Winners Story: Concern Universal

Winners Story: Concern Universal

Tuesday, 8th of October

Winners Story: Concern Universal

MyKindaCrowd Challenge: Tell us any innovative ideas you have for fundraising for Concern Universal

Winner: Theodore Pang

Idea: My idea is for student volunteers to organise marketplaces in their universities or schools, which allow fellow students to buy and sell second-hand items for free. Value-added services (eg direct help by volunteers to sell/publicise the items) will help raise funds for Concern Universal's skill development effort, hence promoting literacy in developing countries.

Aim: This idea allows student volunteers to serve the needs of their immediate student community (since many institutions do not currently have a centralised marketplace for student transactions), while promoting literacy in developing countries at the same time!

Theodore Pang submission:

Marketplace in universities and schools

Students can organize (free) marketplaces for second-hand items in their schools or universities, with a chargeable, value-added service to fulfill the fundraising aspect (see Execution details below). Marketplaces make it very easy for buyers and sellers of second-hand items (especially textbooks, and perhaps even light furniture) to come together and find someone to transact with. Doing this at the start of the academic year will be very helpful, since there is always a ready pool of textbook buyers and sellers! How do students benefit? Well this puts the second-hand service right at the doorstep of students, which saves them the trouble of checking out Amazon, eBay, second-hand bookstores etc for the best deals! Marketplace brings everyone together and makes it easy to compare prices – think free market economics!

Execution details:

1) Students organize the marketplaces for free

A room is booked on campus for, say, two hour, for sellers to come and take a seat and display their items. This is easy for organizers as all that is needed is a room with many tables and chairs, with a room plan to demarcate sections (e.g. law books, science books, winter wear, printers etc). Buyers come during this two-hour interval to look for a suitable item and haggle.

2) Student organizers set up a “Market Maker” service, which allows sellers the option of an added service for a fee

Under this “Market Maker” service, organizers help sellers take over the sale of the item, so that sellers do not have to wait for two hours for a buyer. These items are placed at a special booth near the entrance (or some other prominent spot), so potential buyers see them first! In return, a fee is charged to the sellers (regardless of whether the item is sold). 100% of the fee goes to Concern Universal. Customers of the “Market Maker” service return at the end of the two-hour session, and either collect their earnings or their unsold items. Hence, Marketplaces with a fundraising aspect are very fitting for Concern Universal’s focus on skills development, for they not only allow students to help fellow students with their literacy needs (textbooks), they also allow the benefitting students to pass on the benefit by giving money to promote literacy of people in developing countries. Talk about paying it forward!

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