An idea for a new charity platform - Part 4

Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

( follows on from part 3 )

Starting with a few questions

One of the best discoveries for me in the last few years is to simply ask a variety of people what they think of an idea early on. I try to do this in face-to-face conversations rather than via social media as it helps to have an actual conversation.

Many of the projects I have started/dreamed up in the past have failed after I have spent too much time on them. I know - "be lean" you are saying - and I should have been. Often the idea is still good but simply too alien or not clear enough. So although the idea is still good, if nobody understands it, then it clearly needs work or needs axing. Eric Ries helped me figure out a better way a few years ago ;)

By telling people about Taskfundr early on I have been forced to think about the story. How to tell & sell the vision as succinctly as possible.

Initially I would say 30-40% of the people that I talked to kinda got it and they were the ones familiar with crowd funding. The others liked the sentiment but were confused by the "Hows" and "Whys". Obviously for mass market adoption this is not good enough.

Creating some scenarios

To simplify the story I have been using fictional scenarios to illustrate real-world usage.

As a designer developer I'm pretty visual and tend to work with scenarios and stories most of the time. If you ask people I work with I'm sure they'll say that I often over use them but that's how I work.

In my first few conversations this was just focussed around charity videos as that's where I was coming from. But dependent who I spoke to I soon realised that each person was viewing the platform from a different user perspective. Some were looking at is as traditional fund raising, some as donors, some as just regular users etc & couldn't see the benefits all round.

To sell the vision I know that people have to see the complete market place concept and realise themselves how everyone benefits.

So to date here is where I am at...

Raising money for a charity

Matthew is trying to raise money for a charity he runs called “Caring for Carers” that provides support to full-time carers. He decides to try Taskfundr as a way to increase both the contributions but also awareness of the charity's good work.

Sally runs a great local business “RelaxStation”, a spa and relaxation centre. Their company regularly donates money to good causes and often works with some of the carers supported by “Caring for Carers”.It is particularly well aligned with “Caring for Carers”.

Matthew and Sally meet after Matthew calls around (eventually via the Taskfundr market place). He explains that his charity is looking to raise £3000. This is a little more than Sally’s company would normally donate.

He goes on to tell Sally about Taskfundr - the online platform where “users” complete tasks such as watching videos, scanning QR codes etc in exchange for third-parties making the actual donation payments.

Matthew continues to explain his idea for a “Campaign” that benefits both his charity but also Sally’s company. It goes something like this:

  • The campaign has a goal of £3000 and a deadline of 30 days
  • Every time a user completes the tasks in a campaign the money they “raised” is added to the accumulated value so far
  • If the accumulated total reaches the goal and is reached by the deadline then Sally’s company must donate the £3000

He then goes on to outline the tasks:

  • Task 1 - a 2 minute video showing the great work “Caring for Carers” does. This is worth 40p.
  • Task 2 - a 1.5 minute video of Matthew explaining what a great company “RelaxStation” is. He gives a quick tour around and a few interviews with satisfied customers. Would be even better if the end of the video showed a bespoke coupon for say 10% off a treatment. This task is worth 40p.
  • Task 3 - a quiz task to get the user to visit the “Caring for Carers” & “RelaxStation” websites and then to ask questions based on info they can find on the sites. This is worth 50p.
  • Task 4 - a sharing task to get the user to share or tweet the campaign to entice new users. This is worth 20p.
  • Task 5 - an optional task to check-in at “RelaxStation” worth £4 (we won’t include this is in the calculations below)

Financial breakdown

Goal: £3000 Price per complete campaign / user: £1.50 Total users: 2000 5% fee to Taskfundr: £150 Total payable: £3150 (£3000 as a charity contribution & £150 as an advertising cost)

To conclude

So in exchange for donating £3000 to charity “RelaxStation” gets 2000 premium users learning about their brand but unlike a regular online advert, they receive a recommendation based advert, all the benefits of positive brand association, actual content being consumed on their website, people visiting their premises, customer feedback etc.

Some of these are not easily quantifiable right now but are obvious and I hope to measure these soon as metrics.

Basically amazing, ethical advertising without an adverting budget.

What isn’t there to like?

Next steps…

In my next related blog post I want to talk about some of the problems that I am having right in terms of business modelling.

If you are interested in any of the ideas that I have talked about or want to get in touch about helping, launching a campaign etc then send me a tweet @jimhilluk.