Indian American tech entrepreneur Ravi Gauba was a prolific volunteer with non-profit organizations before he founded LiveImpact, which has developed a platform allowing NGOs to seamlessly manage donors, contributions, and volunteers, and to assess the impact of their initiatives.
“Non-profit organizations are short-staffed most of the time, resulting in low-quality data captured from multiple sources,” Gauba told India-West. “My passion is to bring technology to the non-profit world,” he said.
LiveImpact is both a web-based and mobile app platform.
“Our goal is to help non-profits become more efficient with what they’re doing,” explained Gauba, who serves as the CEO of LiveImpact, founded in 2014 and based in Mountain View, Calif.
The veteran of several Silicon Valley-based start-ups said he was inspired towards volunteerism by his grandfather, who was forced to move from Pakistan during the Partition, and delivered medicine to hospitals in India as a volunteer. The young boy often accompanied his grandfather on such journeys.
While a graduate student at the University of Southern California, Gauba spent his summers mentoring inner-city children. He currently serves as a regional board member with First Place for Youth, a non-profit organization helping foster children find a safe place to live, finish their education, and find their first jobs.
More than 300 non-profit organizations currently use LiveImpact, including several Indian American organizations such as the Foundation For Excellence, which allows donors to fund the higher education of a scholar in India; Maitri, an anti-domestic violence group; Home of Hope, which raises funds to support several initiatives in India; and AIM for SEVA, which provides quality education to rural and tribal students in India.
FFE was the first organization to use the LiveImpact platform. “They previously had an internal database, but it was just data storage and not hooked up to use the data in any significant way,” said Gauba. The organization is now using LiveImpact not only to manage donors and volunteers, but also to assess the impact to beneficiaries.
The organization – founded in 1994 by Prabhu and Poonam Goel – has awarded more than 47,000 full scholarships to STEM students in India. “LiveImpact is allowing FFE to gain new insight into its beneficiaries: who’s dropping out, and how they can be retained,” said Gauba. “The key challenge is managing program data and being able to effectively respond to it,” he explained to India-West.
LiveImpact also works with ReSurge International, which trains doctors in 15 developing countries to perform reconstructive surgical care and recovery for low-income people suffering from cleft palates, severe burns, and other injuries. U.S. doctors train their volunteer counterparts in the developing world.
The LiveImpact platform manages thousands of medical records for ReSurge’s patients, including information about their surgeries and recovery care. The platform also manages information about the volunteer doctors, and the funds used to perform each surgery.
“There are no long lines for people waiting to come into an event,” said Gauba, noting that it can take up to 45 minutes at certain fundraisers to register and get table assignments. “Volunteers are empowered to be more effective and that efficiency helps them grow in terms of revenue,” he said, noting that – unlike similar platforms – LiveImpact does not limit the number of users at a given organization, enabling staff and volunteers to be able to use the user-friendly data sets.
“We are not a traditional company. Our team is from the non-profit space, and we understand the challenges non-profit organizations face,” asserted Gauba.