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Make-A-Wish among charities benefiting from fashion-driven app

Make-A-Wish, Camp Ronald McDonald and other charities are seeing increased donations via a mobile application that brings consumers the latest in American-made fashion while letting them give back to a charity of choice.

TellOnMe is a mobile marketplace where customers shop directly within the app from a curated collection of premium brands that includes clothing lines such as Gypsy05 and Claire Farwell London and contributes $10 per purchase to a user-selected charity. The application points to the potential for organizations to build engagement via the devices people have with them constantly.

“TellOnMe is really about the consumer and their voices – their stories and how they get to impact and change the world,” said Nakules Veran, a cofounder of TellOnMe, Los Angeles.

“We wanted our users to be proud of their support of charities and create visibility for the charities every time they share.”

Vital relief
Inspiration for the iPhone and iPod touch-supported app came from a founder’s son being diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, leading to a firsthand experience with the vital relief that support from a charity can bring during serious illness.

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The founders were Nakules Veran, Vemal Kulasingam, Dony Ang and Sreejith Partha.

Besides Make-A-Wish, which grants the wish of a child diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition in the United States, and Camp Ronald McDonald, for campers with disabilities, the app has provided support to Orange County Foundation for Oncology Children and Families, among other organizations.

The app fuses fashion and social behavior to engage consumers and stimulate conversation in support of charitable causes.

TellOnMe, which can be leveraged either by non-profits or brands in an indirect relationship, emphasizes American-made products to stimulate and support local economies.

“The charities that we currently promote fall into one of four categories: well-being, public service, environmental and global,” Mr. Veran said. “Brands and charities that want to be considered for inclusion on our app can apply via our Web site.”

“The brands and charities are on our platform for the user to choose what brands they want to purchase and which charities they want to support,” he said. “Users can support as many brands and charities as they want.”

First the user selects a product from a growing list of fashion brands.

Her or she then enters a shipping address and chooses a charity. Users can select a different charity with each purchase. Records are visible in the account.

For simple, quick checkout, the user can select payment by either credit card, Apple Pay, Paypal or Venmo.

For every purchase, the user receives points that can be exchanged for gifts and access to special events.

He or she also will receive a tax credit for the $10 charitable donation.

Records stored on the app let the user see how much support he or she has provided to charity.

Users also are awarded points for sharing photos of themselves in their latest purchase.

TellOnMe is the latest example of how to leverage mobile to drive charitable donations.

In November, jewelry brand David Yurman sought to engage consumers through Vogue’s mobile Web site with several advertisements for its Venetian Quatrefoil collection.

David Yurman encouraged consumers to create wish lists online and in-store for the brand to donate money to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. By creating mobile ads that led consumers to an ecommerce page, the brand was expected to see increased wish lists from readers.

Driving action
The TellOnMe initiative underscores mobile and social’s unique power to drive engagement and action.

“We wanted users to be reactionary,” Mr. Veran said. “And mobile was by far the only driver for engagement.” 

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York