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LETS GET DOWN TO BUSINESS.

Question :
HiWith the help of 4 Volunteers, I am looking to set up a new website which acts like a virtual warehouse where registered charities can find and post  required pre-loved quality goods for the vulnerable people they service and the NZ public can post the goods they have to donate. The best way to understand how it works is to look at givit.org.au, which was set up 10 or so years ago and has been really successful across Australia. I have a zoom meeting with the founder this week to learn from her success at set up and over the last few years. Mine is called KiwiKindness and is purely not-for-profit. It is essentially a collaborative tool to support charities reach a wider audience and be more targeted about the goods they receive and to assist NZers easily find the charities/community groups to donate their quality pre-loved (or new) goods to.My question is around funding and where to start. I am obtaining a quote for design and development and ongoing maintenance of the website. Initial conversations indicate circa $8K.  Resourcing will be myself and Volunteers, non paid (as long as it remains manageable!). We will need funding/sponsorship for the website development and ongoing maintenance. We may also need sponsorship for assisting to transport larger items from the donor to the charity from time to time. Otherwise it is up to the charity and the donor to work out whether the item/s are dropped off, picked up or posted.I am trying to avoid becoming a charitable trust in the initial stages to keep it simple. The business model/structure may change as demand grows. I have a draft business plan if you are interested.Any help/advice is much appreciated. Many thanks Meg 

Question submitted 02/06/20 @ 10:09am
Industry: Digital and Technology
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  • Hi Meg – well done, looks like a model that has worked in Australia, and great that you are talking to the founder this week to get some valuable insights. See if you can get the founder to reflect back to the time they founded it, and what their learnings were and how many platform changes they have been through. It does not mean the exact same thing will happen here in NZ – but it will give you some guidance and direction.

    Spending as little money as possible in the beginning when you are not sure what functionality will be valued is a good idea, especially as things always change once you hit the market – I would challenge you and the team to start with something free and limited functionality, get into the market with or two charities – what this will do also is give people a shop-window into what you are doing, and prove the demand, and that will enable you to pickup other charities and/or to support your bid to get the site sponsored by parties.

    Also think about some of the ‘tech teams’ that exist in the charities – they maybe able to build the site for you?

    Going back to Australia, ask them what functionality did they start with – as their site is pretty extensive now – do you need all of that now? Cheekily, would she give you / grant you access to the source code for NZ – would that make it easier? Maybe too much to start with, but an idea.

    For me, try to keep it super simple, low cost and flexible and then learn – even use paper to start with, until you know what you actually need. Andy

    Hi meg, are you still looking at setting up this site?

    I’m working on a similar solution that scales the customers request not the service that businesses are performing for them. That way any service from anywhere in the world can participate in the request and help to manage/resolve it.

    https://eleutherios.org.nz

    Cheers
    Rob

    Hey Meg – how did you get on? Andy

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