Benefit Mobile Makes its Mark on Schools, Nonprofits, and Other Causes
This is a guest post from Derik Lolli who is the founder of Benefit Mobile Inc. Lolli lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with his wife and two children. Before starting Benefit Lolli worked as Director of user Experience at Universal Mind, a leading Enterprise Application Development firm.
When my son Carson arrived home from school one day asking me to buy physical gift cards so that his school would receive a rebate on for their fundraising program, I immediately pulled out my wallet.
In the midst of pulling out the bills, though, I had a thought: This is a great idea, but the execution is a little dated.
Having spent the last 15 years in web design and app development, I immediately had another thought: How can we do this using our phones instead of pre-buying gift cards?
Nonprofits and schools are always in need of ways to raise money to support their work, and parents and supporters want to do more to help their community organizations, but don’t always have the means to do so. These institutions are continually trying to raise more funds, but tighter budgets and higher demands for their services mean they have fewer resources to achieve fundraising success. With little evolution in fundraising over the last 20 years, we wanted to develop an easy and daily approach to fundraising for the next generation.
That’s where we came in, gathering a small team to build this technology. You see, the traditional SCRIP (fundraising gift cards) physical gift card model does over $1.5 billion in transactions every year contributing over $100 million to causes. If we can help grow that market, the possibilities for impact are limitless.
The best part of Benefit Mobile is that nobody has to spend an extra cent to give to those in need, because our retailers actually donate on your behalf, from your purchase. You spend the full amount you paid for and shop where you’d normally shop. That’s it. All it takes is an extra minute or two of your time and a cell phone to give to local causes everywhere.
So far, we’ve seen this money fund computers in classrooms and tuition for low-income children, provide food for hungry children and support community health center services for those without insurance. Whatever your cause, we have over 400 schools and nonprofits registered, and hope to continue to be able contribute millions of dollars to some great causes, for the holidays and beyond.
We’re all spending money this holiday season, and whether or not we have the means to give monetarily to causes no longer matters: this app eliminates the need to deliberate. Just pick a cause, purchase your gift card, and get ready to get into the giving spirit all year long by changing the way you buy for a cause.
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