Following rising concerns over trust in charities, a team of entrepreneurs led by French-American entrepreneur, Dom Einhorn, has announced the launch of Exponential, Inc. (XPO²), a social enterprise and technology-driven marketing startup serving the charitable fundraising sector.
The much-anticipated crowdfunding platform is in tandem with the company's own rewards-based crowdfunding campaign.
The Charities Trust Challenge
For non-profits, it seems like things have never been so good. In the United States alone, Americans gave a record $410 billion to charities last year, according to Giving USA's annual report. Foundations saw donations surge by 16 percent, thanks mainly to generous billionaires.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, donated $1.9 billion to the Chan Zuckerberg Foundation, while DELL founder Michael Dell and his wife, Susan, gave $1 billion to the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. However, donor concerns have never run higher.
The crucial question of,
“where is my money going?” is the biggest worry of potential contributors. This problem is not limited to the USA either. In the UK, the Civil Society Media – the UK's only independent media company dedicated solely to supporting the charity sector – recently raised an uncomfortable question in a special column entitled “Is it time to panic about trust in charities?” According to the Society, “the level of public trust is at the lowest point since the regulator started tracking it in 2005.”
The XPO²' Answer
While still in startup mode, XPO²'s answer to these nagging issues lies within a concept the social business calls Net Social Impact. In simple terms, Net Social Impact measures the real world impact of a charitable contribution, giving tangible feedback about the positive impact of every dollar contributed.
XPO² is also in the process of launching a Cashless Contribution Module consisting of a simple browser extension that enables consumers to contribute to his or her favorite non-profit organization at no additional cost, simply by shopping online as usual. With this technology, a pre-defined percentage of each online purchase automatically becomes a charitable donation that is deducted from the standard price of the purchase (paid for by the merchant).
Additionally, XPO² recently signed a joint-venture dubbed “Donations OT” with TODA Network Corporation. This joint venture will use blockchain technology to provide contributors with a transparent breakdown that explains exactly what their contribution was spent on, thus allowing them to more effectively judge which organizations they should support. It will also facilitate quicker, cheaper and more secure transactions to NGOs.
While XPO² has been mostly self-funded by its founders, the Company decided to reach out to the crowd via a dedicated, rewards-based crowdfunding campaign on Bastille Day. The Company believes this campaign will help build its brand and scale up at a much faster pace than it otherwise would. Through this campaign, the Company intends to raise US$500,000 to accelerate adoption of its cash and cashless fundraising platforms.
XPO² is led by French-American entrepreneur, Dom Einhorn and a team of co-founders hailing from five different countries (Panama, the United Kingdom, the USA, the Philippines and the Republic of Macedonia).