How Fundraise Up closes deals 20% faster with a best-in-class tech stack

Learn how partnerships drive nonprofits through smart partner tech that integrates seamlessly with PartnerStack's all-in-one ecosystem platform.

"PartnerStack helps achieve our goals. We hit 125% of our target last year in closed-won, we hit 150% of our target in pipeline generation — deals are about 30-40% larger when they're through partners — and we can attribute in part to using PartnerStack."

Salvatore Salpietro
Chief Community Officer

As the first employee of Fundraise Up, Salvatore had his work cut out for him in building and scaling reliable revenue channels. Since 2022, he has built a flourishing program on PartnerStack utilizing Crossbeam and Partner Fleet to seamlessly integrate and scale its growth. 

The results speak for themselves: in 2023, partnerships closed 125% of their target — with the deal size 30% larger — and the deals themselves closing 20% faster.

Gone are the days of stale technology in the nonprofit space. Enter Fundraise Up's online donation platform that allows nonprofits to grow revenue by personalizing the experience for every donor on the platform. Behind every scaling program and product is an incredible champion who advocates for partnerships. In the case of Fundraise Up, it’s Salvatore Salpietro, Chief Community Officer. Having been part of the company's inception and skyrocketing growth, he's intimately familiar with the value of partnerships. It's why he's enthusiastically built, scaled and maintained Fundraise Up's partner program. 

Fundraise Up shakes up the traditional nonprofit business model

Fundraise Up operates in a nonconventional way for their space, in that they run a transactional business model. “Our success is directly, with no middle man, tied to the success of our nonprofits,” says Salvatore. “Every time they win, we win. But we’re also on the hook to innovate, be dependable, and stable”. This business approach generates revenue on donor transactions rather than platform licensing fees. Like other consumption-based products in the SaaS space, clients depend on Fundraise Up, making trust a core pillar of their business.

“Because we are young in the nonprofit tech space, earning the trust of our customers came first,” says Salvatore.

Proven: Partner programs work in the nonprofit space

Fundraise Up is changing the game for NPOs by providing a product that truly enhances the donor experience — and partners are key for this strategy. Prior to using PartnerStack, Fundraise Up used an internally-built tool that was riddled with challenges. The intentions were well-meaning by the internal teams, but rightfully so the principal focus of theirs is the product and platform of the company.

Within months of using their own tool, Fundraise Up struggled with consistency, enablement, and partner payments before looking to tools in the market to provide better support across their entire partnership ecosystem. Instead of paying a lump sum to their partners, Fundraise Up pays partners monthly based on their revenue from the prior month. This is atypical and challenging to run manually, which meant they required a tool that was more flexible.

Building a sophisticated tech stack is easier with PartnerStack’s integration partners

Fundraise Up’s partner tech stack includes tools beyond just PartnerStack. “The very first tool we used was Crossbeam,” says Sal as he reflects on his journey of selecting the best partner tools for his program. Crossbeam is a data network that sits between you and your partner ecosystem, providing visibility into your overlapping customers and prospects. After accumulating partners sharing data over a year-long period, Crossbeam became a “gold mine” of data that helped build strong opportunities with partners and is now used across the organization, including with Fundraise Up’s BDR, sales, marketing and success teams.

More recently, Fundraise Up has implemented Partner Fleet to power their partner marketplace. “Partner Fleet allows us to make a big ‘give’ to our partners right out of the gate, granting them the access to make a listing on our marketplace without any manual work from our team,” says Salvatore. With strong partner tech integrating with PartnerStack, the partner programs become more efficient, scalable and support the business even more.

Scaling a program that consistently outperforms other channels

The combination of the right tools, strategy, hard work and Fundraise Up’s unique product are what has made magic happen here. Without one of these strategic pieces, there would be a massive gap in this full-funnel channel program.

“The resources library has been a huge win for us, but we also use deals and leads within PartnerStack”, says Sal. Observing Fundraise Up’s usage of many parts of the tool explains their mind-blowing growth metrics. In 2023, Fundraise Up’s program hit over 150% of their target in pipeline generated, and the deals that closed had an annual contract value 30% larger than that of their direct sales motion. 

We know from reports like Hubspot’s The State of Partner Led Growth Report that partners move the needle in closing deals faster, and at a higher ratio. It’s become B2B truth that partner-attached deals are at least 26-50% more likely to be won than average, according to Hubspot. That said, Sal’s team has blown impressive metrics out of the water. Deals sourced through partners are closing at a rate of almost 60%, which exceeds metrics of the other Fundraise Up acquisition channels by almost three times.

“While we’re possibly paying a little more for these deals, the ROI is there,” says Sal. “While it's true, partner sourced costs a bit more, and we have to accept that and build that into the planning, we're also paying it forward with the partner and building a one-to-many relationship. This is where the ROI comes in.”

The ease of full-funnel technology and seamless integrations

The integrations between PartnerStack, Crossbeam, and Partner Fleet make Salvatore’s team’s day-to-day so much easier. PartnerStack acts as the ecosystem partner hub, allowing them to work with Crossbeam and Partner Fleet, top technologies in the account mapping and partner marketplace spaces, seamlessly.

Crossbeam is an essential tool in a partner manager’s toolkit. With the Crossbeam and PartnerStack integration implemented, there’s a consistent feed of information that removes the need for spreadsheets. Crossbeam has helped Salvatore prove the value of partnerships to the executive team through illustrating potential revenue and overlaps. Beyond this, the unique integration offered between Crossbeam and PartnerStack allows the team to review real-time data in Crossbeam and send an introduction directly into PartnerStack. Salvatore says of the integration, “It’s a time saver for sure, but it’s also a signal for the partner to have more confidence in our partnership team which builds trust.”

Having a partner marketplace is valuable to Fundraise Up’s partners. Powered by Partner Fleet, Fundraise Up has a best-in-class partner marketplace with strong brand recognition. This provides a ton of value internally and for Fundraise Up’s customers. Salvatore reflects that it decreases the time internal teams and customers spend looking for recommendations when they have a single source of truth to review. “Right now, we use the Partner Fleet PartnerStack integration to trigger an email upon a new partner signup to build an account in Partner Fleet. With our new partner operations role, I can’t wait to see what else we can do here.” As he plans for 2024 and beyond, Fundraise Up plans to leverage more of Partner Fleet's out-of-the-box marketplace functionality with certifications and a featured category while socializing it further across the organization and with customers.

Check out Fundraise Up’s Partner Fleet marketplace here.

 Fundraise Up's partner marketplace webpage showcasing a best-in-class partner ecosystem of hand-picked agencies, consultants and tech companies

There’s still more to unlock and revenue to deliver

Trust us, it doesn’t stop here. Salvatore details all of the exciting things his team can’t wait to sink their teeth into for 2024 and beyond.

“There’s a ton of technology within our tools that we haven’t used yet due to restraints of time. We’re going to start diving into co-marketing, the learning management system and affiliate linking,” says Sal. As he reflects on what more they can do beyond tool usage, he is excited to see what this year is going to bring. Our hunch is that they’re on track to knock it out of the park. 

The adoption of PartnerStack and commitment to partnerships has been proven and now Fundraise Up is staking their bets on it. Until just a few weeks ago, the partnerships team at Fundraise Up consisted of Salvatore, (former Chief Partnership Officer,) and two partner managers. As the program consistently drives over 125% of its target, the team is expanding and Salvatore is embracing his new role as the Chief Community Officer. They’re now bringing in a VP of Partnerships, a Partner Operations Manager, a Strategic Partner Manager and a Senior Partner Marketing Manager. “What has been the day-to-day of putting out fires will now become strategic and proactive activity — instead of reactive”, reflects Sal when thinking about the new built out team.

In making the case for increased resources, Sal has aligned executives to understand that partnerships “is a one-to-many play, and even if it’s a little bit less efficient internally and takes more effort at to get up and running, it’s still closing faster. It's been done successfully at Fundraise Up,” says Salvatore.

This success and growth comes with lofty targets. Sal believes that “in the next year or two, partnerships will be half if not more of their company revenue. Fundraise Up doubled its growth last year and that in itself is a massive achievement.”

Working with an amazing team and ecosystem pays off

Salvatore’s team truly goes above and beyond with their partners, prospects and customers. “Developing real relationships with partners is key. I go scuba diving with one partner, another gives me parenting advice, and another helps me plan Disney vacations,” he shares. “It's really incredible if you view partners as allies — not simply revenue sources”. 

One prospect at a company learning event even said: “I’ve been at this event for less than two hours, and four people that don’t even work at Fundraise Up have told me how amazing it is. What the heck is going on?” In his new role as Chief Community Officer, Salvatore is excited to “be an ear to the ground for the company” and do more of what they have already been doing. It seems like given the feedback he’s received from the market that this is the right way to go.

If Fundraise Up hasn’t proven this already, a proper ecosystem tech stack can make or break a partner program. Pair that with someone as knowledgeable and passionate as Salvatore at the helm and you’ve truly crafted a partner program that sets itself apart within an industry. It’s the cherry on top that all of this good work makes the lives of nonprofits that much better.

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