For the past several years, crowdsourcing has been a way for new businesses, art, music, book and game startups to get off the ground financially with the help of the online community. Launching earlier this month, Bend’s newest startup, uses the crowdsourcing platform to showcase several nonprofits to the public and share a project or an immediate need of the individual organization.
Rys Fairbrother, Founder of WhatIfWeCould.com, describes himself as a serial entrepreneur with a background in digital media, sales and consulting. Fairbrother coaches small businesses, startups and nonprofits on how to better tell their story utilizing social media, online content and inexpensive marketing.
Growing up in Portland and moving around the west, Fairbrother and his wife have lived in Bend since 2007 and enjoy the temperamental winters and non-humid summers of the high desert. They also love the community minded spirit of Central Oregon and watching it grow.
The WhatIfWeCould.com website is both straight forward and inviting with short, bite sized information including short videos of each nonprofit’s current project of immediate needs. In no order, the projects of seven local nonprofits are listed on the home page and can be easily navigated. There are three types of needs that are featured: immediate volunteer needs; in kind giving (non-financial) and financial donations for a special event or project with a maximum need of $2,500.
“The idea is to showcase 28 nonprofits in 2019 with seven different projects for people to get involved with starting on the 7th of each month,” says Fairbrother. “Nonprofits [introduce]themselves beyond the logo or tagline/mission statement, so people have a better understanding of the organization and be more apt to engage.”
By getting the word out to our community, it gives the opportunity for people to get information quickly about what items the organization needs or can choose a nominal amount to give a nonprofit of their choice, through the WhatIfWeCould.com website gateway, of which 100 percent is passed through to the nonprofit.
Another way businesses and the community can get involved is to share, post and talk about the current project of the featured nonprofits using all social media platforms. New nonprofit projects will appear on the site every month.
Sharing is Caring
Another mission of the organization is to secure partnerships between businesses and the nonprofit of their choice. WhatIfWeCould.com services include placing digital ads that include the name of the nonprofit and the business that is sponsoring it. By becoming a partner of the nonprofit, the business gets the dual benefit of marketing themselves and giving back.
In February, WhatIfWeCould.com will begin the Employee Give Back program. Small businesses will have the opportunity to involve their employees in giving to featured nonprofits of their choice. Employers place credits in each employees account on WhatIfWeCould.com, enabling them to decide which nonprofits they would like to support each month. “At the end of the month, WhatIfWeCould.com will provide a report to the employer on where to send donation funds designated by their employees,” says Fairbrother. Involving employees in the sponsorship of a nonprofit further benefits the company and community by expanding the outreach, engagement and recruitment for help that these organizations need.