Inside Givinga: Q&A with Chief Technology Officer Chris Shields

At Givinga, CTO and co-founder Chris Shields oversees the technology behind our platform, which allows customers to create innovative giving programs seamlessly and on their terms. He shared some background on Givinga’s vision for Philantech, how our customers are benefitting from the technology, and much more.

1. Why did you decide to co-found Givinga?

I’ve always worked in technology, but I wanted to take my expertise and build something that would make a greater impact for charities and causes. With Givinga, it’s incredibly inspiring and satisfying to work with companies and help them incorporate technology that makes a difference in the world.=

2. What is Philantech?

Philantech, or philanthropic technology, brings together philanthropic tools and technology that engage and reward charitable giving. It unleashes philanthropy so more people can make a deeper, more meaningful impact by connecting audiences to causes and delivering a great user experience. Philantech is about making it easier for companies and individuals to give back on their terms.

3. What are some of the top reasons companies look for Philantech?

If the past year has taught us anything, the giving landscape and the need to give have changed and aren’t going back. People want to give strategically and they are looking for more creative and innovative ways to do so.

4. You built the technology behind Givinga. What problem were you trying to solve?

We wanted to simplify and streamline charitable giving. Just as many other industries have been modernized with technology, we did the same with philanthropy, providing access to new tools that allow our customers to give back in unique and impactful ways.

5. How do you streamline giving?

We take care of all the backend work – from vetting charities to ensuring that regulatory guidelines are met to processing the actual donation to a charity. Our goal is to make giving as efficient as possible and to bring transparency into our customers’ giving programs. Through our reporting, customers can easily view giving history and impact, so they can make informed decisions regarding future giving.

6. What has surprised you most about this technology?

What has surprised me most is the engagement from our customers. The great ideas they have had and the unique ways they use our tech has helped us enhance Philantech. Working with our customers has brought in new features and functionality that we might not have originally considered. Their innovation and creativity has pushed our platform to be as flexible as possible to support them and we are excited for what’s coming, as they have some interesting new business models launching in the next few months. It is exciting to see customers using the technology in unique and impactful ways – and because of that, more money is being pushed to charities.

7. What has been the most rewarding part of building Philantech?

Making a growing, positive impact for causes and charities, in collaboration with our customers. We have been able to grow dollars to charity up over 1000% year over year. Seeing the innovation and the success from our customers is the best part. Being able to work with them, take their idea, and see it go live with our technology—knowing it’s going to make a measurable impact in the world—has been great.

8. What’s next?

Continuing to grow and build out our footprint internationally. This is something that we have already started making tremendous strides in, really enhancing our current global capabilities. We are launching several global customers right now, so we see this as an area of huge opportunity to have an even bigger impact, across the globe. We want more people to give. And improving that experience to make it as easy and flexible for everyone, as we have in the US, stays true to our core mission.

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