The nonprofit and business sectors are always learning from one another. For instance, software pioneered in the corporate environment can be used by nonprofits to improve their operations, and disruptive entrepreneurs can give charities and foundations insight into new ways of doing things. uber’s model is useful to foundations.

Transforming old models with new technology uber’s model

The most recent example comes from Uber, the car service that has taxi drivers across the country up in arms. Graftcraft recently published a blog detailing how grantmakers can learn from Uber. What exactly can nonprofits learn from a car service? It’s simple: Uber took an established idea, updated it for the 21st century, and in doing so, made the experience better for drivers and customers.

Taxi services are a good alternative to public transportation in many areas, but they offer their own share of issues. For instance, it can be impossible to flag one down and you have to fumble for a payment method. With Uber, everything takes place through the app. You choose a car, communicate directly with the driver and pay through your phone.

Now consider how the same principles can be applied to philanthropy. Like driving services, foundations have customers (nonprofits). The relationship between philanthropic organizations and charities is a well-established one, but in some ways, it’s extremely difficult for these organizations to communicate. However, using 21st-century platforms like grant management software, foundations can transform the relationship with grantees and make it easier to communicate throughout all stages of the grantmaking process.

Feedback mechanisms

As Surepayroll points out, there’s another aspect of Uber that sets it apart: embracing customer feedback. Encouraging customers to rate the service is a central part of the ongoing success of the platform because it encourages drivers to provide better service. On top of that, Uber drivers are also allowed to rate passengers, a very rare attribute for any company. The two-way rating system ensures that drivers can steer clear of passengers with a bad track record.

The key takeaway from Uber’s rating system is that measuring data is a great way to make improvements and maintain integrity. While under Uber’s model, it’s hard for customers to obtain their rating, adopting this approach to philanthropy would mean open communication between nonprofits and foundations about what’s working and what’s not. Using data and technology to open doors is something the philanthropic sector can learn from.