Introducing the nonprofit for nonprofits
Every.org is a tech nonprofit with an important mission: building transformative technology to help nonprofits do more good in the world. Their social network for giving enables individuals to donate securely and signal-boost their cause socially. Every.org also boasts an open API for fundraising, which provides the donation backend for a number of academic & grassroots nonprofits.
As COO of Every.org, Tina Roh heads a number of important functions, including operations, finance, and customer service. A software engineer by training, she also contributes to the engineering team, writing code and taking on tasks to help them build even more effectively than before.
While most of the engineering team focuses on delivering key products and features for their nonprofit platform, Tina dedicates a good percentage of her time to answering one key question: "How can I boost the overall effectiveness of all my teams?". One of the key areas to dive into was the company's internal tools.
Building tech to support nonprofit missions
Every.org needed several internal tools to effectively support the many nonprofits on their platform. For example, nonprofit administrators can submit various requests on Every.org to claim a nonprofit profile, sign up for admin credentials, and connect bank accounts for donations.
For each one of these requests, it’s Every.org’s top priority to respond swiftly and ensure nonprofits on the platform get what they need. To do so, the Every.org’s team would need several tools to verify the nonprofit, review necessary information, approve or deny the requests, and notify nonprofits.
Building and maintaining these tools require significant engineering work. In addition to building core capabilities, Every.org would need to invest in access controls and other security features to protect their data. They would also need to make sure the tools scaled as the organization grew. “We were spending a lot of time building those tools and user roles, like admin, superadmin, moderator,” Tina explains. That’s a massive engineering investment for a startup to take on.
An alternative path
Instead of investing a large amount of engineering resources to building these tools, Every.org turned to Internal. “I was in the middle of building the admin approval tool when my CEO, Mark showed me Internal. I looked at it and I realized it was worth scrapping the work I had already done on the tool and instead built it out in Internal,” said Tina.
By using Internal to build these tools, Tina was able to save significant engineering time, offload work securely, and streamline processes across multiple systems. This freed up her time as COO so she could work on other priorities, like scaling her team or brainstorming new ways to help nonprofits.
Significantly reduced development time for tools
“When I was building it myself, it took about 4 hours to build a typical tool from scratch. With Internal, I could build it in under an hour -- a quarter of the time, and that’s on the conservative side.” - Tina Roh, COO, Every.org
Offloaded work securely to non-engineers with permissioned data flows
“We had hired someone to help us out with our nonprofit partnerships. Since she didn’t have engineering access to update partnership approval data, we had a process where she would ping the engineering Slack and someone would have to stop their work to manually make a single approval change. Now, we’ve built out a dashboard in Internal so she can do it herself.” - Tina Roh, COO, Every.org
Performed actions across multiple systems with one tool
“When I was the only one answering these tickets...I’d [fulfill the request] and then have to go and email them manually. Now we can just hook into Sendgrid’s API and we’re able to send the email by clicking a button inside Internal.” - Tina Roh, COO, Every.org
Refocusing on what matters most
In the end, Every.org was able to recapture valuable time for all their team members: engineers were able to reduce time spent on tools by over 75% and non-engineers could make needed changes securely, without delays. Nonprofits benefitted not only from faster response times due to better tools, but also from the increased focus -- with less energy spent on tools, Every.org’s team was able to deliver on the work that really mattered most.