It has been a long time since we posted to this blog. It’s not that we had nothing to say but that we have been hard at work on something exciting. Today I’m happy to announce that we are launching a new addition to our platform – one that we hope will make a difference to communities across the country.
These are tough times and we all know that voluntary organisations are seeing drastically reduced income. This is particularly true of local voluntary organisations who typically have a smaller number of income streams. At the same time everyone is aware of how small local businesses and their communities are suffering. No-one is unaware of the difference that shopping local can bring – but it’s not always the feasible option since discounts elsewhere can be so much better.
We have seen these problems that same way everyone else has but realised that we had the ability to help do something about it. So we went to work on the myrewardcard.ie platform and during our ‘silent period’ we have been developing a solution that can be used to help solve both problems. It has been designed to allow businesses to reward their customers for choosing them and at the same time ensure that for every transaction a donation is made to a chosen organisation.
The Glanmire Community Fund – Supporting Glanmire Community And Businesses
On February 1 the Glanmire Area Community Association launched such a program. Using our platform their model rewards customers of participating businesses with entry into a monthly draw where they can win a range of prizes.
The operation of the Glanmire program is a simple one that does not require any changes on the part of businesses nor the installation or management of IT equipment. All the business does is purchase vouchers which they in turn give to their customer. A portion of the price of the voucher goes to reward the customer (through funding the prizes) and the rest goes to the Glanmire Area Community Association (GACA) to cover administration costs and fund capital projects.
The concept of vouchers seems counter-intuitive – would it not be better to have a fully electronic solution? We worked closely with GACA and it was obvious that in order to allow the maximum number of businesses to take part we had to minimise the disruption to their workflow and also ensure their costs were under control. Introducing technology broke both these rules – adding immediate and ongoing expense for the equipment as well as causing them to worry about its operation and management. Thus the vouchers prove the simplest and, in the circumstances, the most elegant solution. The software provides, in addition to administration functions, the reassurance to customers that the vouchers they receive are authentic and that their entry into the competition is received.
We are starting in a controlled manner with 11 businesses and interest from a further 8. The first competition takes place on February 21.
About The Glanmire Area Community Association
GACA is an association that has been running for over 30 years. They are an integral part of the community and the parent organisation for the Tidy Towns, Coder Dojo, Playing Pitches, Senior Citizens groups and more. The biggest problem that have always had was the lack of a recurring revenue stream that they can use to fund capital projects. These include things like developing the playing pitches, creating parks and walks etc. The new program allows people to directly support such projects whole also supporting local businesses and potentially winning monthly prizes.
You can learn more at http://www.gacacork.com
The Glanmire project is designed for that community. Our platform offers a range of options suitable for any community or charity. For instance a program run by multiple groups (say the local GAA, Rugby and Soccer clubs) can allow the customer to select the benefitting organisation directly. Since we also track the exact number of points we can also allow those to be converted to cash or shopping vouchers rather than competition entries.
And of course we still have the electronic option that allows each business to run their own loyalty program with customers only requiring one loyalty card.
Times are tough for businesses, voluntary organisations and ordinary consumer alike. We hope our platform can make a difference and are already talking to a few communties and voluntary organisations but would be happy to talk to more. If any individual, community or organisation would like to discuss introducing a similar program to the one in Glanmire please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.