Peruvian startup ONHelp allows any person or company, including universities and NGOs, to fund charity projects, without needing money.
Headquartered in Lima, Co-founder and CEO Fiorella Torres leads a team of seven individuals. The company transforms hours into money that are accumulated after clicking on “Donate” on its website and from any device (laptop, CPU or smartphone).
Through ONHelp’s web page, a digital volunteer can sign in using Facebook or Gmail. Once logged in, a small part of the unused computing power of the volunteer’s device is utilized by ONHelp to obtain cryptocurrencies. You can use your device without any problems and it is totally secure. The cryptocurrencies are then converted into local currencies through exchange platforms to fund the charity projects.
ONHelp is currently working to support two NGO projects: One to install chlorination systems in Peru and another to provide an adequate quality of life to abandoned puppies in Chile.
These social projects are accessible by the web platform from anywhere in the world.
“There is not much of a donation culture in Latin America,” explained Fiorella, who said there is a potential market in Europe, Canada and the United States where that culture is more prevalent. ONHelp is currently focused on Lima and Santiago, in places and projects that urgently need help. Fiorella added that “it is very easy to be global because we don’t have to physically be there.”
ONHelp uses different social platforms to connect with volunteers to educate them on how the platform works and how they can fund charity projects by donating hours.
“To communicate with our data volunteers, our B2C channel, we mainly use Facebook and Instagram,” shared Fiorella. “People that go to our webpage and want to help can learn more about the different projects and about how to donate,” she added.
Fiorella says they have begun using LinkedIn to pursue a B2B strategy, using the platform to connect with fundraising organizations and larger companies that have shared corporate social responsibility goals.
YouTube videos linked to their website offer up more detail and background on how digital volunteering works and the team behind the concept.
The ONHelp team is able to gain valuable feedback from the different social media platforms. Using Google’s data analytics, Fiorella and her team have been able to learn about how many people visit their website from social media platforms, how much time they spend on the site, and which projects are most popular.
Other tools provided by social media platforms “allow us to know a little bit about our customers and viewers like how many impressions we get or reactions to certain posts,” Fiorella shared.
Fiorella sees dissemination of the project, lack of knowledge of cryptocurrencies and regulatory matters being the biggest challenges going forward. “We have to be as transparent as possible,” Fiorella noted, to explain clearly to governments and users how ONHelp functions as they anticipate potential future regulations.
Government programs, like Start-Up Chile, have been key to ONHelp’s success. Fiorella said her participation in Startup Chile’s the S Factory (TSF) program for female entrepreneurs helped mitigate some of the challenges women entrepreneurs face growing a business on their own. “The moment you start looking for more funds, it becomes very hard as a woman,” she added.
While Peru has a similar program, Fiorella explained that it is not as dynamic as the Chilean program, it takes a long time to disburse funds and doesn’t open its doors to entrepreneurs from other economies. “Start-Up Chile is a top accelerator of Latin America because they have opened the doors to the world,” Fiorella explained, adding that they give startups street cred and access to its strong network, contacts and funds.