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What if you could support charity by shopping online? Sponsormeter.com turned this awesome idea into a reality. Through their crowdfunding platform people can support their sports club or charity of choice for free; they just make purchases through associated webstores such as Amazon, Adidas, Reebok or Booking.com and a percentage goes to their club or charity. The platform can be used everywhere in the world, and it has benefited over 3000 initiatives already. Last month, Sponsormeter won the closing event of the Startup Launch Class, a 10-week intensive program for student entrepreneurs. Reason enough to find out more about them, so we spoke with co-founder and HvA Sports Management graduate David de Vries.
How did you get to the concept of Sponsormeter.com?
As a Sports Management student, I saw fitness centers and sport clubs struggling to keep their heads above water. As local counsels kept on cutting budgets for sports and culture, clubs had to find other ways to raise money. Together with my friend Marco Buis, I decided to set up the platform Social Checkpoint, on which fitness centers and sport clubs could raise money. As this turned out to be pretty successful, we changed the platform into a more general crowdfunding platform, not just for sport fundraising, but for charities as well. We then changed the name into Sponsormeter.com.
How does Sponsormeter.com differ from other crowdfunding platforms?
In addition to donating money to a sport club or charity, we offer the possibility of “free sponsoring”. When a donator makes an online purchase in a webshop that is connected to our platform, a percentage of that purchase will automatically be donated to the project of his choice. The donator does not pay any extra for this purchase. All he has to do is to enter the webshop through the Sponsormeter.com website, so that the webshop recognizes the link.
How do you generate income?
We made deals with different companies, such as webshops, phone providers, and energy suppliers. Those companies pay a commission for each purchase done through our website. We donate 75 percent from this commission to the sport club or charity. The remaining 25 percent is for the platform. This way, we generate income, and at the same time donators can sponsor their favorite project without having to pay any extra. Besides that, the platform also receives 5% of the regular donations on Sponsormeter.com.
What did you learn in the Startup Launchclass sessions?
In the Launchclass sessions, we really found out how to improve our platform by constantly testing and renewing our hypotheses. Instead of blindly trusting our own ideas, we went outside and asked people to test our website on the spot. By observing how they reacted to the website and by asking them questions, we found out which features needed improvement. Those “get out of the building”-exercises really helped us to learn a lot in a very short period of time.
What is the biggest challenge for Sponsormeter.com?
We see that some initiatives are struggling to get enough funding, and we want to help them getting more sponsors. Our next step will be to support them by creating video content, and tips and tricks to get more funding. Especially initiatives signing up as a team often find it difficult to get support, because they do not always have a person who actively searches for sponsors. We want to give them an extra boost and help them achieving their goal.