TowerCare Technologies: Software That Helps Manage a Nonprofit Organization’s Every Need
Historically, many nonprofit organizations struggle to run smoothly due to tight funds and limited staff. But TowerCare has developed a software product that manages all aspects of a nonprofit organization, including donors and donations, fundraising, events, auctions, volunteers and employees, human resources, inventory and more. The software-called DonorPro-helps all types of nonprofits raise more money, operate more efficiently and communicate more effectively with the donating public.
DonorPro distinguishes itself from its competitors in many ways, including ease of use, affordability, superior customer support, rich features and functions and implementation options,” says Donna Myers, president of TowerCare.
From Pilot Program to Product Development
TowerCare was founded in 2003 by a management team from Pittsburgh-based TechRx, which was sold to NDCHealth. “The initial seed money for TowerCare came from management in the form of cash and lots of sweat equity,” Myers says. But in 2005 and 2006, TowerCare also raised money through investments from the Ben Franklin Technology Partners (BFTP), friends and family and others. “This debt converted to equity in our recent Series A investment round, in which we raised $2 million through angel investors,” Myers says.
Today, TowerCare is 20 employees strong and well positioned to succeed. “We have a large ripe market, a superior product, more than150 customers, and significant growth in sales and revenue,” Myers says. “Within four to five years, we project an annual revenue of more than $30 million and a staff of about 150.”
Critical Investment from BFTP
BFTP’s initial investment of $100,000 funded TowerCare’s pilot program, which helped the company develop, validate, and test DonorPro’s sales methodology, including the telesales program, sales tools and sales process.
“This allowed us to launch the sales methodology we have in place today, and by the end of 2006, we secured more than 40 clients and brought our total number of clients to more than 110 by the end of 2007,” Myers says. Since then, BFTP has invested an additional $400,000, which has allowed TowerCare to add crucial staff members and grow and develop the company overall. In addition, BFTP provided TowerCare with summer interns who helped sharpen their market strategy and communications, fine-tune their investor pitch and secure their new office space.
Myers notes that BFTP has provided tremendous support to TowerCare’s management team in particular. “For example, they helped focus our business strategy and segment our market, which led us to find a unique niche to target,” she says. BFTP also introduced the company to Mark Thomas, a former BFTP intern, who had great nonprofit industry experience. “We hired Mark as vice president of professional services, and he is now an integral part of our management team.”
An Attractive Stamp of Approval
Overall, Myers says that BFTP has been a crucial part of getting TowerCare up and running. “Securing loans from banks in western Pennsylvania is difficult, and angel investors and most certainly venture capitalists don’t want to invest in companies until they have viable products and services, revenue and a base of happy and paying customers,” she says. “BFTP provides the much-needed funding to help early-stage companies validate their products and services in the market and develop that initial client base, which gets them their first round of investor financing. BFTP has been a great reference for TowerCare Technologies, and their ‘stamp of approval’ allowed us to attract quality angel investor networks. BFTP helps young companies take the leap from the startup phase to the growth phase.”
Keynotes August, 2008
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