Sunday, April 21

Rough Edges takes its fight against homelessness mobile with Beam

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Local shoppers in Sydney will be able to donate to Rough Edges using a mobile app from today. In a partnership with Beam, a rewards platform offering 10 per cent back on everyday purchases, consumers can now gift a portion of their digital reward to those less fortunate.

The hope is that by offering digital solutions, people will find it easier to support community-focused groups like Rough Edges.

In the last decade the percentage of household spending with cash has dropped from 69 per cent, down to 37 per cent, according to the RBA. This has affected local businesses and charities too.

Rough Edges focuses on helping its patrons as they deal with issues of homelessness and domestic abuse. Donations are crucial for Rough Edges to continue to run its services and in the lead up to its new Women’s Safe Space for those experiencing domestic violence.

Paula Darwin, Fundraising & Community Engagement Manager from Rough Edges said: “Local community members and businesses are already a great support of Rough Edges and always rally when we host local events. But people lead busy lives”.

The partnership aims to keep money within the local community by using technology to drive funding from new streams, as traditional donation collection becomes harder.

Darwin added: “With Beam it becomes super easy for locals that want to engage with us, donate or contribute a small amount as often as daily. Not only will we receive valuable donations but hope to keep homelessness top of mind for locals in the community.”

Community Lead and Founder of Darlo Darlings Facebook group, Mike Galvin, is utilising this partnership to drive donations in a digital capacity at the community-focused events he organises too.

Commenting on the digital trend Galvin said: “Donations have previously always been collected in cash and as locals move towards digital solutions, the number of donations has decreased. The ability to accept digital donations has been on the wishlist for locals, businesses and charities for a while.”

When users sign up and enter promo code “RoughEdges” $10 is donated to Rough Edges after the first transaction is completed.

After a roll-out earlier this year to 33 businesses across Potts Point, Darlinghurst and Surry Hills, the Beam platform now allows local retailers like Grand Royal Barbers and District Speciality Coffee to offer mobile payment options without incurring the transaction fees associated with traditional card issuers. Over 1 million people on three continents, use the mobile app to make in-store payments.

Stacey Hogan, project lead at Beam said: “How many times have you reached in your pocket to help the homeless but not had any change? Our move towards a cashless society is improving the experience for consumers, but risks removing help from those that need it most.

“Our experience in developing digital community-led initiatives couldn’t be better suited to this type of project. Beamers can now order their daily coffee and off the back of it, make a donation to change someone’s life, all by rounding up or down, on a purchase. It’s technology that can genuinely better our society. It’s nice to offer something to the local area where the platform was originally developed”, Hogan added

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