“Giving back has been a very important part of my life,” said model and philanthropist Natalia Vodianova, who, along with Timon Afinsky, founded a charitable app called Elbi last year, which transforms social media engagement into $1 micro-donations.
She has unveiled two new Elbi features: Donate with Apple Pay and ElbiDrop. “Putting personal financial details into any application is a very big barrier,” Vodianova explained. “Using Apple Pay technology is helping us break that barrier to get more users to donate.”
The site’s virtual currency, dubbed LoveCoins, represent users’ fund-raising dollars earned and can be used to “purchase” items in the platform’s online boutique, the LoveShop. In order to drive more people to fund-raise, a flash sale-like feature called ElbiDrop encourages users to compete to raise donations within a 24-hour period. The user with the most donations wins an exclusive item from the LoveShop.
Setting the tone for what’s to come, the first week’s prizes will include items from Louis Vuitton such as the Masters Monet bag from the LV x Koons Collection, Horizon 55 Monogram rolling luggage or a Petite Boite Chapeau.
On innovating to give back, Vodianova said, “We want giving and supporting causes to be fun and cool because we see a big gap between Millennials and other generations when it comes to a lot of causes and charities. Eighty-six percent of Millennials have mobile phones and at the same time 86 percent of charities don’t have mobile strategies. We’re trying to bridge that gap with great charities that deserve the attention of young people. We believe it’s great to have big philanthropists like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, but it’s also fantastic to tap into a younger audience who wants to give and can give.”