The Payabli team had the pleasure of attending and sponsoring the NTEN (Non-Profit Technology Conference) in Portland, Oregon for the second year in a row. We interviewed our payment experts Aaron Vela and Collin Haberl who attended the event this year and met many amazing non-profit organizations and members of the NTEN community.

Can you provide a brief overview of the event and what it is all about?

NTC is the Non-Profit Technology Conference. The event brings together those in the non-profit community who are looking to make the world a better place through the skillful and equitable use of technology.

The conference encourages the non-profit community to explore the latest trends in technology and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) tools that can help enable and streamline the management of their organizations. Many technology vendors were attending, from customer-relationship management platforms (CRMs) to Grants to Payments to Marketing agencies and web development. Overall, the conference is a great opportunity to educate yourself on the entire non-profit sector in an open and communal environment.

What were some of the highlights or memorable moments from the event this year?

Aside from sharing our core competency of “every software company is a payments company” with visitors at our booth, we also enjoyed keeping tabs on attendees’ running totals of the top Skee Ball scores as our booth was positioned right across from the activities! (440 was the highest score we witnessed, by the way).

All jokes aside, one of the key themes we encountered this year during our discussions with attendees, (especially some of the CRM providers), was the misconception about the ease of integrating payments into their platforms. Historically, both fundraising platforms and CRMs have leaned on gateway providers to handle payment processing for their charitable organizations, but increasingly we found that both donor management platforms and CRMs are intrigued and exploring options to build in-house white-labeled payment solutions in order to provide a better customer experience and monetize their payments volume. This invigorated us and brought about some exciting discussions.

We also really enjoyed the happy hour events Bonterra and Pantheon hosted during the event where we had great conversations with some prospects and consultants about Payabli and payments.

Were there any notable speakers or key themes you’d like to mention?

Yes. One of the speakers we enjoyed listening to was Amber Case, Founder of Calm Technology Institute. The topic of her presentation was around the interaction between humans and technology, which we appreciated. She reinforced the importance of keeping the mindset that the development of technology should be driven by the users and not just the developers. This allows for the feedback loop to be open versus restricted to the development.

A key theme we noticed throughout the event is how much people are concerned about data and privacy online. The non-profit, donor, and CRM platforms, especially, expressed that clients who use their software are concerned about their experience using their platform.

Payabli had a booth at the show. Can you share some feedback you received from booth visitors and attendees?

We were very excited to have a booth at the show and demo our product to attendees. Overall, we received great feedback about where their heads are at when it comes to payments. We found that a lot of attendees are particularly curious about payments and how our solution differs compared to some of the legacy providers in the space.

In a lot of our conversations, organizations expressed that they have allowed their charities to bring their own payment provider on board, which quickly turns into having to juggle multiple providers over time and naturally, less control over a singular solution.

Additionally, we were psyched to hear some of this feedback post-demo from some of the booth visitors:

“We want to start with a proof of concept solution that is “plug-and-play” before going “all in” on a payments offering.”

“The timing is perfect right now because we’re currently evaluating building our own payment solution!”

“Wow, the docs are beautifully laid out, and the level of granular detail is very nice.”

“It’s cool to see the reporting mechanisms from the top down – a bird’s eye view of our entire payment ecosystem is something we never knew we could see or have offered in a single solution.”

A lot of booth visitors also really appreciated our “meet you where you are” philosophy around Tech and Operations and our process of solving a tailored implementation through connections with our team. We were very pleased around the receptiveness of our mindset of consolidation and how we provide software Partners PayIn, PayOut, and PayOps solutions in a single unified platform. They also liked to hear about our hands-on approach from guided implementation to shared service responsibility, which brought reassurance to prospective partners looking to dip their toes in the water.

Overall it sounds like this was a very successful event not only for Payabli but also for the entire NTEN community! Can you sum up your top three takeaways?

Three takeaways, or themes that were prevalent during this year’s show were:
Education, Data, and Community.

Education: It was more apparent this year than ever that the NTEN community and attendees are there to learn. This crowd is very curious and always looking for new and innovative ways to better their organization. There were over 300 sessions for attendees to go to, which shows the conference is dedicated to learning.

Data: One of the major takeaways from this year was the importance of data and its security. For us, we wanted to tie that into our conversations with attendees as it relates to payments. We highlighted how working with the right provider can help non-profit organizations crawl, walk, and run in their payments journey, while also providing the data and security measures they need to be successful.

Community: This is a wonderful community where everyone is looking to help each other. The NTC attendees are all about self-determination, educating themselves, and sharing ideas for organizational transformation. The show’s focus on advocacy and forward-thinking nature encouraged highly engaged and productive conversations.

Any final thoughts on the event?

The opportunity for growth via the use of embedded payments is alive in the non-profit sector, as the community begins to see the simplicity available from the implementation to operationalizing with the right partner.

We are really excited to attend next year’s show in Baltimore and already looking forward to having more exciting conversations with the NTEN community and its attendees. We encourage you to stay connected with our team and reach out to schedule a demo if you would like to learn more about our product.