, I would just very much urge charities to continue to look at the technology in the market, continue to look at the social platforms where gen Z millennials now, generation alpha are going where they’re populating and really think about how you can meet them, where they are and think about what fundraising technologies do that and how you can do that. And, and in that same thought process, think about your messaging, go to your own website, try to fundraise for yourself. I’ve done this with charities, and sometimes it’s very eyeopening, you know, or get someone in your family that doesn’t know the website, as well as you do. And ask them to go to your site and try to fundraise for you and see how easy or hard that is based on what you want to do. I think that has shown that has taught us a lot about what’s happening with pretty much everybody under 40 that’s, a little more technologically adept going to a lot of these sites and having a lot of difficulty and how much information it asked for, you know, and is that information necessary? Um, so I would just think about those practices in general.

Alyssa Sweetman:
Gotcha. And if folks wanted to get in touch with you and, or Tiltify, what would be the best route?

Michael Wasserman:
Sure. So if anyone wants to get touched, I mean, people are free to reach out to me directly, Michael@tiltify.com is my email, but if you wanted to, um, reach out to like get more general info, but the company, uh, contact@tiltify.com or charity@tiltify.com are both emails that will get you in touch with our staff and our team. Uh, if you wanted someone to reach out to you, give you more information and give you a demo.

Alyssa Sweetman:
Gotcha. Sounds good. Well, thank you so much for coming on and talking today.

Michael Wasserman:
Oh, thank you so much, Ellie. I really appreciate you having me on.

Alyssa Sweetman:
Yeah, absolutely. And you have a wonderful day.

Michael Wasserman:
Awesome. You too.

Alyssa Sweetman:
Thanks for listening to this week’s episode and if you enjoy the show please consider sharing it with your friends and colleagues. You can find Influencer Fundraising the Podcast on Spotify, Overcast and many more. If you’d like to be a guest on the show or have an idea for an episode please head to www.influencerfundraising.com for more information. 

Thanks for listening and stay curious.