Every tech startup follows a similar trajectory; they come up with a niche, they gather a small, yet effective, team, and they build their product to take to market. For us, the concept of charity fundraising was super simple, yet pretty much unheard of in Asia.
We noticed that the giving culture just wasn’t a part of everyday life in Asia like it was in Europe and the US. We didn’t have friends reaching out to us asking us to donate to their marathons, we didn’t add a recurring charity donation into our monthly personal budgets, and we didn’t feel CSR efforts running through the core of the brands that we worked with.
Therefore, we decided to build a platform that allowed people to help, or be helped, through online fundraising. Over ten years on, and with S$75 million (US$55 million) raised, we truly believe that for tech startups to stand out from the crowd and stand the test of time, they need to think beyond the problem they are trying to solve.

Positive experiences that create habits

Getting creative with your product offering is key, and it’s important to walk the steps of your customers’ journey to assess every pathway that can add more success or value. For example, at GIVE.asia, the basic concept is that people, brands, and charities can either ask for or donate money.

We challenged our team to make this concept less transactional, with the aim of providing a more enriching and fulfilling experience to our communities.

We found that adding simple elements to the product, like a personal “kindness level” and a “social impact” graph, gave donors instant gratification which encouraged them to come back again and again.

The best things in life are the easiest

It has been reported that the ground-breaking “one-click” was patented for US$2.4 billion and worked to challenge a 70 per cent cart abandonment. This tells us something very important about the mindset of the customer; they want the quickest and easiest solution possible.

Also Read: Malaysia-based Ethis Ventures launched charity crowdfunding platform GlobalSadaqah

Even adding an extra 30 seconds onto a transaction could have a significant impact on a brand, with users spending an average of 15 seconds on a website before deciding whether their attention has been grabbed.

Ask yourself how you can make your product as easy to use as possible. This is a long game, and our team works daily on how to optimise our site for this reason. Hacks have included offering multiple giving options, pre-filled forms, and simple and secure payment partners.

A picture speaks a thousand words, a story speaks a million

They say that storytelling is the new marketing, with consumers feeling that they need to understand how they are positively (or negatively) impacting the world through using a product. A recent study shows just how much CSR impacts the decisions of a consumer, for example, 88 per cent will be more loyal to a brand that supports social or environmental issues.

The question is: how does a brand successfully demonstrate the way it is involved with CSR initiatives and the impact that that involvement has? At GIVE.asia, it has become obvious for us that the most successful campaigns have more than just pictures. They have words, stories, updates, and videos to show the situation.

We have noticed that campaigns that include a video or full story write up are ten times more likely to do well. Equally, campaign owners who provide regular updates to their donors are four times more likely to experience repeat donors.

As the years go on, the significance of thinking beyond the problem is becoming more evident. Although at the time, it may be difficult to see the direct impact in numbers, or the ROI, gradually, this will change and the pay-off will be huge.

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