Gift business, in search of painless generosity

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The donation business is growing and in full renewal. However, in recent years, the amounts raised have decreased. At the same time, the aging donor population and donation-seeking organizations are struggling to attract the attention of younger generations. However, the need for funding continues to grow. Beyond appealing to the generosity of people, giving has become a real market with multiple possibilities. It now uses more springs than individual good conscience. It changes the behaviors, the profiles of donors and ultimately the whole face of the gift.

Since 2014-2015, various initiatives have emerged. They redefine what giving is and allow for more transparent solidarity. flexible and fast. More in tune with consumer practices and current expectations, they use digital technology wisely to integrate into everyday life, propose new solutions, and build on the idea that everyone can change the game on their own scale.

A gift business that redesigns donor profile and behaviour

According to France generosities,each year nearly three-quarters of donations are made during the third quarter, in the run-up to the holiday season. However, the primary desire of the recipient associations and organizations is to achieve more regular cash flow. One goal: to be able to better anticipate and manage budgets.

Also, in the face of an aging donor population, it is urgent for these structures to rejuvenate the profile of their benefactors. However, the reality figures do not go in that direction. In total, 94% of the donations received come from loyal donors. They therefore highlight the lack of renewal of this population. Among the donation methods, the cheque remains in the lead with 40% of donations made through this method. Second place is the 34% of donations made in cash. It is estimated that only 4% of donations are made online. However, it is in this way that we would be able to reach the youngest.

At the same time, new generations feel increasingly invested in a mission of the common good. They seek to consume better, favour brands that carry societal values in line with their beliefs, and prefer to work in companies with a real CSR strategy. All these changes can be read in the key figures of the social and solidarity economy in France.

The weight of the social and solidarity economy in France

The SSE is an important part of economic activity and sustainable jobs. Thus, the more than 200,000 so-called institutions of the social and solidarity economy alone make up 10% of the French GDP. With nearly 2.4 million employees, they occupy 10.5% of salaried employment in France and 12 to 14% of private jobs: about 60 billion euros of payroll. Private employment has risen by more than 24% since 2010 and forecasts for the coming years point to an upward trend that is not slowing down. According to figures from the Economic, Finance, Equities and Public Accounts portal, 600,000 recruitments are expected by 2020 to meet the needs, particularly due to retirements.

In addition to the ESS organisations, France has 1.3 million associations. According to Hool, 70,000 new ones are created each year. In total, nearly half of presidents are in need of financial assistance and would be willing to turn to financing platforms and other alternative models to deal with them.

In strong development, these platforms, especially those of crowdfunding have appeared in large numbers over the last decades. Aimed at companies, associations and even individuals under a variety of conditions, their business models differ. KissKissBankBank, Wiseed, Kickstarter, Ulule, Sowefund, Wedogood, Happy Capital, Leetchi… The list is long. Not all are for the same types of projects, processes change from one initiative to another, and counterparties depend on many factors. While it is not easy to identify the appropriate model for the project to be funded, it is also difficult to stand out in the amount of funding applications made through these methods. It must be said that the 402 million euros raised in 2018 have something to dream about…

Corporate social responsibility and the donation business

Often reduced to the associative framework and individuals, the gift business has actually developed in a much more structured way. It also involves a lot of companies that practice sponsorship. At a time when Corporate Social Responsibility is on the lips of most communications managers, it is at the heart of the business models of many new companies. Inherently linked to the overall strategy, CSR is the place where companies express their involvement in society on a variety of topics: ecology, quality of life, the fight against inequality, the education of children… Organizations now have a public service mission to serve the common good.

In addition to the good brand image achieved by a well-conducted CSR strategy, the benefits also translate into other aspects. Thus, attracted by companies involved and engaged, candidates favor companies with a CSR strategy. The employer brand is therefore valued both internally among employees, who develop a sense of pride and belonging to the company, and externally with candidates.

CSR also forces questioning and taking a step back. This is an opportunity to stimulate innovation internally, to set up new processes, to launch attractive projects. It also pushes for a review of business models and resilience. Such competence is also essential to deal with times of crisis.

In reality, it is all the intangible capital of companies that benefits from the implementation of a CSR strategy.

Beyond patronage, other solutions are now possible, such as rounding or gifting in kind…

Donation initiatives more in line with current practices

Compatible with business strategies, as well as with the wishes of associations and the general public, initiatives that are flourishing to propose new ways of financing causes and projects have the positive effect of reaching younger audiences. In this way, they are able to make aring of donors by helping to renew this audience. By presenting themselves in the form of everyday acts, innocuous and without constraint, they also change the meaning of the gift.

Notable initiatives include:

Lilo, solidarity search engine

The solidarity search engine Lilo, launched in 2015 by two French engineers, redistributes half of its revenues to social and environmental projects. The money collected comes from the advertisements and commercial links displayed during the searches. Nearly 2.9 million euros have been donated since 2015.

Goodeed, the gift through video advertising

Also based on advertising, Goodeed relies on video viewing. Since 2014, it has been offering to watch 20-second advertisements. The money raised is then donated to the chosen project. In this way, Goodeed has already financed projects to the tune of 1,676,676 euros. It also states that 80% of its donors are between the age of 18 and 35.

Heoh, the secure donation on all terminals

The Heoh solution proposes to make a donation when payment. For this, different formulas are possible as needed: donation on payment terminal, donation when shopping online, contactless bank card, secure donation by SMS, generous bank card, donation via Twitter…

The rounding, the micro donation derived from the collaboration of companies and individuals

In the same vein, L’arrondi,the microDoncompany’s solution, proposes to round up to the top euro. Different actions are possible. Partner stores suggest rounding up the bill when going to checkout stores. It is also possible to make micro donations on the net to be paid on pay slip. When shopping online, the customer can choose to round up to the top euro or make a larger donation. It is also possible to set up a recurring donation system on the bank statement by setting a fixed amount to give each month, accompanied by pennies from the account balance. This format has so far recovered 20 million euros, thanks to some 60 million donors…

The Nature Donation Agency, the donation of products between companies

The Nature Donation Agency is one of the oldest initiatives. It differs from others in particular because it does not concern end-customers, but values solidarity between professionals. Since 2014, it has been in the making agreements with companies to recover unsold items destined for disposal. These products can be reused by other partner companies.

The winning relationship is true on different aspects. First of all, a company that gives is also a company that receives. It also optimizes its losses because, in addition to not paying for the destruction of products, they recycle them. It is also an opportunity to add concrete action to their CSR strategy.

Hool, the business of donating to the girondine for a new way of giving to associations

Born in Arès on the Arcachon Basin in September 2018, Hool follows in the footsteps of good ideas that involve both businesses and individuals. It also focuses on the painless dimension of giving for donors.

The concept? A customer buys a Gift Card from Hool’s website. This purchase generates a donation of 3 to 10% of the value of the card. The donation then goes to the association chosen by the client. He can then shop with his gift card. However, it is not the customer who funds the donation with part of the value of the gift card but the sign for which the card will be used. A good way to break the brakes on donation, involve businesses, and fund projects of any non-profit organization.

To date, the platform already works with many major brands, including Fnac, Darty, Carrefour, Auchan, Ikea, Decathlon, Cultura, Castorama, Truffaut, etc.

Supported by Unitec, which is not at its first attempt, the platform has made a major ally. Indeed, as one of the main organizations supporting innovative projects in the Bordeaux region, Unitec, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2020,proudly displays the 128 start-ups accompanied and a very enviable corporate sustainability rate. Considering that we estimate between 75% and 90% of startups who die before 5 years, the 86% success at 5 years of projects passed by Unitec speak volumes about the relevance of a good support.

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