San Francisco-based startup Creddon, launched earlier this year by two young Swedes, provides charity-minded people with a means of prompting a sponsor to donate a dollar to a cause of their choice.
People in the United States have a reputation for being generous donors: over $358 billion were given to charitable organisations in the US in 2014. However, people’s natural generosity is sometimes restrained by their own personal money worries. But what if giving money to a good cause did not actually entail handing over any money yourself? This is the idea on which Creddon’s young founders, Fredrik Olovsson and Melinda Dinh, have been working. The system is based on a triangular relationship between charitable organisations, sponsors and donors. It lets donors choose a cause from among a list of beneficiaries – to date there are five – pre-selected by Creddon. Each charity has a sponsor associated with it. The user can bring up an image giving details of each charitable organisation and naming the sponsor. All you then have to do is post a tweet, with the option of adding your own personal message to a basic tweet already composed by Creddon. Once the tweet has been posted, the charity will receive one dollar from the sponsor. ‟This is in a way the same principle as a crowdfunding platform, except that the money comes from sponsors rather than individuals,” explains Fredrik Olovsson.
A win-win-win situation
The advantage for would-be donors of this approach to charitable giving is obvious: the Creddon platform gives them an opportunity to support a cause close to their hearts without hitting their pockets. But what about the sponsors? ‟They gain publicity, as they’re highlighted in the image and mentioned in the tweet,” explains Fredrik, underlining: ‟In addition, in the United States, these donations are tax-deductible.” So far Creddon has brought seven sponsors on board, including San Francisco-based collaborative communication platform Slack. The charities on Creddon’s list will of course receive funds and also gain visibility. So this triangular relationship looks like a win-win-win situation. Launched in September, the platform has so far generated close to 800 tweets.
Promoting charities that have a major impact
So what are the criteria for Creddon’s list of charitable organisations? ‟We have to feel affected by their cause, and we also need to be sure that they’re doing a good job. I’m personally very attached to charities that make a major impact and save a large number of lives. We also want them to provide feedback on how the funds are used, so that our users know where the money is going,” stresses Fredrik. ‟We also want to offer a broad range of different causes,” adds Melinda. The two founders also say that they monitor the process and ensure that no user is ‘spamming’ a campaign by tweeting and retweeting the same post fifteen times the same day, but to date they have not had to deal with this kind of problem. Going forward, they intend to expand and enliven their content, which at the moment is restricted to one image per charity – in order to encourage more users to participate.