Enabling Charitable Contributions
On April 5, 2012 At 3:44 am
Category : Feature
Tags : asp, design, research, smb, study
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According to one of the latest studies, 40% of small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) do not have an online presence. In that same study (conducted by 1&1), more than 80% of businesses with a website said the site was essential to their company’s success. In a previous study performed by Formstack, 41% of those who do not have a website believe they do not need one. Nearly 20% of SMBs do not understand the importance of operating a website. In a WebVisible survey, 82% of the respondents said they used the Internet to find a local business. 80% said they used the Internet to research a product or service online before buying.
These results are staggering. Placing these studies together it would seem that all SMBs regardless of industry require a website to remain competitive. With 80% of consumers using the Internet to find a product, it is financial suicide to remain dead-set against the operation of an online presence.
And yet, even though an online presence is necessary, 16% of SMBs say they don’t have the time to develop one. 9% say that websites are too complex, and an extra 19% say that the cost is way to prohibitive. It is for these reasons and more that imSMB started. Steve Woodcock, Co-Owner and Director of imSMB, said, “We started imSMB because businesses need a company that can help them get going on the Internet. Even to this day it’s difficult to know everything you need to do to start and market your website. We understand what they’re going through. Hence, imSMB, I am Small Business.”
|“Every small business needs a website, so every small business pays Web hosting fees. But what if your business’s Web hosting fees—a small expense you probably don’t even think about–could help returning military veterans, end animal cruelty or even save a child’s life? What then? Can you have an additional sense of accomplishment with that as a business? I think so.”
- Steve Woodcock, Co-Owner and Director, imSMB
Getting Everyone Involved
“Your first objective as an owner is always “How can we grow our company?” but I’ve always had the urge to participate with nonprofits. But just like any other business owner my time is limited. I realized there was a way to combine the two. We could be creative, utilize social media and use these revenues to help our communities. It gives our company great energy and a source of pride for 2012,” said Steve.
Instead of just one entity giving donations to a charity, imSMB figured they could offer up revenue they generate from growing their own business. However, merely giving a small amount of each purchase was not enough. This was not a publicity stunt, but a means of uniting the community to help those in need. Steve “We’re serious about our causes. We are not giving away 1% or 10%, but 55% of our service fee to these organizations.”
imSMB approached the project like they would any other business venture. First they wanted to create a new brand, something that would stand on its own two feet apart from imSMB. The brand would be dubbed WebHostingCampaign.
A New Project is Realized
The staff of imSMB have been involved in creating over 7,000 customer websites for clients over the years and brought that expertise to the table. So far, the new venture was coming off the ground. WebHostingCampaign had the hosting taken care of, they had the web design ready, now it was time for the meat; selecting the proper charities.
Selecting four charities to represent can be audacious task. There are literally thousands of worthy causes to choose from to select only four seemed nigh impossible. They went into the selection process with some criteria in mind, which helped to filter the thousands. They wanted to make sure that the selected causes were not politically motivated and that the causes had universal themes. In total, the process took eight months of research. WebHostingCampaign would represent the ASPCA, Doctors Without Borders, Warrior Foundation, and the PPCLI Foundation (Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Foundation).
- ASPCA: The ASPCA otherwise known as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, was founded in 1866. The ASPCA runs a wide variety of programs to improve the lives and welfare of animals. Programs involve pet adoption, owner education, lobbying for animal protection laws, humane law enforcement, and so on.
- Doctors Without Borders: Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières, MSF) is an international medical organization that started in France in 1971. The MSF provides impartial assistance to those most in need regardless of political, religious, or racial affiliation. The organization’s goal is to fill in gaps in medical coverage rather than replacing services already provided.
- Warrior Foundation: The Warrior Foundation helps injured U.S. service members in the San Diego area. The foundation provides support for seriously injured personal, soldiers going through physical or occupational therapy, and the medically retired.
- PPCLI Foundation: The PPCLI Foundation provides a full range of support for Canadian military service members and former military personnel. Services include financial assistance for families of fallen soldiers, direct assistance for veterans in need, research and programs to aid those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and much more.
With the charities selected a goal of one million dollars was set. This sum won’t be raised overnight, but the course has been set and the staff of imSMB are committed. “We’re not sure how long it will take but we will do what it takes to achieve our goal. The help of media like you here at WebHostMagazine helps make businesses aware of the campaign so they can participate,” said Steve.