I had some fantastic and inspiring feedback from my recent post, about the Private MBE’s Club (the members network for honoured citizens) including messages from brilliant people I haven’t caught up with in ages. Thank you! It has inspired me to share things more often. So here goes…
More and more friends seem to be doing amazing things to raise money for good causes. Running marathons, climbing mountains, jumping out of planes. The list goes on. I want to give them money. But something is niggling me…
My friends, in many cases, are doing something which is immensely personally fulfilling. Something which, in most cases, they really want to do. I, in turn, am being asked to fund them, and of course a very good cause. I want to give money to a very good cause. I just have thoughts about whether I wish to be funding their adventures and whether this is the best mechanism to get me to part with my money.
Let me explain; I am parting with my money, they are running the marathon, the cause it getting money. Forgive me for asking… What am I getting? A warm feeling? The knowledge that I have helped a good cause? The satisfaction of supporting a friend? Aside from these intangibles, however important, isn’t the reality that I am getting nothing? Is there any other way? Maybe there is.
All over the world, organisations are waking up to the power of social enterprise. They are using business methods to solve social problems. They are creating goods and services to raise funds. They do not rely on donations.
So here’s the idea;
Goods For Good (working title) is a website which allows fund-raisers to sell products to their social networks.
Imagine you are about to run the marathon. Rather than rattling your virtual tin, how about getting your friends and supporters to BUY something. How could it work? Well, a portion of the money would cover the costs of the item and delivery, a small amount would go on the handling of the transaction, and all of the PROFIT would go to your chosen cause.
Goods For Good could launch with a range of core products. Black Umbrellas, Greetings Cards, Ties, for example. All things which you can imagine buying, perhaps as a present, and which might carry a decent margin for the cause.
As a fund-raiser (marathon runner for example), you would go to the site, choose your products, choose your price-point (there would be a minimum) and use the sites social tools to tell all of your Facebook friends that you had launched your own Goods For Good Page.
Goods for Good would handle all of the delivery and fulfilment from a central location, charging a small amount per package. You, at Cancer Research, Oxfam, or Save the Children, could have your own, branded version of the site, for your existing supporters.