We love stories about people using no-code to solve large-scale problems. Find out how a grassroots charity called Chive is making an impact in New Zealand by connecting nonprofits to donors. Stephen, the founder, shared his no-code experience with us.
Here’s his story.
Hi, I'm Stephen George, Founder of Chive, a platform for charities in Aotearoa New Zealand. I am also a freelance no-code product developer. I support organisations and enable them to build fast with no-code tools.
I'm originally from the Isle of Wight, UK, a wee island just south of mainland Britain. I stumbled into the no-code space because of my background in international development. I studied politics at university, and realized that no-code tools have the potential to impact so many social and political spaces where change can be sparked!
Donating to charities through Chive
Chive is a platform to find and donate to charities in Aotearoa New Zealand, with the long-term goal of making giving easy, empowering and effective.
Built on no-code tools, our platform creates beautiful profiles for any charity in Aotearoa, making it easy for causes of all sizes to tell their story. They can customize a beautiful profile, and collect one-off or recurring donations through our donate function.
As a set-up, the platform has a search interface that allows for dynamic search, a dashboard for charities to manage their content, and beautiful, easy to use design that makes finding impactful causes easy.
Creating a platform for discovery
Currently New Zealand has the highest ratio of charities-to-people, with over 28,000 charities and just over 5 million people. Charities are the cornerstone of the community, and we saw a problem in how charities were being represented online.
Many charities struggle with digital fundraising, be it resources or expertise. This is a problem, as the digital giving and the use of search-engines like Google to donate to charities is increasing. But when charities have limited SEO or digital content, they struggle to be found.
As a result, the number of charities is increasing, but the diversity of those causes found in search engines is decreasing. Only the largest, well funded organisations are represented, while small, grassroots organisations are being left behind.
We've been around a year now, and we've learned a lot about cultures around giving, and how philanthropy works. Long-term we're looking to build Chive to be a space for people to understand their personal privileges, the impact they want to create in the world and the best way to do so. We're just getting started!
Webflow, Airtable, Zapier, and Parabola
We love love love the tools we've built on, and we’re huge advocates of no-code.
These no-code tools are a game changer, allowing us to operate lean and make changes in real time.
It took us a while to get a handle on using these tools day-to-day management of the platform – we were definitely building the plane as we flew! This ranged from everything, from setting up profiles to managing donations.
When we launched Chive we were still getting to grips with how to work it out, and would often make mistakes. One time I restored a previous version of Chive in Webflow, and in doing so, messed up all of our charity profiles... that was a rough way to learn not to do that again!
Thankfully we're now pro at Webflow and other tools, and we find using them quick and easy.
Keep your MVP simple
One thing I’ve learnt is not to over-complicate your MVP. We figured out really quickly that our customers are politely indifferent when it comes to whether or not we release a new feature!
It really helps to make a concerted effort to speak directly with your core customers. Ask them what their biggest problem is, and make sure your product is solving that problem. This is a much more effective way to spend your time, rather than spending it just building new features!
Lastly, be patient with the tools you're using. It's taken me time to be fully comfortable with the stack we're built on, and I would recommend working with a mentor (shout out to Connor Finlayson who was instrumental in guiding us!) to learn from and grow with.
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Stephen. You can find out more about his work here. If you’d like to learn more about no-code tools and how to master them, join our No-Code Fundamentals course!