Excluding funding, what is the number one challenge facing nonprofits? Validation, according to Angela Holzer, founder of WikiCharities and a recent Master of Business Creation (MBC) graduate.
As a humanitarian volunteer, nonprofit researcher and student, Holzer realized that a resource was needed to centralize and build trust between funders, users, and nonprofits. Thus, WikiCharities was born.
“It is a platform that creates transparency for nonprofits on a global scale and has a standardized reporting structure,” Holzer said. Charities pay an annual subscription to access the platform, and in return are backed by WikiCharities, becoming a trusted and verified nonprofit that funders and users alike can easily find online.
Some of the nonprofits WikiCharities is currently working with are RiseUp School of Dance, GuardianGroup, and Meals in the Meantime. Holzer explains how these charities are finding WikiCharities since they need a path toward gaining trust with funders. Funders want third-party validation of nonprofits since they do not see a return on funds, unlike traditional investors.
With the advancement of technology and global acceptance of online platforms, Holzer believes that WikiCharities can accomplish what wouldn’t have been achievable even five years ago.
Holzer grew WikiCharities as a founder in the Master of Business Creation program at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business. She heard about the MBC through word of mouth and was immediately drawn in through the overwhelming support and accessibility of the program. Holzer recalled thinking, “I don’t need another degree, I need support. I need to learn how to run a business.” She is thankful for finding a program that provided the support system she needed to accomplish the business-end of her startup.
“I was exposed to all of these new skills,” she said, “but what makes the MBC valuable is the accessibility and commitment from the faculty to help you with what is in their expertise.”
Faculty in the MBC program work with founders to help them build their business from the ground-up, unlike a typical business degree or MBA, which are geared towards helping individuals support a larger company. In her experience, the MBC helped Holzer create a solid-strategy model, revenue model, marketing plans, and legal documentation specifically tailored to her company and her needs.
Within the next year, Holzer hopes to find partners for Wikicharities, go fully nationwide, and begin expansion into the international space.
Learn more about WikiCharities at wikicharities.org.