NonProfitEasy buys Atlanta crowdfunding startup

ROHNERT PARK -- NonProfitEasy, a Rohnert Park-based for-profit provider of database and other software for nonprofits, acquired Uruut, an Atlanta-based startup that manages crowdfunding for nonprofits.

NonProfitEasy, founded in 2010 and launched in 2012, has $1.5 million a year in revenue from about 500 customers, and 40 employees.

[caption id="attachment_102028" align="alignleft" width="199"] Lomesh Shah, NonProfitEasy CEO and founder[/caption]

Financial terms of the deal, reported Nov. 4, were not disclosed. Uruut started in 2013.

Uruut’s name and URL, difficult to remember and spell, will be dropped, according to Gretchen Barry, director of marketing and communications for NonProfitEasy. “They’re going to migrate to our platform,” Ms. Barry said, chuckling. “The goal is to blend both technologies.”

Three of Uruut’s employees will work for NonProfitEasy on the East Coast to help market services to nonprofits in that region. 

The CEO and co-founder of Uruut, Mark Feinberg, will become president of NonProfitEasy. Uruut has two other co-founders, Chad Bartels and Bobby Norwood. Mr. Norwood will be vice president of TeamRaiseEasy, a combined online fundraising product. Ally Niemiec of Uruut will become the NonProfitEasy marketing manager.

[caption id="attachment_101654" align="alignright" width="240"] Lindsay Austin, SoCoNexus chairman, investor in NonProfitEasy[/caption]

NonProfitEasy, founded by its CEO Lomesh Shah, came out of the SoCo Nexus incubator based in Rohnert Park. Its lead other investor, one of 16 total, is Lindsay Austin, chairman of SoCo Nexus.

NonProfitEasy sells its cloud-based package of data-management software to nonprofits as a monthly subscription for $50, or $600 a year. The company is pushing aggressively to expand, adding about 50 new subscribers a month. The target nonprofit customer is one with a budget less than $2 million.

To serve larger nonprofits, NonProfitEasy would compete with Salesforce, the giant cloud-based software company with $4 billion in revenue based in San Francisco and led by CEO Marc Benioff.

The three employees from Uruut will be part of NonProfitEasy's sales effort. “Eventually they will service our East Coast customers,” Ms. Barry said. “This helps tremendously on the sales and marketing side.”

Mr. Austin, who previously volunteered with United Way, sits on the NonProfitEasy board. “There’s a high probability for an exit,” he said of his investment. “We’ll eventually get our money back. That’s the whole idea.”

“There were so many nonprofits that did not have much in the way of an enterprise system,” Mr. Austin said. The service includes an interface to bookkeeping and fund-raising units, and the Uruut system will add new crowdfunding options.

The nonprofit services "market is several billion dollars,” said Mr. Austin, a member of North Bay Angels, with about 1,000 nonprofits located in Sonoma County. Other North Bay Angels members joined in through two investing rounds plus a small debt financing, totaling about $1 million.

“Crowdfunding has become an important part of donor engagement for nonprofits, so we are pleased to be able to incorporate this technology,” said Mr. Shah in a statement.

Existing Uruut clients will have the option to remain on the stand-alone system or adopt the NonProfitEasy platform, which features advanced crowdfunding and team or peer-to-peer fundraising.

NonProfitEasy’s software manages constituents, events, ticket sales, memberships, pledges, grants, communication, auctions and programs. The company offers website integration with third-party vendors for advocacy, accounting, mobile fundraising, online forms and email.

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