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Downes Murray International News

WeBenefit innovates in fundraising and fund-saving for non-profits

Digital fundraising and procurement platform, WeBenefit, initially set out to tackle the funding challenges facing schools, but soon realised that it could also help non-profit organisations. Marisol Gutierrez looks at how WeBenefit is ushering in a new way of fundraising – and fund-saving.
 
With the proliferation of loyalty schemes and online fundraising sites, it’s easy to mistake WeBenefit as another one of those. Except that it’s not.

Far from being a simple fundraising site, WeBenefit leverages the buying power inherent in schools and non-profit organisations (NPOs) to achieve an average of 15% saving on operational expenditure.

For organisations with significant spend on routine items, this saving can then be channelled into meeting other expenses. That’s WeBenefit’s procurement advantage – and for any non-profit, that’s simply smart.

It gets even more interesting when you see how WeBenefit is purposefully positioned as a digital fundraising partner through its online shop and service partners.

The site offers everything from large appliances, electronics, clothing, stationery, computers, toys and airtime to hotel accommodation, print, IT and energy-saving and office solutions.

Sharing profit

Fundraising through the site is effectively activated by an NPO’s supporter base – individuals and businesses – who purchase on WeBenefit.

As much as 60% of the profit of all purchases is shared with the beneficiary organisation. The same profit-sharing principle applies when businesses channel their own procurement through WeBenefit: their routine purchases (of office supplies, for example) also benefits the beneficiary organisation of their choice.

If an NPO or school harnesses the buying power of their supporters and promotes their partnership with WeBenefit, the reward amounts to a steady stream of income for the organisation, with very little effort – apart from promotion and marketing.

WeBenefit offers substantial support to its beneficiary organisations at the outset of new partnerships. They provide a great marketing guide, as well as a range of sample materials, many of which NPOs and schools can integrate into their own communications through simple ‘cut and paste’ actions.

Win-win

Products and services on WeBenefit are offered at reduced prices – at less than they cost at retailers – which incentivises consumers to purchase from the site rather than a retailer, in addition to knowing that their purchases will benefit the cause they care about.

Simply put, the individual or business buys products at a discounted price and the cause of their choice simultaneously receives part of the proceeds: it’s a win-win.

School fee benefit

A remarkable feature of the WeBenefit model is its School Fee Benefit, which enables parents to offset their children’s school fees against their purchases. This is a significant advantage for both private and public schools, which are seeing an increasing number of parents battling to meet their fee obligations because of socio-economic challenges.

Parents and relatives – as well as their businesses – can also elect to allocate part of the proceeds from their purchases towards the child’s school fees. This essentially creates a virtual community of support around a learner.

This aspect of WeBenefit has massive potential for NPOs that work within the education space and with vulnerable children where educational costs need to be subsidised.

Brands represented on the site include Zando, Samsung, Xerox, Hotels.com, Dell, TomTom, Sanlam, Speedo and dozens more.

WeBenefit supports charities, schools, care homes and churches, but will not enrol controversial groups or political parties as beneficiary organisations.

If you’d like to know more, contact them at info@webenefit.co.za or visit their website at www.webenefit.co.za and Facebook page www.facebook.com/WeBenefitSA

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