Editor’s Note: This article is a reprint from an original post in the author’s I Love Chile ‘Entrepreneur Hunter’ print newspaper column (April 2012 edition).
In 2011 more than $4.9 billion dollars in cash was donated by some of the top corporate giving programs in the U.S.to their preferred charities.
A huge part of corporate giving is related to increasing brand loyalty over the long term by aligning their company objectives with related causes who share similar interests. It also gives them more credibility and brand reputation in their respective target market.
On the flip side, the charities and non-profits that could benefit from these corporate donations often struggle to meet their everyday operations expenses.
Their marketing and outreach team is usually produced by a mashup of interns, volunteers and whoever they can rely on to help them with their everyday needs from running events and annual fundraisers to getting the word out about their work via social media.
Seeing an opportunity to better connect these two worlds, Glazeon was born.
Social giving….how sweet it is!
Glazeon is seeking to democratize the way Corporate Social Responsibility programs make donations to causes with their newly launched button, which is a custom ‘cupcake’ share button (see the link in action by clicking on the sinfully sweet pink cupcake on our left sidebar). The cupcake was designed to incentivize readers to share the publisher’s content by providing a small donation to a designated charity with each click.
Initially the cause will be pre-determined but as the Glazeon team is still very much in development mode they are experimenting with different ways to connect causes to behavior and interest of the reader. And they are also open to considering changes that will improve their reach and impact.
Speaking of reach and impact, it seems that in true startup visionary gangster style, their business idea was ahead of the corporate curve as most recently MTV’s DDB, showed up fashionably late to the party with their newly released ‘i care’ button, as a way for users to show their support for social causes and issues they feel strongly about.
The Glazeon concept was conceived by Alexandru ‘Alex’ Palade and Denis Todirica who met back in 2009 at an event called Think Online. While working independently over the past few years, Alex in the corporate space and Denis in various entrepreneurial endeavors, they eventually decided to combine their skills, talents and interests and apply for the Start-Up Chile program.
Making life a bit sweeter for South America
To their surprise and delight they were selected for the program and decided to accept the challenge to relocate to Chile for 6 months while they work to complete their prototype and secure their first major clients.
Denis Todirica, oversees the business development, outreach and mobilizing their community engagement partners. Denis is a young and spirited change-maker who is all about leaving happy trails wherever he goes and Glazeon seeks to affirm exactly that!
His co-founder Alex is an ‘Xoogler’ (former/’ex’ Google employee) who works primarily on the technical side and manages their development team who is mostly based in their home country of Romania. Alex is now experiencing the entrepreneurship and startup life on his 3rd continent having worked in London and Silicon Valley prior to moving to Santiago where the Glazeon headquarters is now based.
Their other team members include developer George-Bogdan Ivanov, who is currently enrolled in a Master’s Degree program in Artificial Intelligence and has a love and appreciation for smart applications; Mihail-Daniel Stanciulescu, a National Olympic Computer Science finalist and developer who found his connection to the world and thirst for knowledge through the world of computers and Catalina Anton, who supports the team with cultural etiquette and cross-cultural communications. She helps Glazeon do business across borders as she is intrigued and fascinated by cultural differences and idiosyncrasies.
What’s not to like about it?
Recognizing that only 10% of content on the internet was actually shared, initially their vision was to build a product for publishers in order to convince their readers to share their content more often on the internet. But after their initial beta tests, they realized that publishers were not yet ready to experiment with cause based advertising.
So instead they went back and tried another angle where they are leveraging advertising agencies to connect with more progressive brands that want to experiment with different advertising vehicles and donate money to causes and charities in more ‘social ways’.
They have been reworking their model and have since agreed on an interim solution that is still being tested and tweaked which is selling a package to brands which basically sponsor the clicks on a button when their content is shared.
The sponsored clicks each have a nominal value that donates that money to an affiliated charity that is advertised when you click on their signature cupcake. The Glazeon app is also integrated with Facebook, allowing supporters to share their donation and cause with their respective network.
Are you a non-profit looking to expand your reach and impact?
A corporate socially responsible entity?
A socially inspired niche publisher looking to increase your engagement?
A media planner or buyer looking for new markets?
If you answered, yes to any of the above questions, it’s time to get your Glazeon and live the sweet life: