January 17, 2023

Collaboration for Growth: The Benefits of Strategic Partnerships

Ryan Fox

Discover how Engiven's API is streamlining the process of accepting crypto donations for organizations

Henry Ford has a great quote that I've been mulling over recently. He said, “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” 

The concept of collaboration through partnership is of particular interest to me personally, in this season, as I transition from Director of Sales to Vice President of Strategic Partnerships here at Engiven. While the move represents a personal milestone that I'm incredibly excited about, it's also a harbinger of the direction we're taking corporately. As we look toward the future of crypto generosity, it becomes evident that pursuing corporate partnerships is not only a beneficial approach but a necessary one. The partnerships cast in the furnace of the current crypto winter will define the future of how fintech businesses and nonprofits thrive in the coming months and years as the market recovers. 

As cryptocurrency adoption grows, the supporting technology and financial regulation will settle. In this new landscape, the days of coming up with something that no one has thought about will be long gone, inaugurating an era where winning business models are spawned from improving existing ideas. 

As we enter a faster and more complex technology environment, it sometimes makes more sense to develop partnerships than to spend the resources and time required to develop tech solutions, from scratch, in-house. In my role as Director of Sales, I often spoke to developers and team leads who were under steady pressure to keep up with the rapid pace of innovation occurring in this space. Many cited their frustration with constantly having to answer the question: “how long will it take to add this product improvement (that the competitors are now offering)?" As most of us know, the solution is often to add it to the never-ending dev road map, making the destination seem to move farther and farther away.  

In response to all this, we’re excited to increase our focus on developing and reaching strategic partnerships by offering our proprietary API framework. Engiven’s APIs allow donation processing platforms and other nonprofit service providers to provide their clients the ability to securely and simply accept crypto donations. We consider these strategic partnerships between corporations to be like relationships between people–in that they are bonds created with trust. Our corporate partners already have the confidence of their (client) organizations, and we want to build upon it instead of competing with it. 

I recently had the pleasure of reaching one such partnership with an organization at a crossroads, deciding whether to develop its own crypto-giving solution or partner with an established crypto donation platform like Engiven. Following the announcement of our agreement, I reached out to Taylor Brooks, the CEO of Simple Donation, and asked him to guide me through his thought process from beginning to end.

The scenario was as follows: Simple Donation's customers were asking for a crypto solution, so Taylor considered building one in-house. "It’s strategic for us to own that IP, control our own destiny, and not be beholden to another company," he said. At the time, his thought was, "I don’t know all the ins and outs of crypto stuff from a tax perspective, but we can learn it." At the time, he estimated that would be a six-month effort.

After meeting him at a conference, I charmed him into a demo. Following that meeting, he was a believer: “Wow, is this all there is to their API and processing a crypto donation? This will take our team a couple of weeks to implement… we are definitely moving forward with Engiven and are definitely not building our own solution.”

Asked to distill the defining ingredients that made this partnership materialize, Taylor provided three:

  • Time to market
  • Subject matter expertise / focused knowledge in crypto
  • Good people who are relatable and value a partnership

Getting to dip my toes into the waters of partnerships was a highlight of the job. Becoming acquainted with amazing people like Taylor and empowering organizations like Simple Donation to do what they do better was so rewarding. As Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, I'm excited to swim in those waters daily.

History provides abundant examples of mutually beneficial corporate partnerships creating new milestones in business, marketing, and science. Just in my lifetime, I've witnessed several unique partnerships that flat-out made stuff better. Off the top of my head, Red Bull and GoPro launched Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner from 127,852 feet in the Stratos jump as part of a lifestyle brand marketing campaign. Starbucks linked arms with Spotify to allow patrons to curate their favorite Starbucks branch's musical playlist through the app, Apple and Nike partnered to make the ultimate fitness watch, and Taco Bell started making their traditional tacos in Doritos® shells. In every case, the partnership added value to both corporations and gave us, the public, a better product.

Let's face it: If you're a for-profit organization in the payment processing business and are considering adding tax-deductible donation options of crypto, stocks, and bonds, then you have a couple of options before you. I'm confident that our API solution is the best out there, and my team and I would love to get the opportunity to tell you why. From your vice president to your human resources, customer service, and social media teams, you and your business partners deserve the absolute best.

Maybe we can be the donation-processing Doritos® shells for your nonprofit tacos. Book a demo with my team and me, and give us a chance to show you how.

Book a demo with Ryan Fox today: Book a Demo