The tech behind Mite

5 min read

The seedbed

The concept of Mite was developed decades ago, in the 1990s. Our founder, Scott Toal, as a young director of a private foundation saw a need to inform donors of the impact of their donations. He was blessed to be able to give and then, due to the size of the projects and grants made, to visibly see the difference made through the donation. Through visits on location at orphanages, hospitals, or events sponsored worldwide, the impact of the assistance was experienced firsthand.

But why was this experience limited to donors making large donations? Why was this experience not made available to the donor giving a smaller amount? After all, there is no difference between donations given from the heart. Charitable organizations make distinctions between donations, and donors for that matter, based on the size of the donation or the monetary value. But was there a better way?

Why should any donor be separated from the impact of their donations? It seemed wrong. That's where the vision for Mite started, a little giving organization dedicated to serving the donor. Regardless of the amount donated, every donor would have the opportunity to see the impact of their gift right where it was used. Mite, through technology, would bring the donor to the field, showing them how their donations were used and the impact they made on people's lives.

Of course, much was needed to provide this field experience to the givers - the technology being foremost. In the 1990s, the required technology was not available. But it was coming.

New Internet technology

"Mite's vision is to bring the donor into the field so that they can see exactly how their money is used to impact people's lives," Scott Toal, President of Mite.

In the '90s, the Internet was a novel, booming thing. But it would take several years for the impact of the Internet to be genuinely exponential in terms of new technology development. After 2000 the immense growth created by the Internet started influencing innovation in new devices and applications to old technology with a refreshed electronic approach. By 2015, many technological changes necessary for Mite's launch occurred. What were these technological advancements, and how did they impact the development of Mite?

Camera technology

Video Production: The use of video, notably a Celebration Video at the end of each project, is a massive part of what Mite delivers to its giving community. These videos report to our donors exactly what their donations were used for and how they impacted the intended recipients. Through direct interaction from the field, our donors experience the joy, excitement, smiles, and cheers of happy and grateful people they benefitted through their giving. In 1990, camera technology was far from where it is today. People were still carrying around Camcorders to video family vacations. You needed an entire production team if you wanted a halfway decent video. Today, a smartphone delivers equal-quality video, and the team is honed down to 1 person.

Social media

Social Media: In the 1990s, social media via the Internet was a concept. There was no Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or the rest. As these platforms developed, they opened up the opportunity for every organization to reach out directly to an interested audience. Mite needed this direct connection with donors, affectionately called Miters. For Mite, the development of social media channels was vital to promoting the message that we all benefit from giving. We want to show people that it not only makes sense to give, but that giving is truly better. Social media technology opens the door to promoting this message globally.

Smartphone technology

Smartphones: Decades ago, our founder could not see the advancement in technology that would be presented by the iPhone. But once developed, it was easy to see that a device carried by the user rather than sitting on a desk significantly impacted the vision of Mite. Giving is a personal act, and understanding how this personal act is affecting others around the world is also a very unique thing. With the smartphone, Mite can directly show our donors the impact their generosity makes, where they are, and when they want to know.

Cloud technology

The Cloud: Working around the world with partners from different time zones, cultures and languages can be very difficult. Cloud based project coordination platforms and data transfer technologies have made Mite's work substantially more efficient. Cloud based communications is used throughout the Mite Donor Process. It is an integral part of the overall Mite program.

What it means

So what does all this technological advancement mean for Mite donors?

Mite is harnessing the best of technology to serve our giving community. We are working to maximize the benefit created from each of the technological advancements made over the last few decades so that our Miters can have the very best donor experience possible. Join our giving community today by Giving Your Mite and see what Giving Made Better looks like!