What's the big idea?
Benefit is a mobile commerce platform that lets consumers combine their everyday shopping with charitable giving. Every online and in-store purchase initiated from the Benefit app results in a small donation to a school or charity selected by the end user. At launch, over 100 national retailers and merchants, including Best Buy, Gap and Target will participate; some retail donations exceeding 5% of the total transaction amount.
Describe the nearest player in your field.
A number of internet companies offer fundraising solutions tied to online shopping. However, none of the current players offer an in-store point of sale mobile solution. Currently there is a wide gap between traditional fundraising methods and mobile technology. We intend to bring them together.
How are you different from that player?
The Benefit app targets offline, in-store shopping where most retail sales occur. We also believe our mobile-first approach is designed to appeal to today’s savvy consumers who increasingly utilize their smartphones for help when making offline shopping decisions.
How does this idea scale into a big business?
Once we prove this tool as an effective fundraiser, schools and non-profits will promote wide-spread adoption. For the public the app will be available in the iTunes/Android store. We make a very small percentage off of each transaction, so the more transactions the better our numbers.
Why are you the one to run with this idea?
As hopeless do-gooders, the founders of Benefit hope to make the world a better place by giving important causes and nonprofits a new, powerful channel for fundraising. We’ve been in the web/mobile business for as long as it’s existed and see this as a great opportunity to leverage that knowledge.
What is a $5,000 experiment you can do to move your idea forward?
The funds will cover many of the fixed set up costs required to integrate with back-end payment and other processors. The $5k experience will result in a fully functional iPhone app and trials with several of our nonprofit partners.