Love it UP may have passed its first test. Combining charity, even a teeny weenie bit of it, with business is proving to be a big differentiator for the daily deals site.
As its main point of distinction from an army of competition, Love it UP donates a small percentage of each sale to charity. Last month, it notched up its first $10,000 for charitable causes and promptly, in a thanksgiving gesture to its patrons, handed an equal amount back to customers in the form of store credits.
Barely six months after its debut, co-founder Tee-Jay Ramnarain-Little says she is enthused and excited about what Love it UP can do.
“We are not only creating great experiences and value for people and merchants all over the country but also giving back a small piece of everything to our favorite charities,” she told Anthill in an email interview. “Working with charity partners allows us to incorporate a whole new element to our business that no other daily deals business in Australia has which is filled with true goodness, support, and generosity,” she added.
The online shopping deal site’s charity partners include the McGrath Foundation, Starlight Children’s Foundation, Barnardos, Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation and Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors. Love it UP gives away between 5% and 10% of its revenues to charity.
Ramnarain-Little was a public relations professional before becoming a “mumpreneur,” as the Gold Coast native calls herself. Love it UP’s service – daily deals on everything from pizzas to holiday resorts – is now available in Sydney, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Melbourne, and in some other parts of the country.
The company is setting itself the goal of half a million subscribers by the year-end, from its present 200,000 – a reasonable ambition, perhaps, given the firm’s revenues are growing at 50% per month.
Building a rich philanthropy ecosystem
What is gratifying not just for Love it UP but also for charities and the charitable at heart is the manner in which the philanthropy ecosystem is being strengthened by the fledgling company. To see how so, consider this.
Love it UP’s charity partners promote the company to their own members – the already “ethical people, good doers,” as Ramnarain-Little put it. “We find those subscribers a lot more loyal and frequent purchasers. Our charity partners have also started introducing us to a variety of their business sponsors which will soon translate into incredible offers on Love it UP,” she added.
Then there is the other side – members of Love it UP warming up to charities. The startup has been “flooded with positive feedback” from members for “our partnership and commitment with our charity partners,” according to Ramnarian-Little. A lot of Australians are “really appreciative and happy we are taking this approach as this can affect millions of people in need,” she added.
Unsurprisingly, the charities are loving it.
“The money donated by Love It UP helps us place McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities right across Australia and increase breast awareness in young women,” said The McGrath Foundation run by former Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath. “As we say at the McGrath Foundation – together, we can make a difference!”
Barnardos Australia, a children’s charity, and the Cerebral Palsy Alliance echo similar feelings. Ramnarain-Little says her company is reviewing over 50 charity requests and hopes to support many more in the coming months and years.