Salsa Labs, a web-based tool non-profits use for fundraising, isn’t having any problems raising cash of its own. On Monday it received a $5 million first round of funding.
Fundraisers are everywhere. Coworkers sell their children’s wrapping paper, the quintessential, “Will you pledge for every mile I run?” It seems there are so many causes, but fundraising remains a dinosaur – an old and huge problem.
“Organizing is a profession,” said Chris Lundberg, chief executive of Salsa Labs. “There are professional organizers who are very good, they get people elected, but [Salsa] has Web 2.0 techniques.”
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Salsa Labs is an online management tool for anyone looking to raise money. You can get access to their personal dashboard through a login to the cloud. From there, you can organize volunteers, manage donations, create email blasts and SMS campaigns, write officials and more. The dashboard also syncs to your website for easy back-end management.
Salsa provides an application programming interface (API), so that developers can tailor the organizing experience to a particular group’s needs. And users can enhance the Salsa experience with third party applications. Click2Call Jalapeño is an example. The service uses Twilio’s telephony network to connect participants to anyone’s phone number using voice over IP. Click2Call allows organizers to set budget limits, create and save scripts, and keep record and notes on all calls made.
Salsa plans to use the funding to extend its third-party network as well as reach new markets. Funding will also be used to expand its product line, including donor tracking, social customer relationships management, and a mobile app.
The company also plans to make quite a few new hires. “We’re going to be tapping about 135 people over the next year, “said Lundberg. The company will be opening an office in Reston, Va., and expanding its Austin, Texas office.
Currently, Salsa has over 2,000 clients using the service. California governor Jerry Brown used the service for his 2010 campaign. Salsa was founded in 2004 and has survived on its own profits until this round from Edison Ventures. The company has 50 employees and is headquartered in Washington, DC.