Startup Groopt is hoping to become the platform that nonprofits and member-based organizations use to both build their websites and communicate/collaborate with members.
I actually covered the company about a year ago, and the vision wasn’t all that different. It started out as a collaboration tool for fraternities and sororities, and at the time it was trying to expand to serve any large group. However, CEO Patrick Allen told me recently that the team soon realized, “We need to figure out our niche. We can’t just be a group platform for everybody.”
So Allen said the company cut back its spending and shut down the existing product (it continued to operate a website development business to bring in revenue) to focus on a new version of the product built specifically for nonprofits. Why nonprofits and similar organizations? Allen elaborated via email:
Our nonprofit clients told us how painful their database solutions were and how it was impacting their ability to grow; they’re too complex, they cost too much and they deliver far too little. If the non-profit sector can snag even 1% of GDP from the for profit sector… that’s $150 billion extra dollars flowing where it’s needed most.
Groopt currently offers two main products — Groopt Communicate and Groopt Websites. Groopt Communicate allows organizations to send targeted messages to their members via text or email, schedule events and send reminders, conduct polls, and more. (Allen seemed particularly proud of the iPhone and Android apps, which now include a full mobile calendar for groups.) Groopt Websites, meanwhile, allows users to work with the Groopt design team to build their own website, no coding required.
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There’s a free version of the service, then the paid plans start at $4.95 per month. Groopt is also offering TechCrunch readers 25 percent off on websites.
The company’s next step is to launch a new database product to help organizations manage their membership, events, and fundraising — Allen said that’s coming soon.
Update: The wording of this post has been tweaked to more accurately reflect the features of Groopt’s products. Also, I incorrectly described Groopt as being solely focused on nonprofits — Allen said it’s actually trying to serve nonprofits and other member-based organizations.