The spread of the internet has created a powerful tool for spreading awareness about causes (a perfect example being the Kony 2012 campaign a couple of years ago and last year’s “Ice Bucket Challenge” for ALS), but, as much people enjoy creating awareness of problems in society, it is not always as easy to inspire them to give actual money. Based out of France, Tinbox is looking to encourage people to just that, creating an incentive for online activists to create tangible, positive change in the world.
Recognizing that people are not as willing to give to charities as to simply “raise awareness”, the platform allows users to direct one Euro per day towards a particular cause. But it’s not their money that they are giving, as that comes from companies that partner with Tinbox and would sponsor the project that the donor chooses.
The service works by allowing users to use the mobile app to find worthy projects. Having selected a cause, the user sees which company supported this cause and can then click to donate a Euro for that day. Companies do not receive immediate benefits from users for this donation, but the tax benefits and improvement in the brand’s image may be enough to encourage them to participate.
Tinbox remains in private beta, but CEO and co-founder Adrien Guilmineau tells me that people will not have to wait long if they wish to use the service, as it will go live in a few weeks. While in beta, the company says that it has attracted 250 signups over a 3-day period.
Tinbox picked up $100,000 from a group of 5 undisclosed angels back in September. In order to generate revenue, the startup has opted for a model that includes charging companies a fee on top of the donations that they make, as a reward of sorts for the increased visibility that the companies receive.