GivenGain becomes fully distributed organisation

Global charity fundraising platform GivenGain has given its employees carte blanche to choose where they want to work from in future.

From 1 July, all 134 employees across GivenGain, its parent company Humanstate and Humanstate’s residential rental payment platform PayProp were given this choice as part of the Humanstate group’s wider adoption of distributed working practices.

Work from anywhere

Staff in the UK, the United States, Canada, Switzerland and South Africa can now work from home, while travelling, in corporate and group offices – newly converted into co-working spaces – or theoretically, the beach.

Humanstate has already made its first fully ‘distributed’ (location-independent) appointment, hiring a new senior accountant after an interview and onboarding process conducted entirely remotely via videoconferencing. While her employer is registered in Switzerland, the new accountant happens to be working from South Africa.

Major impact

One can only truly begin to understand the impact of the decision when considering the surrender of management control that comes with it.

“As a charitable foundation that assists fundraisers, events and charities through our global fundraising platform, this structure is a perfect fit for us,” says Marius Maré, GivenGain’s President. “Our new distributed structure allows us to appoint staff in new time zones, as we continue to remotely support partners across six continents. GivenGain works with charities based in 18 of the world’s 24 time zones.”

This points to another massive task the company has had to undertake – the total reengineering of its collaboration and communication systems and processes.

“The global pandemic caught everyone by surprise, but our team was already used to supporting events, charities and fundraisers in different countries – so adapting to colleagues working from different locations is something the team coped well with,” says Maré.

“We’re always looking at new technologies to improve our work processes, output and users’ lives, and will continue to do so.”

Borderless benefits

Distributed working became a necessity in March in response to COVID-19, but the wider Humanstate group had been considering a distributed work model since long before the pandemic struck, says Group Executive Chairman Johannes van Eeden.

“As a global company, we were already used to working together at a distance and had all of the technology in place to do so effectively.

Now, even against the backdrop of a global pandemic, we’re seeing how distributed work is making us more efficient and more productive than ever.”

Employees have been equally enthusiastic about the benefits, pointing to savings on travel, higher productivity and less commuting. A survey across the Humanstate group found that 46% of employees planned to work almost exclusively outside the office even after the pandemic, while a similar proportion wanted to split their time between offices and other locations going forward.

Moving forward together

Despite the initial challenges and hard work, the distributed work model has already enabled some innovative new ways to build a positive, vibrant company.

This month, all employees across GivenGain and the rest of the Humanstate group have been invited to take part in a global online fundraising challenge, bringing everyone together virtually for some friendly competition while also making a difference for charities hit hard by recent events.

“It’s an ongoing process, but I am very excited about this new chapter and the opportunities it presents,” says Van Eeden. “Humanstate’s mission has always been to remove the barriers that divide us. Becoming a borderless distributed organisation is another step towards achieving that – in a way that benefits both ourselves and our clients.”

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