Invest It! Academy - Financial Education Nonprofit and App

"At a recent team event, we had a culture workshop and asked people: 'What’s something we’re doing right now, that we need to continue doing for our company culture?’ Response: We had 15 people answering the survey, and 70% mentioned Matter as the one thing we need to keep using."

Gabriela Ruiz - Head of People at Hunty
Victor Neumann
CEO and Co-Founder

About 👏

Company: Invest It Academy is a nonprofit organization that provides free financial education courses and resources to communities in Germany and the United Kingdom. They will soon be releasing a mobile app that will allow users to take personal control of their finances with a free, unbiased tool. Invest It Academy is a team of 21 volunteers donating their time and expertise to provide independent financial education to people who may not otherwise have access to such resources.

Industry: Financial Education

Employees: 21

Headquarters: Hamburg, Germany 🇩🇪

Key Use Cases: Kudos, Feedback Friday

Interview: Victor Neumann, CEO and Co-Founder

Why Invest It Academy chose Matter 🏆

Invest It Academy was forced to go fully remote in 2020 due to COVID-19. During this time, the Invest It Academy founders learned how important company culture was to volunteer retention. Victor explains, “You can give employees all the productivity tools in the world to make their job easier, but they still won’t stay if they don’t enjoy the work or feel like the company supports them.” He began to research ways to continuously improve their company culture and elevate the team through consistent recognition. Victor added that an important part of this was keeping the recognition process casual.

“We wanted our team recognition to feel natural and genuine. I wanted a tool that would simply give the team insight into all of the wonderful things happening across the company.”

Matter addressed Invest It Academy’s needs by providing an easy and fun way for the team to share kudos regularly.

How Invest It Academy uses Matter 🚀

Invest It Academy finds the ‘magic’ of Matter being how easy it is to use right within Slack. More specifically taking a moment to send kudos to a teammate without interrupting their workflow, which makes kudos a regular part of every workday. Victor notes, “It’s so important to utilize tools that support volunteers. They’re keeping important services running for people who need them most.” Matter has also replaced Invest It Academy’s weekly all-hands meeting “shoutouts”, which the team particularly appreciates since they met on Sunday evenings. This small change has made a noticeable improvement to their company culture.

The Value of Matter for Invest It Academy📈

Invest It Academy sees Matter as providing the perfect kind of recognition for their team. Kudos allow teammates to share shoutouts that are more engaging than a regular Slack message while staying informal and streamlined by avoiding their old once-per-week recognition process. The volunteer team at Invest It Academy appreciates the genuine feedback and a work environment that encourages friendly communication. This cultural shift has kept this remote, volunteer team not only engaged, but excited, about their work. 

Lessons Learned / Advice for Others ✏️

Focus on the culture and well-being of your people with tools like Matter. When you add Matter, be sure to promote it actively in your team meetings so people know they have a new resource to share recognition and feedback – but once Matter gains its initial traction, let it grow organically so it doesn’t feel like something the team is forced to use. This will also help you see the efficacy of the product – that it’s working for your team culture in an organic way.”