Micro-donations aggregator Footprints Network, created by travel insurance company WorldNomads.com, has just received its ONE-MILLIONTH donation. Using micro-donations at point-of-sale on ecommerce businesses, Footprints has been able to fund 128 community development projects across the world by partnering with established charities.
“You don’t need a famous face to raise awareness of your charity, or spend millions of dollars advertising to power massive good, you just need to harness the power of many,” said the Footprints Network and World Nomads founder Simon Monk.
The Footprints Network was established after the 2004 Asian tsunami, creating a technology platform to enable customers to add $2 to $10 to their ecommerce purchase and have it go directly to a project nominated by the business.
The secret to success
The team behind Footprints believes the network has been successful because it has offered a technological solution to a generation that understands the online environment better than any preceding generation.
“If customers are already spending money online, why not ‘piggy-back’ on the same transaction and ask them to make a small donation to charity at the same time? “ said Mr Monk. From that, the idea of harnessing micro-donations was born, and the World Nomads team set about building the technology toconnect online shoppers to community development programs.
But because charities can’t administer thousands of small donations, a new way of collecting the donations needed to be built.
The technology behind Footprints Network collects the thousands of micro-donations in multiple currencies from around the globe, aggregates them and distributes them directly to the community project.
Inspiration to act
The team at World Nomads are all avid travellers and share a belief there is a moral obligation to give a little back to the communities any traveller visits. When the 2004 Asian tsunami hit they were propelled into action.
“We saw the devastation that had happened in places we loved, and we wanted to help, but we wanted to help in a way that would add lasting value.” Said Mr Monk. The team set about designing the technology to make Footprints work, and then built a network of e-commerce businesses that share the same ethics and values to host it on their sites.
It’s clever technology and an elegant solution to a modern challenge.
A platform for Corporate Social Responsibility
Footprints Partnerships Manager Alicia Crosariol says it’s a great way for travel businesses to make a start in the corporate social responsibility environment.
“They choose a project that resonates with their business, integrate the Footprints API into their purchase path, and the technology does the rest for them. There’s no administration time or cost once integrated. 100% of the funds raised go to the charity partners.” She added.
The Footprints Network is seeking other online travel companies to join the network.