If necessity is the mother of invention, the arrival of thinknlocal was certainly a timely one.
Anyone would be hard pressed to deny that the events of the last two years did not cause disruption to their way of life, but among the most dramatically impacted were small businesses and the towns where they reside. Between 2020 and 2021, thousands of small businesses closed their doors permanently as wealth was transferred out of our communities and into massive online retailers or big box stores. What’s left is a weakened local economy, fewer jobs and many people finding themselves starting over from square one.
In 2022 we emerge not only with a felt need to rebuild and recover, but also an incentive to think consciously and differently to ensure that the communities where we live will thrive as we move into the future. With this sentiment in mind, we’ve designed a platform which allows communities to raise funds for local schools and non-profit organizations while simultaneously generating revenue for small businesses and directing tax dollars back into city infrastructure, services and amenities. Our app-based system is entirely reciprocal, convenient to use and requires no out-of-pocket donations from users. Sound too good to be true? It’s not.
Keep reading and we’ll break down how it all works.
In a nutshell…
Thinknlocal is a free smartphone app that lets users support fundraisers for non-profit organizations simply by doing what they do every day – shop! Users
patronize participating businesses and use the thinknlocal app to select which local fundraiser they would like to support with their purchase. The business then
donates a percentage of this transaction to the organization selected by the user. That’s it. No user fees or additional costs, just shopping locally and supporting great causes!
A closer look at how a thinknlocal is not your ordinary fundraiser program
How thinknlocal changes the game for non-profit organizations-
Let’s be real here – fundraisers can be a daunting, disorganized even painful experience for non-profits such as schools and charities. Organizations can find
themselves spending significant money up front to host fundraising events only to make a modest profit for their cause in return for selling event tickets,
subscriptions, cookies or other miscellaneous items that people don’t really want or need. Hosting these fundraisers requires faculty, volunteers, parents and children to spend valuable extra time organizing, promoting, selling or asking for donations. It’s a lot of work and lack of enthusiasm or a struggling economy don’t make things any easier.
This is where thinknlocal flips the model on it’s head. Thinknlocal allows an organization to spread out their fundraiser over a period of weeks and gives flexibility and freedom to the users who are able to support the cause by spending their money at a time and business of their choosing. There’s no need to spend hours of energy to organize an event or gathering because as long as the fundraiser is active, supporters can use the app while shopping, dining or purchasing services to direct a portion of their transaction value to the fundraiser of their choice. Organizations are automatically paired up with participating businesses who want to give back, and users can easily find these restaurants, grocery stores and other establishments via the thinknlocal app.
How thinknlocal businesses benefit –
Local businesses have a special relationship with the community where they reside. They provide valuable products, services and culture to the very people who make it possible for them to operate. And since the majority of their customer base is comprised of people who live nearby, many business owners are naturally inclined to give back to their community in thanks for their loyal patronage. However, as any restaurant owner will tell you, running a business is a massive undertaking and the prospect of adding more layers of complexity in order to participate in community fundraisers can be challenging. Thinknlocal tackles this problem and more.
The thinknlocal platform is designed to make things as simple as possible for businesses to support local fundraisers. As new fundraisers are launched,
thinknlocal businesses are enrolled into them and the community of thinknlocal users is made aware of which businesses near them are ready to support the cause. As users go about their lives shopping, dining or looking for other services, they select a thinknlocal business to spend their money in the knowledge that some of it will go back to the cause they wish to support. For the business, the transaction goes as usual with no extra steps. Easy-peasy! This is not only convenient for the business, but it also works as a form of advertisement as thinknlocal promotes their establishment to users via the app and organizations spread the word to their supporters as well. As a result, businesses gain new customers and more frequent visits from existing ones as users choose them over the competition. As can be expected, customers are much more likely to support a business that’s giving back to their son or daughter’s elementary school over one that is not. Makes sense, right? With over $157,000 in sales and 865+ new customers generated for businesses across just a couple of cities so far, we think so too!
How Local Residents benefit-
It might be the local community residents who get the most excited about the thinknlocal platform. They are after all, the people who use our app the most.
Compared to fundraiser experiences of the past, thinknlocal is just a completely and refreshingly new experience for people who want to support a local fundraiser. There’s no need to attend a big event (unless you want to), no tickets to buy or donations to make. Just open up the thinknlocal app, find the fundraiser you want to support and browse through a convenient list of restaurants, grocery stores, spas, car washes and other businesses who are committed to giving back a portion of the money you spend there to the cause of your choice. The app makes the process super simple. After you’ve dined or shopped at a thinknlocal business, you snap a photo of your receipt inside the thinknlocal app, and it’s automatically uploaded into our system where it is verified and applied to whichever fundraiser you have selected. When the fundraiser concludes, thinknlocal will collect money from the businesses you’ve visited and give 100% of the donation value directly to your cause! It’s almost like having a credit card that pays out 20% cash back rewards to your child’s baseball team or local animal shelter, and you can use your actual rewards card at the same time! Users can even follow fundraiser progress in real time inside the app to see how all the ongoing fundraisers are performing and view the success of past ones. It doesn’t get much easier than that. What’s more – as a thinknlocal user, you can be assured that the money you spend is not only going to support a great cause for a local non-profit, but you’re supporting local businesses AND generating sales tax revenue for your city to use for parks, roads, bridges, fire departments and other services. As we say at thinknlocal, “Residents are at the heart of the community cycle we help create –they contribute to it and they benefit.”