(May 23, 2018) Catherine Read sits down with Jill Hood and Emily Cowan, co-creators of a new technology application called Cause Finder. Their app is designed to help organizations connect, communicate and mobilize their grass-roots base. Following the Women’s March in January of 2017, Jill and Emily observed grass-roots engagement rise to heights that they had never observed in their lifetime. They also saw that there was no safe and effective platform for organizations to find and mobilize their bases, and connect with other groups who might have similar objectives. With Jill’s background in cyber-security and Emily’s expertise in organizational development, they combined their skills to develop a new and exciting product.
When designing this program, Hood and Cowan wanted to avoid the pitfalls that they saw in the free online systems such as Facebook, Google Hangouts and Slack, none of which were designed for the purpose of organizing. These free platforms support themselves in one of two ways – they sell advertising or they sell their user’s data. In recent months there has been quite a bit of information in the news about Facebook and privacy concerns. Both Jill and Emily firmly believed that there had to be a better way, and set out on a course to make that a reality.
Cause Finder is designed to avoid the pitfalls of the no-fee programs by being an affordable subscription based model, where organizations pay for the access and users can signup free of charge. Organizations will be able to easily connect with their base to effectively mobilize, while also connecting with other organizations who share similar objectives in order to make a bigger impact. The beta version of Cause Finder is currently deployed with a variety of non-profit organizations in a pilot environment, and the owners are continuously making improvements based on customer feedback.
In the second segment of the show, Jill takes Catherine through some screen shots of the Cause Finder program, to demonstrate the user-friendly nature of the application. Users of the program can find a way to connect with organizations based on a cause that they are interested in, while also finding relevant ways to take action and get involved. Additional functionality allows activists from different organizations to come together and rally behind a single event. For example, there are many different groups that are fighting for Gun Violence Prevention, who may want to rally around an event such as a new piece of proposed legislation. Cause Finder will allow these groups to easily identify who might be interested in showing up for a rally or testifying on behalf of a bill. On top of enhanced functionality, organizations can be assured that their member’s data is safe and protected.
Long term goals for Hood and Cowan include potentially rolling the application out to Federal and State agencies. For now, they are focusing on a successful launch of the new application this summer. Stay tuned and learn more at www.cause-finder.com.