The founders of Brownie Points spent a lot of time wanting to give back to their community but initially found it difficult to find volunteering opportunities online. Instead of giving up, Brownie Points was born. Brownie Points is an online marketing agency and social network that connects NPOs with South African individuals and businesses looking for volunteer opportunities.
“We became curious about the potential of incentivising and rewarding people to become more involved.”
This is the basic recipe for Brownie Points. NPOs list themselves on the Brownie Points website, along with areas where they need support. Then individuals or businesses can volunteer their services or donate online. Once this exchange takes place the public will earn ‘brownie points’ and redeem these for a range of retail and lifestyle products listed on the site. It’s a win win.
Through this system, Brownie Points encourages and facilitates individuals and businesses to volunteer and donate. NPOs also gain external support and can scale their impact dramatically all through the use of online technology.
“The response has been extremely positive!”
Why wouldn’t it? The system is easy to use, and the NPOs listed offer easily accessible volunteer opportunities and donations online. It’s an incredible way for South African NPOs to connect, grow and make a real impact in their communities.
“Whenever we ask our Nonprofit Partners about their top 3 needs or challenges, every single response touches on the financial resources available to them.”
According to Pascale Henke, CEO of Brownie Points, NPOs in South Africa (or anywhere) do not have the means of sustaining themselves without donations. By providing a solution where individuals or businesses can donate to NPOs listed online, Brownie Points have been able to make a huge impact to these organisations.
Brownie Points makes use of PayFast’s online donation feature where NPOs can register as a Cause with PayFast and get a dedicated Cause page on the PayFast website where individuals can make donations online.
“All [NPOs] are amazed at how easy it is to sign up [to PayFast] and start accepting donations that help them operate from month-to-month. Now that PayFast has the recurring payments option, they couldn’t be more thrilled!” Pascale Henke, CEO – Brownie Points
PayFast’s recurring billing feature allows any business to set up monthly subscriptions to receive on time, scheduled payments. For NPOs, this is often the difference between staying afloat or not. Through Brownie Points, NPOs can access this information which allows Brownie Points to make a huge impact on sustaining NPOs in South Africa.
“Impacting lives positively is the highest and most fulfilling achievement any organisation (for- and non-profit) can strive for.”
It’s not hard to see how Brownie Points are creating a massive impact to NPOs in South Africa. Through the use of technology and a little incentivisation, they are creating a space for NPOs to grow and thrive while getting the support they need.
When asked about Brownie Point’s future plans their enthusiasm and ambition is hard to ignore. Brownie Points “are planning to become the one-stop-shop for any nonprofit’s online and resource needs, including online marketing, skilled and unskilled volunteering, in-kind donations, monetary donations and networking.”
Exciting times are ahead and it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on this startup. The support system they’ve created for South African NPOs is something that can only grow. What’s more, with the ability to make donations online through PayFast makes supporting Brownie Points and other NPOs that much easier. It’s incentive enough to get online and make that donation.