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This is ours.

We must all live with a purpose. A sustainable future is only possible if we all contribute to the planet and community.

Our mission is to provide a digital platform that allows companies and individuals to easily & effectively contribute to nonprofits, to help them solve the challenges faced by humanity & planet.

In doing so, we aim to change the way that everyone gives. Our goal is to help build a global community through digital means. Joining together to create - and live in – a better world.

Our journey

The birth of an idea

A glimpse of what could be possible came in 2016, when Paul participated in Credit Suisse’s Global Citizen Program. Travelling to Bangladesh and Nepal, Paul volunteered to give leadership and management training for the Room to Read non-profit.

The experience was an eye opener for Paul, because he realised that giving is more than just donating money. It became clear that he wanted to continue to use his skills and support non-profits so that they can amplify their impact.

Prototype and Family Project

With a long career as a seasoned IT professional, Paul wanted to upgrade his out-of-date development skills and decided to build a digital platform to support non-profits. He had designed and managed enough complex platforms during his career, spanning 25 years at UBS and Credit Suisse, and set out to build a crowdfunding platform in his spare time.

Paul was keen to explore the latest web technologies and bring his skills up-to date. His excitement spilled on to dinner-table conversations with his family. Paul’s millennial children were keen to get involved and participated in “workshops” to bring their world view to the table.

Paul and the 3 children set up a non-profit /social enterprise to build and manage the platform. The fireside programming sessions in the winter of 2016 shed light on what a Career 2.0 would look like for Paul!

Partnership with Credit Suisse

Paul presented the prototype to Credit Suisse, who loved the idea and wanted to use the capability to support employee giving in Switzerland. It had to meet Credit Suisse’s extensive requirements around security, scalability, compliance, anti-money laundering and corporate branding, and much more.

Credit Suisse provided the seed funding to build an independent solution that not only met their needs but also could be used by other companies to engage their employees and amplify the overall impact.

The prototype was scrapped and a new professional cloud-based platform was build from scratch. Numerous volunteers within Credit Suisse wanted to also get involved and supported the initiative with workshops, whiteboard sessions, requirements gathering, UX design, and testing.

Launched Copalana Crowdfunding

After a lengthy process of internal approvals, due-diligence and extensive testing, the platform was launched in November 2018, and to date we have raised over 6 million in funds for non-profits globally.

It was beyond a dream-come-true, and without Credit Suisse’s support for an entrepreneurial initiative it would have still been a hobby project and not the serious platform Copalana is today.

Launched Skills-Based Volunteering with Credit Suisse

Companies with mature CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) programs motivate and engage their skilled employees with skill-based volunteering. Credit Suisse wanted to scale their existing program by digitizing the overall process of on-boarding the strategic non-profit partners, publishing volunteering assignments and allowing employees to register their skills profile.

Their requirements lead to the development of a strategic capability which was deployed globally within Credit Suisse. Today multiple clients offer skills-based volunteering to their employees.

Migros Pioneer Fund helps Copalana scale their impact in Switzerland

The Migros Pioneer Fund scouts and funds social enterprises who can introduce systemic change and make a positive impact for our society. Copalana was selected as a pioneer project and we received a grant to scale our footprint.

We were able to grow our team to better support non-profits, create editorial content, as well as engage Swiss corporates and support their corporate volunteering initiatives.

Developed Hands-on Volunteering with Migros Bank

Engaging society is part of the DNA at the Migros Group, and Migros Bank wanted to introduce volunteering within their organization. We helped them develop a volunteer-week where over 20 Swiss non-profits offering corporate volunteering team events.

As part of our collaboration we learned that SMEs want to support non-profits, but just don’t have the resources, head counts, budget to organize such activities. This work is often only done as a special project or side job.

As a result of supporting the bank with the overall management of the event, we developed a digital marketplace for hands-on volunteering events in Switzerland. This is an excellent starting point for corporates who are looking to begin engaging employees and supporting non-profits.

Always Looking Ahead

From a platform perspective, we’re proud of what we’ve created in the face of numerous challenges and changing requirements. Our limitless agility is constantly helping us, allowing us to significantly expand our capabilities and over deliver to a number of trusted, well-known partners. Even with a small budget, small team, and no central or VC funding, we’ve become a platform that many important non-profits and corporations can always rely on.

Our vision for next generation giving

Our team

As a social enterprise striving for social justice and planet-wide change, people are at the forefront of what we do. We believe in a partnership between like-minded people, where we all join together to problem-solve and overcome obstacles with the innovation and urgency needed by a planet in crisis.

Social Impact
As the CEO and original visionary who came up with the idea of Copalana, Paul is the mind behind the entire platform, and the glue that holds us all together. But it's not just his background in software and inspirational nature that makes us tick: it's his ability to connect with people from all walks of life, to effortlessly bring people together, that drives Copalana forward and turns our core philosophy into action.
Design thinking
Customer journeys
Trend awareness
Strategic vision
No matter what technical or business challenges get thrown our way, we know we can always rely on Stephan to find a solution. His official title is Product Owner & Business Development, which means he's constantly at work putting his keen intelligence and lateral thinking skills into concrete steps that will improve the entire ecosystem. Every ship needs its navigator, and there's no better one than Stephan, who can take one look at the charts and quickly work out our best path forward.
As the head of communications for the platform, it's no surprise that Raph believes in the power of words. He's a skilled craftsman of language, always searching and often finding just the right way to inform, captivate, and inspire. As a long-time world traveller as well, he's seen first-hand so many of the challenges we face, and knows how important it is to connect effectively, to tell each other our stories, and to help each other rewrite the narrative of the planet.
Dialog facilitation
Olivia is responsible for corporate partner engagement. With an education in Philosophy and Chinese medicine, she cares about people’s well-being and culture. Olivia has volunteered for non-profit organizations and is effectively able to bridge the needs of employees and non-profits. She is motivated to help employees combine work and purpose.

Our volunteers

Copalana wouldn’t be half the platform it is today if it wasn’t for the incredible volunteers that have joined us on our journey. As a limitless source of inspiration, ideas, feedback, and help, they’ve helped us reach heights that we could have never dreamed of.

Making an impact

Many years on from our initial launch, Copalana hasn't lost its intense drive towards a sustainable future, to overcome new challenges, and to find new solutions in an effort to connect the world.

What keeps this drive going is the simple fact that we're making an impact. Changing the world is a never-ending journey, but we're proud of our achievements in the social change space. They're always inspiring us to aim higher, reach further, and forever be bold. And best of all: we know that it's just the beginning.

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