Best Life Podcast | Altra Federal Credit Union
Best Life Podcast | Altra Federal Credit Union
Episode 6: NetGiver and Supporting Nonprofit Organizations
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As we start to turn the corner on the pandemic, and life begins to return to something that more closely resembles normal, it’s more important than ever to support charities and nonprofit organizations that improve lives and also our communities. In this episode, we look at an app that Altra has partnered with called NetGiver, which makes sure all of the money you donate to a charity, goes to that charity or nonprofit organization with no fees! Tony speaks with the CEO of NetGiver (netgiverapp.com), Eric Berg, to learn more about it and how it helps our members and nonprofit organizations. We are also joined by Cheryl Dutton, who is the VP of Marketing at Altra; Shawn Hauser who is Altra’s Community Relations Manager, and we also discuss the importance of donations and community support to nonprofits with Lindsey Hemker, who is the Development Manager at Spark Children’s Museum (sparkrochestermn.org) in Rochester, MN.

Transcript

(Tony Beyer)

Hello and welcome to the Best Life Podcast where we here at Altra are helping you live your best life. I’m, Tony Beyer and we’re so happy you’re joining us today because we’ve got an important show for you. On this episode we’ll be talking about a great way to donate to charities that are near and dear to your heart and to make sure those charities are getting every penny of your donation. It’s important to support nonprofit organizations in all the good that they do, especially now that we’re starting to turn the corner on the pandemic.

We wanted to focus on a mobile app called NetGiver, which Altra Federal Credit Union has partnered with to make sure every dollar donated through the app goes to the charity of your choice. On the line we have Eric Berg who is the CEO of NetGiver, thank you for being on the Best Life Podcast Eric

(Eric Berg)

Thanks for having me. I’m excited to talk with you and all of your members at Altra.

(Tony Beyer)

We also have joining us in the studio yes, the podcast is moved out of my basement, it’s great, a couple of guests from Altra. We have Cheryl Dutton, who is our VP of Marketing, thanks for being with us Cheryl

(Cheryl Dutton)

It’s really great to be here Tony. I’m so excited to talk about NetGiver and everything it has to offer

(Tony Beyer)

…and we also have our Community Relations Manager Shawn Hauser. Thanks for taking the time to be on the podcast Shawn

(Shawn Hauser)

Thank you Tony for having me, I’m glad I can be a part of it.

(Tony Beyer)

We’ll also have coming up at the show Lindsey Hemker, she is the Development Manager at Spark, which is a nonprofit children’s museum in Rochester, MN, and I mentioned NetGiver at the top of the show, and Eric, I was Hoping you could tell us a little bit more about the app and how it can help nonprofit organizations.

(Eric Berg)

Sure, Altra has been partnering with us for coming up on almost a year now and NetGiver is a credit union exclusive mobile giving app that allows credit union members to be able to make charitable donations from their Altra account to any charity of their choice Using the app, and the best part about it is there’s no fees. There’s no fees associated to the donor. There’s no fees associated to the nonprofit. So, this is a service provided by Altra to its members for the purpose of being able to make charitable donations without incurring all those nasty fees associated with giving that we sort of get today.

(Tony Beyer)

And talking about fees, that was something I really didn’t think about when it comes to donating to a charity or a nonprofit organization, and about how much of a donation gets eaten up by other businesses or platforms to process these fees when someone is donating online?

(Eric Berg)

Yeah, it’s a good question. It varies a little bit. We use the number about 7%. You know it used to be when we wrote a check for a donation, we gave the charity 100 bucks, they got 100 bucks, right? You just cash a check. Well, when we went to online what we started to do to use credit cards, which is great. They’re super convenient to be able to use, and of course you can get credit cards from Altra. It’s all great to be able to do that, but the platforms that have to be in place for these nonprofits to receive these donations end up eating up a lot of the costs as well as other things that that go into it, claiming fees and those kinds of things so donations lose about 7%. So now when you make $100 donation to charity receives about 93 bucks as opposed to the full $100. Well, as a credit union industry, we can solve that problem by providing this tool NetGiver to our members to be able to use and make their charitable donations to the organizations they care about in the community.

(Tony Beyer)

Excellent! It sounds pretty easy, pretty simple, it makes a lot of sense. And again, we’re talking to Eric Berg he is the CEO of NetGiver, and we’re going to transition to Cheryl Dutton again, she’s our VP of Marketing, and Cheryl, I wanted to ask what drew Altra to get involved with an app like NetGiver and how does it fit in with Altra’s mission?

(Cheryl Dutton)

I think we’re always looking for innovative ways to help our members and community involvement is so important to Altra, making our communities a better place to live. Helping those people that really need help is what attracted us to NetGiver. 7% can go a long way for some of these charitable organizations and we just wanted to provide an avenue for our members to be able to give fee free.

(Tony Beyer)

Yeah, you know, not only in our area here in La Crosse, you know, the Coulee Region, but all of the different communities that we’re proud to serve, and Shawn as the Community Relations Manager, I’ll ask you, How does an app like this help?

(Shawn Hauser)

Well, it really brings everyone together, you can give wherever, you know from your hand. Phone’s in your hand, and the app is on the phone so it’s easy for them to give no matter where our members are, no matter where their charity is located, their nonprofit is located and makes it easy for them to give.

(Tony Beyer)

Great, making it easy to give to nonprofits that is key, and one of the many nonprofit organizations you can find on NetGiver is Spark, which is the children’s museum that’s very cool, it’s fun, it’s educational, I love the place, it’s located in the Apache Mall right there in Rochester, Minnesota. We’re happy to welcome via Video chat, Spark Development Manager Lindsey Hemker. Thank you for taking the time to be on the podcast Lindsey

(Lindsey Hemker)

Yeah, thank you so much. We’re really appreciative of everything you guys do for us.

(Tony Beyer)

Well, we appreciate you guys and it’s a lot of appreciation going on right now, which is great! Lindsey, I was hoping you could tell us a little bit about Spark and how important it is to the Rochester community.

(Lindsey Hemker)

Yes, so we actually started in 2012 as a satellite Museum of Minnesota Children’s Museum of Saint Paul, and we had really great feedback from the community and they wanted us to develop our own children’s museum down here in southeastern Minnesota, specifically in Rochester. So, what we did was we asked the community kind of what they wanted to see, how big we could really go, and we decided to develop our own children’s museum down here in Rochester and branch off from the Minnesota Children’s Museum of Saint Paul, and in 2019 we started a capital campaign and raised $2.3 million to create this beautiful space in Apache Mall. About 10,000 square feet and five exhibits and some traveling exhibits coming through. And in July of 2020, during the pandemic, we were able to still open up and welcome the community into this beautiful space, and we’ve had a fantastic outpouring of support both in donations but with visitors and community members attending and families coming, and it’s just been incredible. And so far, you know, I think we’ve welcomed about 30,000 people since we opened in last July and we were closed for some of that time as well, due to the pandemic, so it’s been a success and it’s been amazing to see all of the kiddos come in and enjoy it, and now seeing all their beautiful smiles, so, it’s awesome.

(Tony Beyer)

Fantastic! So as a nonprofit, how important are donations and community support?

(Lindsey Hemker)

So I don’t think a lot of people know first of all, that Spark is a nonprofit entity and so they come in here and they’re kind of confused as to why they kind of have to pay admission and things like that, but in all reality, more than 60% of our revenue comes from contributions, and that’s from individuals, that’s from corporations, foundations, government grants, and then 40% of that comes from our daily admission sales or our memberships. So, all of that money accumulated goes to something like the Helix, which is a beautiful exhibit in our space that costed almost $400,000. So, I think they don’t know that we’re a nonprofit, but once they realize that the community is really focused and really motivated to donate to the space because they know how many families are impacted through those donations. And the donations don’t solely go to the exhibits, they go to things like family nights for underserved communities, they go to things like discovery play nights for children with disabilities, free memberships to those families that are not able to afford it, so the contributions and the individual and business giving really supports Spark in our nonprofit as a whole entity.

There was a study done with the Rochester Public School District a couple of years ago that said that less than 30% of children in the Rochester area are kindergarten ready. That’s a staggering statistic and we want to be that, you know, little piece in the community that can really help encourage families to come in here, help bridge that gap through hands on exhibits and programming and community partnerships. So, we know we are a great resource in the community for all families, regardless of financial barriers or anything like that.

(Tony Beyer)

That’s great what you guys are doing for families there in Rochester, and I know online fees for donations, they may not sound like much, you know, $2.47 here, $3.89 there, you know $5, whatever, but that money that’s going to processing fees, what could that buy or what could that do at the children’s museum?

(Lindsey Hemker)

The simplest things like a box of crayons, a box of markers, we have a space in Spark called the Imagination Station. $2.00 can support all of, you know, the pipes to make flowers for one of the crafts, or crayons to color, or paper plates to make a cool clock. So those 50 cents, you know those $2.47 that are the credit card fees, they seem like small dollars to them, but it’s a huge impact to the families that come here so, every dollar helps.

(Tony Beyer)

All of that really adds up to make it possible to do all the good things that Spark, and in many, many, many other nonprofits are doing to help improve lives, and Shawn, you made a great point right before we started recording this how, in the past year, in regards to how the pandemic has really affected charities and nonprofit organizations

(Shawn Hauser)

You know we’re just getting on the other side of COVID, and really, during that time, the only way members could give a lot of the time, was virtually or, you know, through an app or online because there wasn’t that person-to-person event that they could attend that they would normally give at so this really brings people together, it makes it easy for them to give.

(Tony Beyer)

That’s for sure. So, shifting back to you, Eric, if there’s a nonprofit that is not on NetGiver, how can they go about trying to get on that platform, or what do they need to do?

(Eric Berg)

There are a couple of great ways. The best way to get on to NetGiver is to go to NetGiverapp.com, and as a nonprofit organization, you’ll be directed to the nonprofit area of the website. You’ll be able to see all about what NetGiver is and how it works, and then you can sign up for a webinar from there or go directly to sign up for NetGiver and that will take you directly to our back end of the website where they will be able to go ahead and enroll as a nonprofit. We’ve got all 1.5 million registered 501(c)(3) organizations in our database already, so really, a nonprofit, the enrollment process is very simple because all they have to do is go in and let us know where they want us to send all of these wonderful donations to which bank account number they want us to send it to, and we take care of all that once the donation is made.

(Tony Beyer)

Excellent, that is fantastic that they’re able to do that. Now, how are Altra members able to find NetGiver? How are they able to do that? How are they able to donate to their charities through the NetGiver app?

(Eric Berg)

Yeah, super simple. On your phone, you go to either the Google Play or Apple App Store depending on which device you have and search for NetGiver, one word, N-E-T-G-I-V-E-R. You’ll find it, it’ll pop right up, you’ll see that it’s the credit union focused app. Go ahead and download that app. Once you get that app downloaded, you’ll go in and quickly set up a NetGiver account and then will ask to connect to your Altra account, and when you connect your Altra account, boom, you’re ready to go and you can start giving right then, it takes about 5 minutes.

(Tony Beyer)

Awesome and I see Cheryl. She’s waving her hand, she’s got a question for you Eric

(Cheryl Dutton)

Yeah Eric, I have a question, so if you’re not an Altra member, can you still give through NetGiver?

(Eric Berg)

Oh, what a great question Cheryl, and you know what, thanks to Altra, you absolutely can. So, what’s great about NetGiver right now is that, thanks to Altra and some of the programs that Altra is doing when you are going to make a donation now, if especially if it’s a program that Altra is sponsoring or has provided you a QR code, you can go ahead and use that QR code when you scan it into the app you’ll be associated to Altra. You’ll sort of be a  pseudo Altra member for a little while, while you give and that’ll be a great way to be able to make a donation as well. And of course, if you’re a member of another participating credit union as well, or if you’re just if you’re not connected to a credit union yet and you want to be able to give using the NetGiver app, feel free to download it and you’ll sign in as a guest user and you get a chance to experience a little bit about what the credit union philosophy is all about and get a chance to see what it would be like if you were an Altra member.

(Tony Beyer)

Excellent, that sounds great! We’re at our time right now, but wanted to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to be on the Best Life podcast!

(Lindsey Hemker)

Thanks so much.

(Cheryl Dutton)

Thank you Tony.

(Tony Beyer)

On this episode of the Best Life Podcast, we were joined by Eric Berg, who is the CEO of NetGiver, the app that makes sure that all of the money that you donate goes to the charity of your choice. We were also joined by Cheryl Dutton, who is the VP of Marketing at Altra, Shawn Hauser, who is Altra’s Community Relations Manager, and Lindsey Hemker, who is the Development Manager at Spark Children’s Museum in Rochester, Minnesota. You can find more information on NetGiver and the Spark Children’s Museum in our show notes, or you can go to Altra.org.

That’s gonna do it for this episode of the Best Life Podcast presented by Altra Federal Credit Union. We appreciate you taking a moment to learn how you can live your best life, and also help others as well. If you have a question or a topic you’d like us to cover, shoot me an email at [email protected] and who knows, it may even make it onto a future episode. Don’t forget to follow the Best Life Podcast pretty much wherever you get your podcasts, or find it on our website at altra.org. Thanks again, be well, and we’ll talk to you again soon.