Problem & Observations
People want to do good.
Covid-19 created a framework of initiatives for the general population and celebrities to massively contribute in money raising for medical workers, small businesses and others.
But the offer of charity initiatives has become too overwhelming. Famous people are bombarded with requests and are willing to contribute, but don't know which one to pick. While the population starts to care less about far-from-my-bed initiatives. What's in it for them, still?
The thing is: these initiatives still need money. Tons of it. For a long time, still.
That is why we need to make it easy for well-known personalities, professional teams, captains of industry and the ordinary man in the street, to raise money for a cause they care about, in a way that is easy, inspiring and meaningful to them.
An interesting aspect here is: people are spending more time online and cleaning their houses than ever ... because, hey, how's your house and screen time doing?
After Jencey's best friend - a medical worker at a care center - felt mentally down, which he usually never is, he wanted to do something. Support him in any way he can. Which he can do best by acting as the entrepreneur he is.
1 single platform where both celebrities and the ordinary man in the street can easily raise money for charities they care about.
On the one hand, with DONATE TO WIN, we empower celebrities and other well-known personalities with a tool to easily:
- Choose a charity
- Describe a Meet & Greet or personal item
- Set a raise goal
What follows is a raffle system: the more people donate, the more chances people get to win the item. Half of the donation goes to a cause the VIP picks, the other half to a cause the buyer picks.
On the other hand, with BUY 4 GOOD, it serves as a 2nd hand platform with a social cause.
- People pick a cause, choose what % of the sale goes to it (min. 20%), and put an item for sale for min. €25
- A person buys it -> seller ships it to address (or buyer picks it up)
- Once shipment arrived at the buyer, all payments go through Half of the donation goes to a cause the seller chooses, the other half to a cause the buyer chooses.
Thanks to a unique collaboration with a fintech, we will be able to split and hold transactions once we've integrated their payment API (soon). This is a legal requirement. Our system will have legal support for all of Europe. In addition, it makes our system work with debit cards. Other 2nd hand platforms can only support Paypal and Credit Card, which is a big pain point for the user.
We charge 1.75% for donations going through the celebrity tool. For the 2nd hand platform, we charge 2% to both the buyer and the seller, on top of the donation. Comparable platforms charge 3x to 5x. Tax and payment transaction costs excluded.
During this weekend
- Optimized the idea, focusing more on the Donate To Win service having more momentum and viral potential
- Designed and coded a working MVP in responsive website version, which allows for testing the coming week.
- Found 8 well-known personalities and 4 charities in Belgium who confirmed to participate once launched.
- Gained far-going interests of a Greek incubator to set up a country team there. Call has been set up for next week.
This is done by a team of 3: back-end dev Erik, front-end dev/designer Jerg, and bizdev/project lead Jencey. We feel that, with a larger team, we could have focused on translating our concept into a better pitch, superior design and more bizdev. But the working MVP is what we decided to focus on during these 48h.
Also important: what did we already achieve the week prior to developing this?
- Figured out in detail how to the 2nd hand system works.
- Found the right development partners to make this happen
- Had talks with Belgium shipping leader BPost for a discount sale offer and to integrate their API
- Talked to BPost's Chief Digital Officer, who concluded he wants to explore a "much closer collaboration" and is speaking with the rest of BPost management.
A similar initiative in the US has raised $11 million in just 3 weeks. In short: that's the potential short-term impact. Our solution does exclude the auction option for now, as we don't want only the rich people to win. Link: https://www.fanatics.com/all-in-enter-to-win/c-4524174856+z-925863-2358949977
Based on the roadmap you can find attached, we should be able to launch the Donate To Win Part in 2-3 weeks. A realistic goal would be to raise €1 million for medical care and small businesses across Europe by June 30, and €5 million by August 31st. However, with different country managers, according PR teams and potential investment, we are more ambitious than that.
On the long term, we will inspire lots of Europeans to sell materials laying unused at people’s homes. Because they want to get rid of it, or simply because they want to raise money for good instead of simply throwing it all away.
Needed to continue the project
Covering development, design, and bizdev, the current team can launch this in Belgium themselves. We will focus on enhancing the coding stability part of the MVP in order to scale, improve overall design and brand identity, finding participating celebrities, developing advertising materials and on only finding and select charities relevant to and fighting Covid-19
However, all the items below can scale and speed up things:
- PR and marketing support in Belgium
- Country managers and PR support in those European countries
- Investment to speed up development more, so that the initiators can focus on this full-time rather than accepting other paid projects as well, and to speed up bizdev.
- Intros to potential partners to scale this
THE CURRENT TEAM
Development & design: Erik and Jerg have 40+ years combined as a developer and designer, and have been working together for 15 years.
Business Development & Go-to-Market: Jencey has 5+ marketing experience, has worked in New York and Canada, and his other start-up almost launched in several cities, allowing people to automatically have their parking costs paid pack if they go shopping or dining. Now on hold due to Covid-19 consequences.
Third-party integrator: Digiteal, a fintech scale-up allowing to scale this from a legal POV across all of Europe.
Value after the crisis
Fundraisers have always been a thing, but as pointed out, with the rise of initiatives and donation requests, the need for an easy tool for the celebrities is particularly now, during Covid-19. We do believe celebrities will still go back to an easy tool like this after the crisis. They can simply often leverage their celebrity for charities they care about, when they want to.
Next, 2nd hand platforms already exist, but only have a commercial goal. We keep platform costs low to optimize the donation value. This one has a big long-term potential. We only truly realized it this weekend. The experts, potential partners, mentors, celebrity managers, charities, ... we talked to, all expressed their beliefs in this (with the right support and more time), and during so we sensed a warm feeling.
A feeling that can keep us going.