Most frequent questions and answers
Troop is not a charity. We are a social enterprise. We believe that an organization can achieve financial success and create a positive social impact, these goals are not mutually exclusive. Don’t believe us? Give us a bit of time to prove it.
This will change as our service and product offering evolves based on what our users want to see. For our free service, and when needs can be fulfilled with tangible products, we try to make money from affiliate commissions offered by the retailers we purchase the products from, such as Amazon. Affiliate commissions range from 2-10% depending on the item purchased.
When Troop members fulfill need, there is an option to leave a tip for us, kind of like a small pat on the back to let us know that you see value in what we’re doing.
We also have a Troop Plan service, allowing members to automate their weekly contributions. The fee for this service is 5% of the contribution value, 2.9% of that will go towards the payment processing fee.
Full disclosure, we will likely experiment with different revenue models in the future. But first, our focus is on building a service that allows members to unleash their good into their local community.
It’s simple. Sign up with your name, email, phone number and address. We’ll send you one text message a week about a featured local need in your area. You can also get this message by email. If you feel like helping out a neighbour that week, just click on the link in the message. This will send you to a page with more details about the local need and info on how you can fulfill the need.
Needs can be fulfilled in a few ways:
- Pool funds – we typically do this when the item in need is more than $50.
- Wish lists – you can pick a specific item from a wish list and purchase that, so you know exactly where your money is going.
- Used goods – yup, we pick up old stiff. We agree that there’s far too much stuff in the world and if a need can be fulfilled with a slightly used item from a neighbours basement or closet, we’re all over that.
Right now we have a database of local needs in the Roncy / High Park / Parkdale/ King West areas. The plan is to test the service in these neighbourhoods first before we expand into other hoods. We want to make sure we build a process that allows neighbours to easily meet local needs. This means working with local charities and social workers to identify the needs, finding the caring neighbours interested in helping, and then connecting the two through technology that uses simple text messaging and product fulfillment to meet the needs. Simple right? (Ummm, don’t mention that to our developers :))
We started off by only purchasing the need items through Amazon. We’ve since expanded on this to ensure that we’re fulfilling the need in the most cost effective way, be it Amazon, Walmart, a local shop or a bulk distributor.
We do this the old fashioned way: people, eyeballs and common sense. We look for the most cost effective product (but we steer clear of poor quality – no kid wants a backpack that’s already falling apart). We also look at the supplier and opt for local goods with the shortest distance to travel and quickest delivery date. We also take into consideration specific requests, so if you see a link for Dora bed sheets, they’re likely going to a serious Explorer fan.
We vet each charity and social worker before adding their local needs to our database. When you fulfill a tangible need, the items get delivered to the Troop office and we drop them off at the charity so we can take pics/videos of the products and share the moment with you. Can we do this when we are in a bazillion neighbourhoods? Probably not, but we’re happy to cross that bridge when we get there. P.S. We don’t like dodgy people either.
The first Sunday after you sign up.