Brownie Points is a platform that empowers people to become philanthropists. It that helps nonprofit organisations attract volunteers, track and manage causes, get goods and item donations, and receive fee-less money donations (zero admin or banking fees). I like to think of it as a "Meetup dot com for volunteering".
There's a small team of us that work full time on this project (huge shoutout Blake and Pascale!). There are also people we've never met that use our platform - a fact that regularly blows my mind. We also serve enterprise clients with a dashboard that allows them to track all of their CSR activity (reach out if you'd like to start a conversation about getting your company onboard). One campaign reported something like 24,000 black bags worth of trash collected on World Cleanup Day.
Here are a few improvements that Brownie Points will be getting this year.
One of our goals is to encourage people to collectively log one million good deeds by the end of 2021. Currently, there are causes you can sign up for (park cleanups, blanket drives etc) but there's no way to be able to spontaneously track miscellaneous good deeds, like when you donate a few bucks to a person in need.
This feature will be introduced by the end of August. Having this "logbook" type of place to save all of your good deeds encourages you to do more of them. Being able to look back at your stats over time is also a wonderful thing to be able to do.
We're currently looking to recruit our first full-time software developer, and I'm hoping that by the end of the year we'll be in a position to keep expanding not only the development team but our growth and client team as well.
I know we've hit product market fit because everyone in the core team is doing work that we need to do to fulfill demand, instead of doing work we think might be cool. The need for more hands on board feels more and more pressing and it's exciting to be at this point.
We'll have a pricing page and subscription model up by September. Brownie Points is free for volunteers and Nonprofits get a certain amount of free monthly supporter activity as well. But our operating costs need to be covered so we're going to be hedging financially against our existing enterprise sales funnel.
Still, once the final pricing is decided on, the subscription fee will be remain generously affordable and the incurred useage fees are going to be kept as close to cost price as possible. Thousands of users result in a lot of email and SMS communication expenses that have to be covered somehow.
There's a super secret, super cool idea tied to subscriptions but I'm not sure if I can reveal that just yet.
Causes can be grouped into campaigns when they share a common goal - a cleanup campaign could have one cause per beach or park. We're aiming to be able to roll out sponsored campaigns in the near future. Companies and brands will be able to cover the useage costs for nonprofit causes by re-routing a slice of their marketing budgets.
In return they'll be getting access to a few unobtrusive sponsorship spots on the campaign and cause pages, and co-branding in the campaign-related communications. Personally I think that paid media via sponsored campaigns on a philanthropy platform buys a brand so much more goodwill than a regular marketing campaign, but I might be a bit biased.
If there's a charity or NGO that you already love, you'll soon be able to act as an ambassador on their behalf on our platform. You'll be able to create and manage upcoming causes. They'd simply need to approve them with with a single button click in the automated emails they'd be getting.
I personally love this idea because generally the people that run these organisations barely have any time to manage this admin work. Having an accessible pool of potential sidekicks would help them so much.
Personally, my most ambitious goal is for us to create a marketplace of ambassadors for nonprofit organisations. There's economic incentive in that our own marketing budget would fund these ambassadors to promote their causes and fundraisers. Being an ambassador for good is also a good look on people.
Influencers already get paid for promoting shoes and jewellery. The idea of microinfluencers for animal shelters or bringing education to underserved children does not sound that far-fetched to me. We'd obviously get more website traffic and signups, but that's the point of our whole mission because more traffic means NGOs get exposure into new cohorts of people.
BTW would you be interested? I'd love to know.
If you saw our Trello boards you'd have a panic attack. There's an insane amount of work to be done and dozens of smaller features that will be shipped this year, but focusing on keeping things bug-free and stable is right up there on my priority list.
I won't go into detail about them but some of these tasks include re-working the landing page, improving search, allowing filtering by cause and giving types, P2P causes, dynamic report exporting, our WIP reward economy and being able to redeem actual brownie points for grocery vouchers and various rewards, supporter vetting, recurring causes... It's like a CVS receipt.
I'm pretty confident that our revenue growth will hit a huge growth spurt within the next 4 quarters and as contradictary as it might sound at first, capitalism is the best way to accelarate charity. Having the funds to grow our team quickly means that we'll be able to push features out the door and streamline the world of philanthropy so much more effectively.
Hope to see your names on the ever-growing list of volunteers using our humble little platform.
Pawel, CTO @ Brownie Points