Elbi commits to building a global mobile platform to bring humanity to the digital world, by creating a global ecosystem in which NGOs of all sizes have a voice and inspire the world with their incredible work. The Elbi app will also enable millennials to connect with live projects that are happening around the world and to show their support via user generated content and/or microdonations.
Elbi users will be able to interact with projects and content posted to the app by NGOs as well as to create their own content in response. Functioning as a one stop shop for users looking to learn about and contribute to social and environmental causes, Elbi will enable its community to do so without having to go to an organizations website, read their newsletter, and/or pay attention to a Facebook postall places where the reader-to-donor conversion rates are very low.
Elbi will launch in September 2015 with 13 NGO partners that participated in the apps pilot. Elbis experienced team of 12 in London will continue to build the platform to scale across all mobile and desktop devices, including smartphones and feature phones, and will continually iterate based on the needs of the NGOs and users. To account for the intermittent connectivity in the field, NGOs will be able to manage their profiles offline, and updates will be pushed to the platform when internet connection is available. Elbi will also have a simple donation mechanism so it can serve as a fundraising platform for NGOs. Partners will fuel Elbi with current projects and in-field updates so the platform is dynamic and engaging; tools to do so will include in-field reporting, moderation, and the ability to share all Elbi user generated content with beneficiaries in a safe and positive way.
Elbi will scale to include additional NGO partners and reach additional users via visibility through the Elbi Blog on the Huffington Post; NGO partners sharing their Elbi content to their patrons on social media; a press tour conducted by Natalia Vodianova (TV, print, radio); celebrity engagement; marketing initiatives such as tech blogger outreach, paid-for advertising, and pop-ups in London and New York; industry events; and the integration of Elbi into partner platforms.
Elbi will launch with 13 pilot CGI NGOs that used the platform during its closed beta test between July and September of 2015.
Elbi will focus on driving engagement and app downloads through the end of Q4, with the U.S. and U.K. as its first launch markets.
The core features at launch include Featured campaigns, micro-donations, micro-volunteering tools (draw, vote, write and photo), user generated content, discovery, in the field updates, trending content.
Additional Q4 Features include*: Social sharing, Personal profile
Q1 & Q2 2016
Elbi will scale beyond the core features and focus on driving engagement to build the user base.
Elbi will also trial a brand-matching tool to empower businesses (small/medium/large) that are looking for NGOs/projects to support to be able to do so in a quick, relevant, and accurate way, creating easy opportunities for cause marketing.
Q1/Q2 Features include*: Heroes tab to celebrate Elbi power users, Celebrity/Influencer engagement tools to create stickiness/virality on the platform, and more social features like following/inviting friends.
Q3 & Q4 2016
Elbi will focus on deeper personalization and more integrated partnerships.
Elbi will address the offline world so users/NGOs can engage with Elbi when offline
Elbi will also trial charging brands to target brand-matches to specific users based on interests/causes/geographic area, etc. This will be the primary revenue stream for the platform initially.
Q3/Q4 Features include*: Gamification, personalization, recommendation engine, data analytics, and offline functionality.
Q1 Q3 2017*
Elbi will focus on expansion beyond the U.K. and U.S., starting with English speaking countries and then localizing outside of these markets.
Elbi will continue to focus on the ongoing maintenance and optimization of the platform across new devices as they become available.
* Feature set subject to change based on NGO/user/brand needs.
More and more people live digital lives, but some non-governmental organizations (NGOs) struggle to keep up with technology and are losing potential patrons.
Millennials, who make up a third of the U.S. population, are comfortable giving online: 47% volunteer through their workplace (according to the Huffington Post), 80% log on to social channels on a daily basis and 54% use social media as a way of killing time (according to the Drum), and 70% have made a purchase with their phone (according to the Global Consumer Commerce Centre).
However, most do not have a large disposable income. According to New America, the average college graduate owes almost $30,000 in student loans. So small actions or micro-donations are more suitable to their behavior and resources than exclusive charity auctions.
Large NGOs are up to date with the shift to digital philanthropy. They have marketing budgets to support the work and sizeable Facebook followings. However, most NGOs are unable to invest in social media and technology. IT budgets at NGOs are half the typical percentage, averaging about 3% of spend (according to tdcdffhe Chronicle of Philanthropy).
Most NGOs do not have the budget to spend on digital marketing so their stories are lost. For those NGOs that do have the budget to go digital, there is not much traction for them on the current social platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
Elbi wants to change this, so it is creating the place where the needs of NGOs come first. Elbi will unite love rich, time poor millennials with NGOs through its online home for philanthropy. Millennials will have the opportunity to volunteer moments of their time and habitually give without breaking the bank. Now NGOs, big and small, can focus on changing lives while Elbi addresses their digital marketing in a cost-effective, engaging, and inspiring way.