October 14th 2010 – For Immediate Release
Using technology derived from political campaigns, The Pittsburgh Foundation’s pittsburghgives.org site more than doubled its donations this year during its Day of Giving annual event. This year donations increased to $2.8 million, up from $1.1 million last year. Some of the increase can be attributed to the new web site that handled all the transactions. “Following the extensive restructuring to the program we undertook following last year’s Match Day, we saw yesterday an eight-fold increase in the number of individual contributions.” Said Grant Oliphant, President and CEO of The Pittsburgh Foundation. “And by early afternoon yesterday, the amount of money raised had already surpassed our hopes of raising a total of $2 million.”
Political Technology, a Pittsburgh company that specializes in internet technology for political campaigns was called upon to re-engineer the web site and guarantee that it could handle the huge volume of visitors for the Day of Giving event. “We wanted to make sure the site could handle the traffic,” said Mark Bursic, President of Political Technology. “People can’t donate if the site is not running, it’s that simple.”
The Day of Giving event is a 24 hour period where a portion of all donations made to regional non-profits are matched by The Pittsburgh Foundation. The foundation put up $500,000 in matching funds this year and everyone who donated on October 13th got a percentage of their donations matched. Over 400 non-profits participated in the event, receiving over 7,000 individual donations.
Political Technology is a company that specializes in building web sites for political campaigns. And according to Bursic some of the technology developed on campaigns made its way into the Day of Giving site. “We use the same strategies that are battle-tested on campaigns with companies and organizations with some strong results,” said Bursic. “The Day of Giving is a good example where technology derived from our congressional campaigns can be directly applied to a non-political organization. They both want to raise as much money as they can in a limited time period and reach as many potential donors as possible. When you look at it in those terms, they both have similar challenges.”
Mr. Bursic looks forward to using more of his political experience to help organizations and businesses. “In some ways the political environment is like a incubator for good ideas that can be used in business.” said Bursic. “Some of the problems that we have to overcome on a campaign are the same that an organization will struggle with year after year. Problems like apathy, messaging, communication, fund raising and motivation are all challenges we face in both campaigns and organizations. Our insight from the campaign trail is valuable to organizations interested in overcoming such problems.”