Kate joined UncommonGood after graduating with a masters degree in entrepreneurship. In her role as the Head of Product, Kate puts her second degree to work leading the business through its early stages and managing the development of the UncommonGood platform. She even takes the time to meet with nonprofit users to truly understand their pain points and see if UncommonGood can help!
An Entrepreneurial Spirit
While in grad school, Kate started her own company, pigEbank. The goal was to give people who frequently pay with cash a 3%-5% incentive for converting their cash to loyalty points at stores – similar to a cash back incentive with credit cards. From pitching people 24/7 and trying to scale a one-women startup, Kate learned to hone in on skills that made her uncomfortable in order to keep improving herself. She also learned how to dissect key information from conversations in order to improve product efficiency.
This internal drive to constantly improve combined with firsthand experience of what a small nonprofit goes through due to her wife’s career as a director of a nonprofit is what led Kate to want to work for UncommonGood.
UncommonGood’s Dedication to Nonprofits
“At UncommonGood, we are giving small organizations the tools they need to actually make differences in their communities without the high costs or complexities,” Kate states. “I enjoy being able to learn about the pain points small nonprofits have and coming up with ways our software can help. It is a lot of fun to go through the ideating and documenting of our new features / functionalities and then see them come to life and actually help the organizations.”
A lot of the work that Kate does directly impacts the organizations that use the UncommonGood platform. She spends hours mapping out new features and functionalities based on feedback from nonprofits who use the tools. And her team tries to respond with an effective solution quickly so that the organizations can use them to focus on their missions. Recently, the team was made aware of the need for custom donation amounts for sponsorship levels for events. Kate and the team were able to quickly implement this and build a lot of the backend needed to make this something orgs will be able to do on their own soon.
According to Kate, UncommonGood’s culture is inclusive, creative, and supportive. The culture allows for collaborative and creative discussions to help improve nonprofit efficiencies and everyone is encouraged to come up with new ideas. Some of the solutions to a nonprofit’s problems might not be solved overnight but the team works hard to do good.
“Good to me is probably doing the right thing even when no one is watching, not because you have but because it’s just the right thing to do.”
Nonprofit Director in the Making
The ocean is something Kate is really passionate about. She is scuba certified, so any chance she gets to dive, she takes! Unfortunately on most of her dives, she sees trash at the bottom of the ocean and coral reefs that are dying. People have caused so much damage to the ocean and marine life that she has been inspired to figure out how to fix it. Someday, Kate hopes to start her own coral farm or coral restoration nonprofit to combat pollution and climate change. But in the meantime, she loves learning about new NPOs, such as The Ocean Cleanup, or even for-profit companies that are helping the ocean in some way.
One of her favorite nonprofits is Coral Gardeners, a new nonprofit organization that focuses on coral reef restoration by planting new coral in the reefs in French Polynesia. Kate started following them when they were just starting out and loves their approach to donations by having people adopt-a-reef and get the coordinates of the exact reef that their money went towards. She is hopeful that one day she can check out the reefs she has adopted there.
- We have two donkeys on our farm in CT! Donkeys are crazy smart so they are always getting out of their pen. Honestly, the police officers might get more phone calls about donkeys being on the loose in town than anything else.
- A few years ago I had the opportunity to travel to Mumbai, India for work then spent a couple days extra to go see the Taj Mahal. I was pretty nervous traveling there alone as a female and the experience really pushed me outside of my comfort zone. However, that trip taught me that even if you’re scared or uneasy about something, you should still go for it! Don’t let your fear control you.
- Save a Lab Rescue in Rhode Island – this is where we rescued our first dog, Ranger. They are a small organization but make such a massive impact. The dogs they rescue are from down south, so they bring them up and foster them in incredible homes until they find their forever homes.
If you find yourself called to nonprofits like Kate does, then we encourage you to check out UncommonGood’s partner nonprofits who would love your time as a volunteer or supporter.