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November 29, 2012

Innovations for Donations

This past month, we’ve talked quite a bit about causes. Earlier this month, we discussed how Movember has added a twist to the traditional pledge-based charity, and also how social is becoming increasingly important to causes. With the plethora of charitable organizations out there, it’s apparent that innovation will become an integral element to acquire funds for your cause. Let’s check out some interesting examples:

CauseCart

CauseCart is a bit of a play on the traditional “portion of the proceeds” idea by creating a network of giving. It’s simple for both brands and consumers. Users simply install the plugin into their Chrome or Firefox browser, and then CauseCart communicates with the online shop to direct them to give a small percentage of the purchase to a cause/charity of the user’s choice. Though still in its infancy, CauseCart has already secured a number of big name commerce and charitable organizations in its network like Amazon.com and charity: water.

LevelUp

We’ve loved LevelUp at AMP since it first came out (it doesn’t help that there are about a dozen spots within walking distance of our office that accept it for payment). It’s a pretty simple concept. Download the app, link a credit card, scan a personalized QR Code at checkout as your payment, and receive rewards and discounts when you reach certain spending levels. It’s a simple loyalty program that rewards you for going back to the places you like. What many people may not know about LevelUp is their charity platform. In the app’s settings, there is a feature which allows you to assign a % of your savings towards a charity of your choice.

CrowdTilt

Crowd funding is by no means a new or novel concept; however, sites like Kickstarter and IndieGogo make it tough on charitable initiatives. While Kickstarter doesn’t allow for charitable projects altogether IndieGogo doesn’t offer tax-deductible donations – both issues creating problems for causes looking to generate funds quickly, similar to what we recently saw with Hurricane Sandy efforts. In comes CrowdTilt. Earlier this month, they started offering tax-deductible options for non-profits which makes it the “first crowdfunding site to fully support charity fundraising.”

Instead

How many articles have you read that tell you how much you can save just by forgoing your daily latte? Instead takes that same idea but instead (get it?) of putting that money towards a new pair of Manolo Blahniks (those are a thing, right?), they donate that money to a worthy cause (not to say that your shoe “hobby” isn’t worthy). According to its developers, Instead is a “micro-donation app for non-profits that encourages people to live within or below their means in order to give.” The app is pretty easy – just pick something you want to give up (like a coffee for instance), pick how much you want to give (usually the price of that coffee), and then pick a non-profit to give it to. The app then takes you to a secure site where your donation is processed and you have the option to share your donation via your social channels so that your friends will know how swell of a person you are.

So, what do these things all have in common? Ease. It’s apparent that people are more than willing to donate to causes, but often they are overwhelmed with the process or the sheer number of options out there. If you can cut down any of those barriers, you’re chances of succeeding will increase exponentially.

Matt Rainone

Matt Rainone - Senior Manager, Integrated Marketing Group

Marketing guy. Boston sports fan. Pop culture nerd. Closet Justin Bieber fan. Apparently I was sunburned when that photo was taken.

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