Adblockers and fraudulent traffic are just some of the reasons why the current online advertising model is no longer suitable for internet users. The EU-funded project Watch and Give, now known as Boon.Today offers a new and fair model whereby users can turn the adverts they watch into donations to non-profit organisations or social causes. “Our goal is to turn your social routine into social impact,” outlines Shaï Douillet, founder and CEO of Boon.Today Ltd, the project coordinator. In such a model, brands, consumers and non-profit organisations will all benefit. Using the technology The solution works as a crowdfunding platform where the funding is made by customer’s likes, shares, views and other free actions. “Every interaction micro–finances social and environmental projects paid by the brand or company,” explains Douillet who further adds, “the virtual money created turns users’ attention into something more meaningful – donations to non-profits.” The technology targets the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations in September 2015 to fight poverty, ensure sustainability for all and protect the environment. The crowdfunding platform is completely free for users. “We help users finance social and environmental projects for free thanks to their user engagements,” highlights Douillet. Overcoming hurdles in the pursuit of goals The endeavour is achieving exceptional technical and commercial results but to grow internationally in a sustainable way, there are risks involved. Because of this, Phase 1 of the initiative was used as an SME Instrument project to get a better understanding of what these risks are and to define an improved go-to-market strategy. Furthermore, as Douillet explains: “We had to face many issues such as pivoting from one business model to another.” To overcome this, project partners contacted prospective clients in order to understand their needs and adapt their value propositions. The future looks bright “Since completing Phase 1, the initiative has created the first crowdfunding platform for social and environmental projects financed by brands and activated by the boon community,” outlines Douillet. Their technology is also using augmented reality and QR code technology to let their community interact on offline support such as press, cinema and billboards. The initiative won an award at Viva Technology Paris 2018 for being the most innovative start-up for social and environmental impact. Beyond such recognition, Douillet further points out that they are “trusted by the most impactful non-profit organisations in France and Europe.” These include WeForest, Water.org Casa93, Les Petits Princes and others, which is a great achievement. The next step will be to launch their platform in France – a move that has received a lot of support. After that, the technology will be commercialised in the United States.
Watch and Give, crowdfunding, non-profit organisation, Boon.Today, social and environmental projects