Transparency in donations to regain trust
The best ideas emerge in times of crisis. At least, that’s what they say. This is exactly what happened to Iskren Dragomirov.
After the difficult experience of having a relative become sick and needing money for a surgical operation, Iskren found himself needing a way to finance the operation. In the end, he didn’t make it happen. “It was then that I realized the extreme economic situations certain people find themselves in and that was why I decided to create YoDono”.
This project serves two purposes. On the one hand, it is a social network. On the other, it is a crowdfunding platform. “My goal when I created YoDono was to avoid people suffering from the same situation that my family did”, its founder states. The first adaptation was born in 2017 as a mobile phone app and in little time they were able to finance their first idea: 5,000 euros for the NGO from Burgos Odontología Solidaria.
“After this first experience, I saw that the project was viable and I understood that we had to develop a more complete version online” he tells. For this engineer this was nothing new. He had already done this type of work. Since the age of 15, he had been in charge of developing mobile phone apps that were downloaded up to 100,000 times. He has even kickstarted ideas like an app that accompanies you to your final destination the safest way, sending alerts if necessary or when emergency situations arise, and a bracelet for monitoring the activity of people who suffer from Alzheimer’s. As early as 2019, he began his project’s new website and in little time he collected 10,000 euros.
Donations with awareness of the cause
Unlike at others, the crowdfunding work is totally different at YoDono. Before the publication of a project, they carry out an investigation, take a look at the intricacies, and the crucial cycle, and get a campaign started. “We want the project to be known before opening up the donation campaign”, he explains. In order to do so, they organize events and use digital marketing, especially on social networks. “We get 10% of the money collected from every campaign, but we only use 3% to create the campaigns on social networks, events… so in the end YoDono only receives 7%”, the founder states. Compared to other similar platforms, the capital invested isn’t returned if the set out economic goal is not reached. “We understand that, when we talk about social projects, it is better to get something than nothing”, Dragomirov Mitov says.
However, some of the projects carried out by YoDono don’t have a financial goal. After several requests from NGOs, they decided to start volunteer projects. “Organizations advertise themselves freely asking for volunteers for projects in India, Peru, and other countries in South America, as well as in Spain, including an association from Valencia”. Apart from this, they gather signatures that, “unlike other valued platforms, must come accompanied with proof of identification”, he tells.
The next project they are working on involves helping build credibility to the social sector. “According to several investigations, a third of people don’t trust the third sector because of the lack of transparency. In YoDono, we want to put an end to this by guaranteeing project transparency”. They want to do this using Blockchain technology in order for people to be able to controlinvested money, along with knowing, step by step, where it has been invested. “The goal is, if you want to know, a few years later, where the money you donated to a generic campaign was invested in, for example for mitigating natural disasters in Africa, this is possible”, Dragomirov explains.
For the end of 1919, they believe that they’ll have a mobile phone app for IOs and Android ready. Thanks to these innovations, Dragomirov hopes to attract more capital interest. At the moment, they are working to acquire their initial investment (between 50,000 and 100,000 euros) and their next step is collecting between 250,000 and 500,000 euros in order for their project to continue growing.
Several recognitions have helped push their growth. The last year, the project was awarded the Premio de Emprendimiento Explorer Salamanca, started by Banco Santander through Santander Universidades. Thanks to the prize, Dragomirov was able to travel to the worldwide mecca of innovation, Silicon Valley, to complete an entrepreneurial program with training and “mentoring” for his idea to prosper and grow. Apart from this, in 2017 he also won the CEUSAL-USAL Emprende prize.