Software company offers penance for Centre Gives errors

The Centre Gives charitable giving campaign ran into technical problems last week.
The Centre Gives charitable giving campaign ran into technical problems last week.

A Texas software company is hoping nonprofits across the country are in a charitable mood.

Austin-based Kimbia sent out a release Monday detailing a multifaceted act of contrition in the wake of problems last week that had far-reaching impacts, including in Centre County.

The Centre Foundation’s annual Centre Gives, and similar community philanthropy events across the country, part of a network called Give Local America, ground to a halt last Tuesday afternoon when the Kimbia system failed.

“We have been in regular contact with our community partners since this incident occurred, and we are pleased to take these actions to mitigate the impact on participating organizations,” said Kimbia CEO Daniel Gillett.

“After a thorough review of events, we will be better able to communicate a specific plan to ensure that an incident of this kind will not occur in the future and our partners, nonprofits and their donors can be confident in our ability to help them achieve their goals,” Gillett said.

The company said it will be waiving about $370,000 in fees, about a third of what the Give Local America events would have generated for Kimbia.

Gillett will be giving up his own salary for three months, with that money going to the Give Local America organizations.

Kimbia will also be providing free access to the technology for the rest of the year, and giving online fundraising workshops to help the groups “become more successful online fundraisers year-round.”

But is that enough?

Centre Gives did raise a lot of money for its 124 participating nonprofits and service organizations during its 36-hour event that was extended to 40 hours because of the Kimbia snafu. The foundation announced a total of more than $1 million, and that was before receiving an anonymous gift of $50,000 to augment the $100,000 stretch pool of funds the participating charities were working to split.

But the Centre Foundation isn’t jumping at Kimbia’s offer.

“Centre Foundation — both unilaterally and with a group of community foundations negatively affected by the platform failure last week — is still in negotiations with our website vendor, Kimbia,” said foundation Executive Director Molly Kunkle.

“Despite the glitch, we are so grateful that our community ensured that Centre Gives was an impactful giving event for the 124 participating local nonprofit organizations,” she said. “At this juncture, it is too early to announce anything, but we will remain in communication with our participating organizations as the details are finalized.”

Lori Falce: 814-235-3910, @LoriFalce