General Questions

We provide mostly online services as accessed through this platform by registered users:

  1. Crowdfunding/Crowdsourcing of Social Projects.
  2. Ecommerce-related tools.
  3. Cause-marketing tools.
  4. Networking and outreach.

There are 3 types of account one can choose from:

a) for individual persons,

b) for companies or brands, and

c) for NGOs/CSOs as well as public schools.

In certain cases, one may need to maintain two or more separate types of account, such as when a company owner wishes to participate both as an individual and a company. 

If you have a doubt about what type of account you should create, please contact us at support@controlley.com

To participate on the Controlley platform, you will need to be a human being of at least 13 years of age. While we do allow registrations by people and organizations residing outside Cyprus, most of our services will be available or relevant to users in Cyprus. Further restrictions are outlined on our Terms of Use page.

Yes, Turkish Cypriots, as well as organizations registered in North Cyprus, can participate on our platform. In fact, promoting bi-communal collaboration between Greek and Turkish Cypriots is one of our aims. We will be particularly encouraging and accepting projects that contribute to the re-unification of Cyprus.

Creating an account and profile page is free of charge for all types of account. In fact, at the moment, all our services accessed by registered users are offered free of charge. 

Our aim is to provide most basic services free of charge. We are working hard to come up with a business model that will not prevent users of limited financial resources to participate. 

Without an account, you can view most of the content published on the platform (projects, offers, profile pages, etc), but your participation will be limited.

The Controlley platform is owned and managed by TCT Controlley Ltd, a limited liability company registered in the Republic of Cyprus. We consider ourselves a “social enterprise” (currently Cyprus does not provide the option of registering as a social enterprise) given our strong social mission and our intention not to let profit guide our decisions. Instead, our only goal is to achieve the social mission we set out to serve, which is to facilitate the process of positive social change through online tools and resources that encourage collaboration, social responsibility and solidarity.

 

Conscious Folios (Confolios)

Short for “Conscious Folios”, Confolios are public profile pages created by all users on the Controlley platform.

These pages allow users (in particular companies/brands and NGOs) to present a complete picture of their social profile and contribution by means of the following types of content:

General info: letting others know a few things about yourself or your organization and how they can contact or support you.

Social mission: communicating your organization’s social mission as well as detailing your company’s CSR statement.

Activity: publishing information about ongoing projects, campaigns and events you (co-) organize on the Controlley platform; publishing frequent Conscious/CSR reports by your company; publishing “Conscious Offers” as a seller, etc.

Social Contribution: keeping track of your social contribution through activities and actions taken through various tools of the platform.

Depending on the chosen account type, maintaining a Confolio will allow one to take advantage of any of the following opportunities:

a) Leading by Example: sharing experiences, activities and achievements relating to social change making, and motivating others to follow the same socially conscious path.

b) Networking & Collaboration: participating in an online community of conscious-minded people and organizations where new opportunities for networking and collaboration can be accessed.

c) Differentiation: receiving public recognition and praise, which is essential for differentiating and acquiring further support and resources to pursue one’s social mission.

d) Interaction: coming closer together through direct online interaction among: donors/sponsors looking to find matching NGOs/social projects to support; people looking for volunteering opportunities or willing to contribute with creative ideas and feedback to social projects; companies wishing to reach out to conscious consumers, etc.

By registering an account, one will have to maintain at least a very basic profile page with a name and some other information necessary for social identification and effective communication.

All profile pages can be accessed by anyone visiting the Controlley platform, including non-registered users.

Privacy settings allow users to control important information such as where and how much donations have been made to.

Confolios have been specifically designed to assist companies to improve their brand’s image while actively pursuing their social missions and contributing to the betterment of the world around them.

A number of unique tools and opportunities can be accessed, which can help companies design effective online CSR strategies and cause marketing campaigns, and participate in diverse communities of social change-makers.

Ultimately, our goal is to provide conscious companies with the ability to outperform companies that have limited social sensitivities or fail to act responsibly in relation to their employees, customers, the society and the planet.

 

Social Projects

We have created the “Social Project" page tools to assist in the crowdfunding/crowdsourcing of projects, campaigns and events that contribute to society in some meaningful and positive way.

Published “Social Project” pages are publically listed on a central Projects index page to allow people to browse and find the one(s) they want to support.

At the moment, the focus is on fundraising, but a variety of other crowdsourcing tools are being built to assist in attracting in-kind support (volunteering, expert help, donating items etc) by people and organizations.

Currently we only allow NGOs/CSOs and public schools to post a "Social Project" on our platform, and in exceptional cases, to individuals raising money for emergency purposes. In the future, our aim is to open it up to anyone who wishes to organize such campaigns.

We don't formally impose any limits to how long a project can stay live. However, when in certain cases, you will be required to receive approval to run your crowdfunding campaing by local authorities, restrictions will typically apply.

Currently, project organizers can raise money in the following ways:

  1. Through direct donations with a PayPal account.
  2. Through direct donations to the organization’s bank account(s).
  3. Through donations made by sellers who promote their products on our platform.

In the future we plan to make available additional options such as through our Giving Circle Donor’s program, the Loyalty Card Donor’s program as well other online payment options.

No, Controlley does not take a percentage of the money raised for this purpose. All donations made by users are transferred directed to the beneficiary’s account(s).

PayPal, however, does charge certain fees as guided by their own terms and regulations.

No, currently it’s completely free for all eligible users to publish a Social Project page and access all relevant fundraising tools.

Money donated through the PayPal Donate button is immediately and directly transferred from the donor’s PayPal account to the organizer NGO’s PayPal account.

Similarly, bank transfer/deposit donations are made directly to the beneficiary’s bank account(s).

Controlley will not be receiving or transfering any of this money on behalf of anyone involved in this process.

Our aim is to facilitate the organization of projects that involve significant positive social change. Sufficient evidence or explanation will need to be provided of how the outcomes of these projects will contribute to the common good and betterment of society. Social projects can fall into any of the following general types:

Events: any type of cultural event (performing art concert, visual art exhibition, lecture, discussion, workshop, festival, etc) that addresses important societal issues that are often overlooked such as human/minority rights, stigma and social exclusion, inequality and child poverty, racism/xenophobia/homophobia, etc.

Projects: any type of project aiming at solving social problems and benefiting the community, vulnerable groups of society or the planet, etc.

Campaigns: any type of activity that raises awareness to important social issues, supports those in need, protests for unacceptable behavior, advocates for change, influences public opinion and behavior, educates, etc

Yes, all submitted project ideas will need to go through a review and approval process by the Controlley staff. We will let you know if your idea meets the social impact criteria and when you will be able to launch your project.

You are free to submit your proposal in any lnaguage you wish. However, for practical reasons, we might not be able to review your proposal if submitted in languages not commonly spoken in the local area of Cyprus.

No, project organizers will be able to raise and keep any amount they raise during the time their project is live on the platform.

Yes, if your project’s fundraising campaign is very successful and people are willing to support you beyond your specified target amount, you can keep all the money, as long as you specify on your project page how you plan to spend the extra funds for the project’s needs.

Not all projects may involve raising money, and a project may suggest other ways people can contribute. Currently, our system also supports functionality for listing and expressing interest for whatever volunteering needs a project may require. But you are always free to contact the organizer directly and offer whatever help you may be able to provide. In addition, you will be able to help fundraise a project's needs by buying products from partner companies announcing Offers on the Controlley platform.

 

Conscious Offers

Unlike most other offers announced elsewhere, Controlley Conscious Offers let people know what products and services they can buy in order to help fundraise Social Projects and Campaigns created on the Controlley platform.

Additionally, we do encourage Conscious Sellers to emphasize the promotion of products and services of higher social and environmental impact.

Reselling used items is one such category of high impact products for all the environmental benefits involved, including limiting waste and energy or raw material consumption.

Currently, only individual person and company account users can post Offers through an easy, self-service process.

There is currently no cost (i.e. Controlley does not charge a fee) for posting Offers on the Controlley platform. The only “cost” (or, rather, investment) is the donation contribution made by each seller.

We have designed the so called “Donation Coupon” process to facilitate this donation process so that both buyers and sellers can have a say in what causes will be supported. You can read more about this under the Donation Coupons section below.

In a nutshel, after a successful sale, the seller gives the buyer a "donation coupon" worth a specific amount that he or she is willing to donate. The buyer is asked to validate this coupon on the Controlley platform and choose (from options given) what cause they want to support. 

Yes, in addition to the donation coupons given, these offers may include discounts, as well.

All active offers are listed under the OFFERS page on the Controlley platform and mayalso be further promoted through different social media pages or newsletters. A seller’s offer is also listed on their profile page and can be freely shared around in various social media sites as well. In addition, on every eligible project/campaign page, a call to action button is also included to let people know that by buying products through our Conscious Sellers, they can contribute to fudraising their favorite project.

No minimum percentage of each sale is required for donations in Offers posted on this platform. However, many sellers find that by donating higher percentage amounts, they manage not only to become more competitive and increase their sales/profit, but also to do good at the same time. It also depends on the duration of one’s offer and the ultimate total donation amount contributed: some prefer to donate higher amounts per purchase for limited time periods and others prefer lower amounts per purchase for longer periods.

1. The amount you wish the donate per purchase (an absolute amount or percentage per purchase.)

2. The type of purchase required (e.g. if it applies to any store purchase, or specific type of products etc.)

3. Any conditions or restrictions involved (e.g. if the offer applies for specific days or periods; if it excludes certain type of purchases, etc.)

4. The offer’s overall duration/expiration day.

5. Basic information about the products or services sold.

Even through no formal approval process exists before you can publish your Offer, our staff reserves the right to reject an Offer any time after puiblished if it violates certain general terms and conditions of the platform.

No special seller's account is needed to be able to post your Offers. That's because no purchase transactions take place on the platform at this point. Sellers only need to publish their Offers and make their donations after one or more offline sales takes place.

When you agree to participate as a seller on the Controlley platform, a seller’s account will be activated for you, which will keep track all of your offers, the generated coupon codes, your customers’ successful coupon validations and the donations you will be expected to give.

1. “We donate 3 euro” / “for every 30 euros you spend” / “at all our stores around Cyprus”.

2. “We donate 5 euro” / “when you buy ‘The Complete Guide to Giving’”.

3. “We donate 20%” / “of all purchases you make at our online store” / “ during the month of January 2016”.

4. “We donate 100%” / “on all haircuts given on Thursday only.”

5. “We donate AN EQUAL amount” / “when you donate your BONUS CARD POINTS”.

After you sign in to your account, you can access your dashboard from the top right corner, where you will be able to "CREATE A NEW OFFER" by clicking click on the MY OFFERS tab on the left margin. The process of creating and publishing an Offer should be self-explanatory. For more information you can read this guide here.

Sending electronic coupons through email generally works best if you are selling things online, or if you are having relatively fewer sales each day of varied amounts of money. You can send them to a customer’s email address (when known or can be accessed) any time after a given purchase.

To give printed ones, you will need to print out coupons of specific value in advance so that you can hand them out to your customers in person at the checkout process. It works well when you don’t know (or cannot easily access) a customer’s email address or you are not willing to handle sending electronic ones one by one. You will need to only make sure that the Offer announcement matches well with the printed coupons you generate.

No, there are cases when announcing an Offer on the Controlley platform may not be necessary. Refer to the professional job example below, where the offers are announced elsewhere. Similarly, when posting offers in other similar websites or selling used items through classified ads sites, you will only need to use the Controlley platform to send donation coupons to your customers.

1. Organic Grocery store: I just opened a small organic grocery store and by announcing an Offer through the Controlley platform I wish to attract conscious-minded customers. During the month of January, I wish to make a generous donation of 5 euros for every 40 euros spent. Generating printed coupons worth 5 euros each will work best in this case.

2. Book sale: I just published a book on “Eating healthy on a budget” and plan to sell it for 30 euros each. The money I will save by selling the book myself by promoting it on the Controlley platform, I plan to donate for a good cause. My Offer will let others know that I intend to donate 5 euros to a cause of my customer’s choice from each book sold, and since I know the coupon’s value in advance, I will go ahead and request printed coupons to hand out with each book. I can still send electronic coupons to customers I want.

3. Small online store: I own a small online store selling handicrafts. People buy my crafts online and I send them to them mostly by mail. In my case, sending my customers electronic coupons will be more practical especially since each sale is of different amount. During Christmas period, I will donate 50% of each sale for a good cause. After each online sale, I will send my customer an electronic coupon directly through the Controlley platform: if my customer bought crafts worth 42 euros, I will send a 21-euro e-coupon to my customer through the Controlley platform as a thank you message through email.

4. Big supermarket: At our supermarket, our customers collect bonus card points, which they can exchange with money to buy more store products. This year we plan to announce on the Controlley platform our intention to donate an equal amount of money if customers donate their bonus card credit for a good cause. Since we don’t know the exact amount of money each customer will donate, we will not be able to request coupons in advance. When a customer comes to authorize our store to donate their bonus card credit, we will write down their email address and intended donated amount so that we can later send them electronic coupons of the exact amount (x 2) through the Controlley online system.

5. Professional job: I am a plumber and maintain a professional service page at sites such as AtYourService. To increase my competitiveness, I let others know that I am willing to donate a small percentage of each job to my customers’ choice. After the job is done, I log into the Controlley platform and instantly send my customer a donation coupon worth the amount I promised.

 

Donation Coupons

“Donation coupons” provide a new way of raising money for social causes, through the marriage of crowdfunding and conscious commerce.

Sellers of products and services, rather than donating directly to social causes, they give their customers the chance to choose what cause(s) they want to support.

“Donation Coupons” can be handed out as printed paper coupons or sent electronically to the customer’s email address.

Each coupon has a specific value, which corresponds to the amount that the seller is willing to donate.

The most common way of receiving a donation coupon is by buying a product or service from the list of Offers posted on the Controlley platform by various sellers (companies or individuals).

There are other ways to receive donations coupons, however, such as when someone wants to give them to you as gifts (e.g. an employer giving donation coupons as gifts on special occasions, celebrations or events)

If you were given a printed coupon, you will need to type the coupon’s unique code on the coupon validation box on the Home Page of www.controlley.com and follow the instructions.

If you were sent an electronic coupon to you email address, you will be able to click the provided LINK that will automatically start the validation process on the Controlley platform.

In either case, you will need to be a registered user to be able to complete the process.

At the moment, we have linked the coupon validation process only to “Social Projects” (i.e. online crowdfunding campaigns) posted on the Controlley platform by various local non-governmental organizations (NGOs/CSOs).

In the future, we will consider additional options in order to meet the fundraising demands in local communities.

Giving “Donation Coupons” to your customers is an effective way to let them know that you care about social prosperity. It’s also a good thank you gesture to acknowledge your customers’ loyalty and a democratic way of assisting the funding of collaborative community projects. Ultimately, it’s an effective cause-marketing strategy, where both you and the society benefits.

The user who gives the donation coupon (e.g. a seller) always makes the donation payment. The user who receives the coupon only needs to validate it and choose what social cause they wish to support.

To send a “Donation Coupon” you will first need to create and publish an Offer on the Controlley platform. This Offer will promote a product or service you are selling and specify how much you are willing to donate after a sale is completed.

If you wish to send an electronic coupon, a self-service process accessed through your account’s dashboard will allow you to do so very easily (Go to “My Offers” tab, select one of your published Offers and click the “SEND COUPON” button from the Offer’s “Donations” page)

If you wish to give out printed coupons, our staff will assist you in generating the number of unique coupon codes you will need in order to design and print your coupons.

If any of your customers don’t validate their coupons by the specified expiration date, you will be able to do so yourself.

The donation payment can be made any time after you send any coupons, either before or after your customers have had the chance to validate them.

The seller can access the necessary information about all the coupons sent, validated or paid by visiting the “Donations Summary Report” page under the “My Offers” tab in dashboard. If any coupons have not been paid yet, a PAY button will allow the seller to make the due payment.

All donation payments are made directly from the seller-donor to the beneficiary’s account (PayPal or bank).

No, the way we have designed the coupon validation-payment process is such that only a very small number of payments (in many cases, only one) will be required by a seller-donor. At the same time, it allows sellers to choose themselves, too, where to make these donations. You can read full details about how this process works here.

We like to think of it as an anti-traditional-marketing mechanism, in the sense that a seller’s marketing budget is spent (invested) in a more sustainable way for the benefit of the whole society or the planet.

The customers choose to buy from conscious sellers because they recognize the value that these sellers bring.

No, the customer should not indirectly be charged the coupon’s donation. The prices of the items sold are expected to be the regular (if not lower) prices as sold in other places.

We trust that all sellers will make the donations as promised. Our system tracks all paid or unpaid coupons in order to help sellers take care of their due amounts. All paid donations are publically reported on the platform.

 

Conscious Reports

Conscious (or CSR) Reports are posts that organizations can publish on the Controlley platform relating to specific actions they’ve taken to meet the demands for a more socially and environmentally responsible organizational behavior.

In order to publish a Conscious Report, an organization will first need to create an account and Confolio Page, where they can access all the necessary posting tools. These reports appear on an organization’s profile page as well as on the Collective Social Responsibility section of the platform.

While Conscious or CSR reporting is an excellent way to build a good brand image with multiple short- as well as long- term benefits for an organization, we would like to encourage an approach that moves beyond mere marketing or, even worse, CSR/green-washing: by emphasizing proof of action/purpose, as well as collaborative interaction. We see Conscious reports as a means to creating a community of conscious and responsible organizations that learn from each other through sharing their knowledge and experience on sustainable development.

While standard annual company (CSR) reports tend to be longer, more technical and aimed at a more limited and specialized audience, Controlley Conscious Reports can meet the demand for communicating with a wider range of stakeholders, and particularly people/consumers. To serve this purpose, we therefore advice that these reports are shorter, written in a simpler and less technical language, and more frequent focusing on specific areas of action.

Keep it short and simple. To communicative effectively with people, a simpler, shorter and more direct language is advised, with only the minimum necessary technical details. In addition, every report will generally fall under a single general area of action.

Tell a story that matters. Story telling is a powerful tool for communicating with your stakeholders. People want to hear your unique story of how you go about solving problems that affect the community and their lives.

Be open and transparent. We live in an era when openness and transparency in organizational behavior is not only highly valued but also demanded. They not only help an organization enhance its reputation, credibility and trust, but they can also help the prevention of unnecessary and harmful criticism and convert skeptics into supporters.

Be authentic and mission-driven. Building an authentic brand with loyal customers requires acting with integrity and having a strong sense of purpose, a clear vision and passion to contribute to the betterment of society.

Focus on proving purpose. Having good intentions and a well-thought purpose is not enough in making a difference in one’s organization and society. While purpose is important for guiding one’s actions, it is measurable results and progress (CSR return and societal impact) that matter to people the most.

Inspire dialogue and action. To maximize social impact, organizations need to inspire a trialogue among them, people and society. Brands need to invite their customers into a co-creation process, where constructive criticism can lead to an improved strategy and action. By leading the conversation and setting the example for others to follow, they become true leaders of the new conscious capitalist movement.