The Founder and CEO of Village X Mike Buckler Seeks Support from Indiegogo to Create the World's First Completely Transparent Mobile Giving Experience

DC-based social enterprise Village X has turned to Indiegogo to fund its Store to Village (S2V) System, which will facilitate micro donations while shopping and provide live updates of impact on the ground, all by phone. Village X is proudly registered as a B corporation and, as such, strives to attain rigorous standards of transparency, accountability, and social and environmental performance.


Matawan, NJ -- (SBWIRE) -- 07/11/2014 -- People sincerely want to make the world a better place, but it's hard to know how to help. Americans love to micro-donate to great causes while shopping, and global consumers overwhelmingly favor brands associated with a cause, given comparable price and quality. Yet, when they give at the supermarket, where does their money go? Is it really helping anyone?

Founded by former Peace Corps Volunteers, Village X has designed its patent-pending S2V System (consisting of a frontline app, complimentary website, and backend database) to direct mobile donations of shoppers to specific grassroots projects and to provide live mobile updates from the ground showing exactly how the money has helped communities. By connecting shoppers directly to deals at socially conscious businesses and worthy projects in superstar villages, Village X ensures that each purchase is meaningful and each donation actually helps someone.

In short, the System makes it easy for members to get a deal, give a little, and see impact. Using the app, members receive reward points every time they visit or shop at socially conscious partner businesses, in store or online. Members redeem the points for promotions at those businesses. After promotions are used, the app prompts members to donate some or all of their savings to grassroots projects, allowing them to capture “giving moments” with voice recordings, text messages, or pictures. Immediately after receiving a donation, the app identifies a grassroots project receiving the funds and, over time, presents the member live mobile updates from the village committee overseeing the project.

All the pieces of the S2V System are in place—eager shoppers (soon-to-be members), villages, partner businesses, and a web design firm to write the code for the System. In May 2014, Village X recruited 42 underserved villages in Ghana and Malawi. In June 2014, Village X added several partner businesses to the team (mostly in DC), and several other businesses have expressed interest. Village X’s preferred design firm is Big Room Studios( initial funding target of $30,000 will go entirely towards creation of a basic S2V System with a non-native app.

Nonetheless, Village X has set a stretch goal of $70,000 to meet the development cost of a native app-based S2V System. Village X’s long-term vision is to pioneer a sustainable business model that changes the paradigm of cause participation, such that villages chart their own development course and donors expect a completely transparent charitable giving experience, all powered by the engine of American commerce. Village X also envisions sharing the fundraising capability of the S2V System with existing organizations with similar values (e.g., US-based nonprofits), thereby magnifying its philanthropic impact. Village X hopes to launch the S2V System in November 2014.
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