"a more democratic way of fundraising for social causes"
What are “Donation Coupons”?
“Donation coupons” provide a more democratic way of raising money for social causes, by distributing voting power more equitably while incentivizing social responsibility and active contribution to the collective good. Instead of supporting social causes of their own choice, donors (particularly bigger donors, such as companies, foundations or big philantropists) choose to allow community people to decide which causes deserve the most support.
“Donation Coupons” can be handed out as printed paper coupons or sent electronically to the recipient’s email address/Controlley account.
Each coupon has a specific value, which corresponds to the amount that the donor is willing to donate.
What’s the purpose and ultimate value of Donation Coupons?
Our aim when designing this service was to create a more democratic fundraising/philanthropic model, where people are given the chance to have a say in how donated money by companies and big philanthropists is allocated to various causes.
It offers a solution to the criticism big philanthropists often receive, arguing that:
Since (especially) large (corporate) donations are heavily subsidized by the government, shouldn’t people (tax payers) have a say in how this money is spent?
The act of donating money, in a world of unequal wealth distribution, is translated into an exercise of power, where the richer have a greater say in how the world is allowed to change.
How are “Donation coupons” distributed?
The process of distributing Donation Coupons (e.g. voting power) can take place in two different ways:
1. A donor may wish to send donation coupons directly to another person: e.g. a seller sends donation coupons to their customers when their purchases meet certain criteria; or a company/employer sends donation coupons to their employees; or people give donations coupons instead of gift items; etc.
2. Bigger donors/philanthropists or foundations pool their money in a common fund, to be distributed by a set of central platform rules in ways that enhance social equity and incentivize citizen contribution to the collective good: e.g. rewarding users for various types of platform participation; rewarding volunteers or other groups of people for significant social contribution; etc. These rules will be continually improved by the input of all the interested parties in a community.
How can one receive a “Donation Coupon”?
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), or as a reward for engaging in some socially responsible behavior.
How can I validate a “Donation Coupon”?
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. Electronic coupons can also be accessed from your account's dashboard ("Donation Coupons" tab), assuming that a coupon has been sent to the same email address as that used when registering for your Controlley account.
In either case, you will need to be a registered user to be able to complete the process.
What kind of causes will I get to choose from when I validate my coupon?
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), municipalities or public schools. Only selected projects of high social impact are eligible to receive support through donation coupons.
In the future, we will consider additional options in order to meet the fundraising demands in local communities.
My company regularly donates money directly to charities. What are the advantages of using Controlley’s “Donation Coupon” service?
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.
Who pays for the coupon’s value?
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.
How can I send a “Donation Coupon” as a seller?
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.
What if my customers don’t validate their coupons?
If any of your customers don’t validate their coupons by the specified expiration date, you will be able to do so yourself.
When and how can the payment of the Donation Coupon be made?
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).
If my customers choose to support many different causes, will I have to make donation payments to all these beneficiaries?
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.
Are “Donation Coupons” just another marketing trick?
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.
Is the coupon donation added to the price of the product or service sold?
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.
What if the seller does not make the donation payment as promised?
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. Sellers who have pending donation amounts for more than a reasonable amount of time will not be allowed to continue accessing our services until they fulfil their obligations.
“The Conscious Trolley” is an online collaborative platform that turns conscious and socially responsible behavior into “shared value” for everyone involved.