MUMBAI: Donating for your favourite causes can be profitable, courtesy of a new charity website.
Leveraging the general fondness for social media postings, the website, Elbi, is getting users to not only donate to causes, but also brag about it on social media platforms.
For a subscription fee, Elbi will also reward your good deed by offering high-end branded products that can be exchanged for the points one collects by donating.
Isha Ambani, a director on the boards of Reliance Retail Ventures, Reliance Jio Infocomm and Reliance Foundation, has been instrumental in ensuring the website opened its doors to India. She’s also an advisory board member of Elbi.
Created by Russian model Natalia Vodianova and communications professional Timon Afinsky, the website is a ‘reward-based subscription service’, which caters to millennials and Gen Z users.
The subscription fee starts from as low as ₹70 and goes up to ₹1,500 a month, which forms the kitty for the user to donate to the causes they want to support.
In case they don’t want to donate, they are asked if they would like to spread the word about the causes in their online social media circles. Once a charity raises enough money for a project, it sends out a note to donors stating how their money was used.
Besides the bragging rights of “doing good", the website rewards users with ‘LoveCoins’, which works like reward points.
Users earn one LoveCoin for each rupee they donate, which can be redeemed in virtual ‘Love Shops’, which have on offer luxury, premium products from 28 brands, including Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Messika, etc., booking events and experiences with Bollywood and sports celebrities.
There is also a monthly lucky draw where active users get a chance to win exclusive items from luxury brands.
According to the 2019 India Philanthropy Report by Bain and Dasra, individual philanthropy grew 21% per annum in the last five years in India.
It’s mostly driven by ultra high net worth individuals (UNHWI), who make up about 60% of total private funding, estimated at ₹43,000 crore.
According to Vodianova, the subscription model is exclusive to India.
“Our website will hopefully create stickiness to new causes and when you see other people interacting with you and appreciating you, you will keep giving," she said.
At present, the platform partners with 15 NGOs, including Cry India, Educate Girls, Magic Bus, Wildlife Conversation Network, Special Olympics Bharat and Akshaya Patra.