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Living and Giving:

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What Encast is Up To

By Leo Ramirez Posted on March 2, 2016

We have two goals at Encast. The first is to increase charitable giving by making it easier and more accessible for individuals and businesses. But equally important: we want to see that the dollars are spread more equitably to causes and charities.

By some measures, 3% of gross domestic income goes to charity, and it's been that way for forty years. Think about that. Despite our population increasing, awareness of nonprofit causes elevating, social media gaining greater ubiquity, and the Internet connecting us more deeply: nothing is improving. All the technology, development departments, galas, marketing, and efforts being put forth to raise funds and increase volunteerism hasn't made a difference for decades. The status quo hasn't worked. The social sector deserves a new way of thinking.

In 2014, GivingUSA Foundation reported upwards of $360 billion dollars in donations in the United States. If charitable giving increased by even a very small percentage, the impact would be tremendous. Of course, that just means more money would go to charity. Not such a bad thing if it weren't for the fact that, by some estimates, 94% of all donations go to 6% of all nonprofits.

Let’s think about that again. About $360 billion donated to charities in 2014, and of that $360 billion, 94% of it went to about 6% of all nonprofits, which clearly means a very small number of nonprofits get to play with $330 billion. The vast majority of organizations, roughly 1.4 million, are begging and suffering. If the amount of money given by individuals per capita is not increasing, then another solution could be making sure what was donated went to well-performing, high impact organizations.

The best solution is something that combines them both. That's what Encast is out to accomplish.

We have a pretty significant revenue model while simultaneously facilitating charitable opportunities. We believe in having a double bottom line. A lot of nonprofits lose money on bank fees and credit card fees. Encast is feverishly working to change that. We believe in fee free charitable giving: doing everything we possibly can to ensure that every penny given to charity makes its way into nonprofits' hands. We don't generate revenue on the backs of donations. No other service has made this a reality, much less prioritized it.

Those are just a few of the ideas we have as we roll out Encast. We'll have a lot more to share in the coming months as we further these game-changing innovations.

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Author: Leo Ramirez

Leo is the co-founder and CEO of Encast, an organization dedicated to improving the way CSR professions create, manage, and measure CSR programs. Leo is passionate about the role that culture plays in business success. Leo has launched and managed social ventures, lead multi-disciplinary teams, and built solid relationships with civic and corporate leaders. His 25-year career has spanned executive management, business development, consulting, nonprofit management, technical support and engineering positions with Southwest Key Programs, Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Coremetrics, Trilogy and Apple.

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