We recently exhibited GivingPress at the 16NTC Nonprofit Technology Conference in San Jose, CA. It’s been nearly 2 weeks since the conference, and we’re still reeling from the experience.
Our heads have been buried in the design and development of GivingPress over the past year. Jeff and I have been so focused on launching the service that we nearly missed the exhibitor registration deadline. Within a couple weeks I scrambled to get the signage and promotional materials designed and printed in time — the last of our signs arrived literally minutes before leaving for the airport. The 16NTC conference was the culmination of all our hard work. We hoped it would be well received.
GivingPress is a new startup in the nonprofit space. This was our first experience exhibiting at a conference of this scale. We had no idea what to expect, and the anxiety was mounting.
The staff at NTC was extremely helpful. Upon our arrival we spoke with Eileigh and some of staff members at the exhibitor services. They calmed our nerves, and we immediately felt welcome.
Jeff and I came from a background in WordPress. There’s a comradery within that world that doesn’t exist in most industries. Most WordPress business owners are like us. They’re good-natured, young professionals with humble beginnings. We started by volunteering time in the form of code, design and support to the growing WordPress community. We have established great friendships over the years, even among our competitors. Going to a WordPress conference is like going to a high school reunion. It’s a bunch of friends talking about our lives, families and business. We love being a part of that community. It’s a rarity in business, and we try not to take it for granted.
We were extremely pleased to find the nonprofit industry has a similar comradery. Our booth neighbors at Capellic were a startup like us, and they were a pleasure to work beside. Everybody we spoke with was extremely friendly. We were in great company, and felt at home at 16NTC.
Before the conference we hadn’t spoken with many people about GivingPress. We obviously knew what it was, but we didn’t have much experience explaining it to people outside of our company. The conference honed our pitch of GivingPress with each new visitor to our booth.
We were told most web designers and agencies avoid building sites for smaller nonprofits like the plague. “There’s no money in it, the client support is a nightmare, and it’s not worth the time.” This was music to our ears. We have been providing website solutions to hundreds of thousands of customers with small budgets for over 6 years. We know how to automate website creation and manage support expectations. Our gut feeling that we were targeting an under-served niche was validated.
The response to GivingPress was overwhelmingly positive! Nobody was offering an affordable and professional website solution catered to nonprofits. Nearly every small to medium sized nonprofit we spoke with needed a new or improved website. GivingPress serves a purpose for the largest group of nonprofits that nobody wants to help.
Jeff and I came away from the 16NTC Nonprofit Technology Conference feeling validated for our hard work, and knowing we are on the right track. We’re more motivated than ever to make GivingPress the go-to solution for nonprofit websites. We’re looking forward to 17NTC!