A little over a month ago I began a stint as a consultant with Rec.fm, a new start-up out of the valley that is dedicated to merging social commerce with cause donations. A month later I am becoming more and more aware of the Non-Profit landscape and the themes of creativity and innovation. The majority of the charities I talked to sparked from a possibility, an idea that would make the world a better place…most got to where they are today through innovation and ingenuity. Rec.fm is based on an idea that we direct a slice of the billions of dollars moving by way of social commerce to causes that better our world! The vehicle of product recommendations is the innovation needed to gain a slice of the bigger pie. Just the type of innovation these NPO’s spawned from.
How it works:
Go to Rec.fm and start recommending products you love and find product recommendations from your friends and other people. You can also ask the community for specific recommendations on product types. For most people, the real exciting part is choosing a cause to give back to. You can browse from our partner charities to find a cause you care most about and contribute to that cause with every rec you make. In my eyes much of the beauty of Rec.fm is that it gives people an alternative way to give back. Forget digging into your pockets to support entrepreneurs in a third world country (I contribute to Kiva.org), instead do actions you do on a weekly basis anyways (chat about a movie, talk about your Mac Book, etc.) and through that…give to those entrepreneurs in third world countries.
How it can change the world:
Success stories like the Facebook app Causes and Charity Water are proving that many people want to and can change the world with the use of social media. Bring social commerce and an individual’s social equity together and you have something powerful. Rec.fm facilitates social powered buying based on recommendations from trusted sources…THE PEOPLE YOU KNOW! With 90% of consumers participating in peer recommendations, (stat from Nielsen) we look to our friends for product recs than we do Google. Now allow those people recommending products to their social circle to give back to causes they care about and you have a natural behavior followed by an altruistic motive.
If we as consumers began to consume intelligently and recommend product for a purpose we can make a huge difference in the world. With Rec.fm donating over half of all site earning to the causes of a user’s choice, just a few recs from you can make a large impact. One tweet and one shared link on Facebook can bring in hundreds or potential thousands of dollars to an important cause.
There are infinite possibilities. Rec.fm can be a clear and simple way you and your friends connect when it comes to recommending products, it can be a source in searching for what celebrities buy (all in support of the charities of those celebrities). It’s a powerful tool to use you “social equity” to do good!
I encourage everyone to use Rec.fm in 2011 (and beyond for that matter). Start sharing with friends…ask your friends what they recommend and give back to causes you are passionate about. I would love to hear back from you with any feedback you may have on how Rec.fm can better change the world!
Note: Kris Putnam-Walkerly is also an Advisor to Rec.fm. You can learn more about Rec.fm and my involvement in my recent blog post.