Better Giving Studio identified this concept through the 2020 Reimagine Charitable Giving Challenge, an open innovation component of the program which sourced nearly 400 digital giving products and concepts. The concept summary below is inspired by and derived from the Challenge entry submitted to the Challenge.
As charitable giving rates increase in Brazil, there are opportunities to engage young Brazilians and build habits that last a lifetime. In 2019, 70% of Brazilians reported donating to charity at least once. However, most Brazilians give sporadically rather than commit to recurring donations, and cash donations account for nearly 70% of donations. Young Brazilians are the most likely to give using a digital wallet through SMS or text. When asked about barriers preventing increased giving, Brazilians 18-24 voiced needs around identifying nonprofits and accessing better payment methods.
Ribon is a gamified donation app focused on initiating online giving habits for Millennial and GenZ donors in Brazil. It allows users to allocate large donor resources to vetted nonprofits using virtual coins called “Ribons”. Users can collect Ribons on the platform daily by reading sponsored stories on the app’s newsfeed. With each story, the user receives 100 Ribons from that sponsoring entity – a foundation, company, philanthropist, etc. They can then donate their accumulated Ribons to a charity of their choice. Those Ribons translate to funds from the sponsor and are sent to the charitable organization. The model is based on giving users a sense of agency on where the funds go, raising awareness about important causes and organizations, and building familiarity with the donation process.
While all Ribon users donate for free by directing funds from large donors, users can also opt-in to becoming paid subscribers and add their own money to the pot. This freemium model allows Ribon to build its user base by way of virality, with 40% of all downloads currently coming from referrals.
Ribon does not charge transaction fees on each donation. Instead, Ribon collects a fee only from the money that individual users provide if/when they join as paid subscribers. As a result, large donors build awareness and support for important causes, and charitable organizations receive more funds.
User studies show that more than 50% of Ribon users had never donated to a nonprofit organization. Ribon has logged more than 6.5 million donations since its inception. In 2020 alone, they impacted 1.5M people and directed more than BRL 300,000 from donors to nonprofits.
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