Shopping For Love Platform – Folo
Wednesday, 13th July 2016 at 10:52 am
A family philanthropic fund, The Pure Foundation, has secured the support of 700 online retailers and launched a platform that automatically generates donations when users shop online, paid for by the retailers.
The foundation-funded platform is called Folo and the developers say it gives any online shopper free money to donate to charity. The platform’s name is a contraction of “for love”.
Folo spokesperson Jaimee Abict told Pro Bono Australia News it was a “gamechanger”.
“For generation ‘slacktivist’, Folo is an absolute gamechanger; it’s converting online shopping into real positive change. Just 500 people using Folo will generate $15,000 to 30,000 per annum in donations. A million users could generate $30 million to 60 million,” Abict said.
“Folo has secured over 700 retailers on its platform, including David Jones, Expedia, Nike, Sephora, The Iconic and Dan Murphy’s. Whether you’re booking a hotel or flights, ordering a case of wine, or buying a pair of jeans, once you download Folo it gives a percentage back to the cause of your choice, at no cost to you.
“Users can choose to support one of hundreds of Not for Profit organisations, from their local homeless shelter to global names like World Vision. Alternatively, they can support an entire cause category such as climate change, global poverty, conservation or the arts.”Abict said when shoppers are purchasing online a pop-up tells them that Folo donates a percentage of the purchase to charity. Folo then bills the retailer for that percentage back and the money automatically goes to the chosen charity or cause.
“Shoppers commit to the one charity every time they shop with Folo,” she said.
“For charities it is free for them to sign up. There are a couple of eligibility requirements such as DGR1…The cool thing is that each Not for Profit gets a landing page like a home page or Facebook page which is their Folo page. [Charities] then share that page with their followers on [social media] and encourage everyone to sign up via that link.
“It is a really brilliant tool for Not for profits to campaign and promote their Folo partnership. It’s free for Not for Profits, it’s free for users – all of the money is coming from the retailer.
“The average donation is 3 to 5 per cent but some of them go up to 10 per cent depending on the retailer. This is a pure marketing agreement for the retailers. They are paying Folo for guaranteed sales… the retailers are going to get heightened visibility via the platform, it will enhance their CSR and they are appealing to social minded shoppers.
“It is all part of their affiliate marketing.”
Abict said that she was aware of a couple of similar websites, but said what sets Folo apart was its streamlined platform.
“We are revolutionary because we make it seamlessly simple for a user to download Folo and it is one of the first tech start ups globally that is donating 100 per cent of its profits back from day one,” she said.
“While it’s not the first time someone has attempted to create this model the design and functionality and unobtrusive nature of the technology sets us apart from the rest.”
Nina Skrzynski, chair of the foundation’s advisory board said: “Our goal is to take the pressure off NFPs needing to constantly fundraise, allowing them to focus on their true purpose. Folo itself will also donate 100 per cent of its own profits to charities through The Pure Foundation.
“Folo is for absolutely everyone who shops online. All you have to do is activate the toolbar while you shop. Folo’s mission is to foster empathy within a generation of young online consumers, empowering them to give back to causes they really care about.”
The Pure Foundation is a public ancillary fund established by a network of young professionals in 2013 to drive social change. The Sydney based group has launched Folo, Gratia Café and Folonomo Restaurant and Gallery, which operate a 100 per cent profit-for-purpose business model.
They were inspired to establish the giving model from philanthropist Audette Exel AO of The Adara Group (and the 2016 Philanthropist of the Year) who donates 100 per cent of profits to her own foundation.
“I love the kind of innovation in philanthropy and business that the Pure Foundation and Folo represent,” Exel said.
“Our world is a profoundly better place because of the passion and purpose of the next generation of business philanthropists, who are thinking outside of traditional construct and finding ways to change the world one click at a time.”