The Value of an Open Stance

The Value of an Open Stance

The Harvard Business Review recently posted an article [SW1] covering the tremendous value for companies to have products with an open application program interface (API). We agree, in today’s technical environment, products with open APIs are much more desirable and powerful. In addition to revenue generation for the product vendors, these APIs can be very powerful for nonprofits to increase their impact. In particular, the open APIs of PayPal and Salesforce allow for a cost-effective integration that allows nonprofits to have online donation pages.

As you may know, nonprofits are under great pressure to reduce overhead costs and maximize resources to programs; this leaves limited resources for technology investments. Salesforce has an amazing philanthropic policy that provides any and all nonprofits with ten free licenses and reduced costs for additional licenses. Similarly, PayPal offers reduced fees for all nonprofits. All of a sudden, these best in class tools are within reach to nonprofits that otherwise would be limited to far inferior products.  Because of their open APIs, we are able to configure the nonprofit’s website to process online donations in a way that is convenient for donors and optimizes data collection and reportability for the nonprofit. PayPal processes the transaction and all data is pushed into Salesforce so that the nonprofit can see information such as donor, date, amount, etc. and use Salesforce automations to appropriately receipt and acknowledge the donors for their generosity.

As the HRB article explains, open APIs facilitate creativity and sharing, how can open APIs benefit your organization?