Totem is a social philanthropy platform that provides individuals, charities, and businesses with an interactive way to raise money and awareness for the causes they care about most. The backbone of our platform is a series of user-driven multimedia feeds wherein users post content in support of, and donate money directly to, featured causes within the app. These causes are sponsored by businesses, each of which offers rewards (i.e. free products/services) to users who post the most content and/or donate the most money in support of the sponsored causes. Overall, the platform comprises a social media hub for charity wherein (a) individuals can become more involved in the good things going on around them, (b) nonprofits can raise money and awareness for their initiatives, and (c) businesses can promote their brands, products, services, and philanthropic activities. Our mission is simple: to provide a fun, social, and communal space wherein people, businesses, and organizations can in...
Totem is a social philanthropy platform that provides individuals, charities, and businesses with an interactive way to raise money and awareness for the causes they care about most. The backbone of our platform is a series of user-driven multimedia feeds wherein users post content in support of, and donate money directly to, featured causes within the app. These causes are sponsored by businesses, each of which offers rewards (i.e. free products/services) to users who post the most content and/or donate the most money in support of the sponsored causes. Overall, the platform comprises a social media hub for charity wherein (a) individuals can become more involved in the good things going on around them, (b) nonprofits can raise money and awareness for their initiatives, and (c) businesses can promote their brands, products, services, and philanthropic activities. Our mission is simple: to provide a fun, social, and communal space wherein people, businesses, and organizations can interact with each other for the betterment of their communities.

Our current iteration requires users to join or form a team in order to participate in the weekly philanthropic competitions. Our algorithm allots points to teams based on donations and overall engagement with the app (posting pictures, liking other content). At the end of the week, the team with the most points wins a prize. Currently only one cause and one business are spotlighted at a time, and on a week-by-week basis. When we go into the iLab at UVA this summer we aim to expand the platform so that multiple causes and sponsors can be featured at once, which will allow for more choice for our users in terms of what causes they want to support. We have a Flinto prototype of our second iteration that we are happy to share with Lighthouse Labs.

We currently use Stripe for processing of donations through the app. Stripe takes 2.9% plus 30 cents out of every transaction as their revenue model. Similar payment processors take similar cuts, which means that (to our knowledge) virtually none of our competitors literally provide a platform where 100% of the pledge donation makes it to the charity (except in some cases where users are allowed to pledge more money themselves to make up the difference). However, because we are able to charge our business sponsors an advertising fee, we are able to use some of our money to make up the difference taken out by Stripe. We think this is a major differentiator for Totem.
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Advisors

Admin
Admin
Rob Masri
Admin
Paul Harris
Admin
Bob Guterma

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