Estimated reading time: 5 minutes, 22 seconds

cariiAs a start-up company how do you know when you've "made it"? Some start-ups are asking these questions five years after their inception while others buckle under the pressure long before they have a chance to take off. But if you're a nonprofit named Carii, you don't have to worry about that. Within two and a half years Carii has already made a name for itself in the mobile app world. Named the "Innovative Application of the Year" from marketing consulting firm, Compass Intelligence; Carii has proven that their global platform aimed to "Create, Connect, Communicate, Collaborate" is the next big communications tool in the technology world.

In Use:
Named after the Indonesian word which translates to "the unlikeliest of places"; Carii (pronounced Ch-ari) began it's journey in Indonesia with founders Denise Hayman-Loa who is also the company's CEO and Wun Fie Loa two and a half years ago. Since then, Carii has spread into a global platform where like minded people can network and share information. While Carii can be used by businesses or as a forum to talk about ideas, nonprofit organizations can also benefit from the tool. Carii's goal is to create a one-stop platform for nonprofit organizations, to be able to manage their donors, fundraise, and manage volunteers while keeping their constituents up-to-date on events and progress.

So how exactly does Carii work? We all know that there are different groups of people that go into making a charity successful. You have the constituents in which benefit from the nonprofit; the donors who donate money for the cause; the volunteers who volunteer their time to make sure the charity is successful; and the employees who get paid to do jobs such as grant writing, marketing, and social media. In Carii each faction of the nonprofit would be its on community but they would all be connected in what Carii calls an "Ecosystem." If the CEO wanted to thank donors and let them know exactly where their money is going to, she could email the donor community. But, if she wanted to share a press release, she could send an email to the entire ecosystem.  Combine that with access to share videos, post pictures, and update social media, Carii hopes that users won't want to go elsewhere for their communication needs.

Technology Used:
To use Carii, a nonprofit organization would need internet access. It is also mobile responsive so users can easily access their communities anywhere in the world.

Ease of Use:
Carii can be used on a computer or a mobile device such as a phone or a tablet. The mobile device can be a bit daunting at first, but once a user gets familiar with the application they can search for communities, create a community, or see whats going on in their own ecosystem.

Carii is truly a communications platform because it cuts out the need for multiple social media and communication accounts and combines them into one cohesive unit. There's email, there's chat, there's social media and you're in charge of which communities see what information ensuring that private information stays private. Whether it's a direct conversation between two volunteers or a much larger dialogue between the ecosystem, the nonprofit organization is in control of what they post and who sees that post. While Carii mainly targets businesses and nonprofit organizations; within the past few months they have been experimenting with ecosystems revolving around ideas such as climate change or cancer research. In this way everyone who is connected to these ideas can have a platform to get together, share ideas, and develop solutions to achieve their goals.

  • When it comes to social media especially, once you post a picture, send a tweet, or update your status, that belongs to the website, it no longer belongs to you. But because Carii values users' privacy, businesses and nonprofit organizations own the right to the content they post on the app.

  • The platform connects all the communication tools you need to run a business in one place. You don't have to belong to ten different social media networks to reach your constituents, donors, and volunteers. In theory you only need one- Carii

  • Very well developed and affordable. There's many different tiers depending on what you're looking for. The basic package is free or you can opt for the "custom intranet" in which Carii will customize a website for your community that can be as private as you need it to be. With nonprofits dealing with sensitive issues- this option could be a great way to stay connected to constituents who want to stay annonymous.

  • Nonprofit organizations get a discount on pricing.

  • Disadvantages:
  • One of the main disadvantages of Carii is that being a startup, they struggle with getting their name across and expanding their reach to both businesses and nonprofit organizations.

  • Because they're new they're still figuring themselves out and implementing ideas within the application. Their hope is to introduce advertisements in the future to mutually benefit both the businesses and nonprofit organizations. For instance IAMS dog food could advertise on an animal shelter's ecosystem or vice versa.

  • Their search tool on their mobile app could be more functional. For instance a simple search of "animals" yielded no results. Is it because there aren't any communities dedicated to animals or is it because non of these communities have "animals" in the title? For instance, when searching "kid" I only got results for nonprofits and businesses with "kid" in their names. This could prove difficult for communities to find each other and connect.

  • My Opinion:
    I think winning any award within two and a half years of becoming a company is something to be proud of. It shows that Carii has something special. I like the idea of ecosystems and communities within that ecosystem. Constituents, donors and volunteers can log in and find all their resources on the nonprofit's Carii page without having to click on a bunch of links or visiting multiple websites which can be tedious and time-consuming.

    I think the two biggest obstacles that Carii faces is making the app more user friendly especially when it comes to the search engine, and then of course reaching potential clients which takes time. But I do feel that once they do fix these aspects of the application, they will be well on their way of creating a successful communications app that business and nonprofit organizations can mutually benefit from.
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    Danielle Loughnane

    Danielle Loughnane earned her B.F.A. in Creative Writing from Emerson College and has currently been working in the data science field since 2015. She is the author of a comic book entitled, “The Superhighs” and wrote a blog from 2011-2015 about working in the restaurant industry called, "Sir I Think You've Had Too Much.” In her spare time she likes reading graphic novels and snuggling with her dogs.

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