For customers viewing their shopping cart at the checkout, it's as
simple as ticking a box that adds their footprints donation to their
transaction cost. So, adding $2 to their $100 purchase will mean that
$102 gets debited to their credit card.
Customer can choose to
make no donation at all, $1, $2 or $5. Each business integrates the
donations mechanism slightly differently to ensure that the amount is
relevant to the size of the other purchases.
We believe that the timing of the donation request is vital.
The mechanism to make a Footprints donation only appears when you are
about to purchase other goods and services. This makes it an easy decision for consumers: your credit card is already
on the table ... we're asking that you spend just a teeny-tiny bit more.
The Footprints Network is an alliance of e-commerce businesses and
their customers who fund community projects from many small donations
collected with every online transaction. The other side of the Network
are the project partners who coordinate, manage and report on the
The Footprints Network members believe the internet provides
vast opportunities to make a difference in the area of poverty
The Footprints Network is an alliance of e-commerce companies and
their customers plus project partners. The business partners include WorldNomads.com, Travel Insurance Direct Australia and Temando.com. Charity partners include Oxfam Australia, the Fred Hollows Foundation, WaterAid Australia and many more.
The organisation is run by a commitee as a secular, not-for-profit organisation.
The Footprints API (Application Programming Interface) is a set of
webservices that are integrated into a purchase path to send and
receive data on available projects, donation amounts and donor details.
Footprints Network website has sophisticated reporting systems that
collate this data and manage the automation of project funding across
Because it was a good idea. The rest of the story is in Our History.
Project proposals are regularly assessed by a panel of people who consider the following :
1. Fundamentally, does the project help to alleviate poverty?
2. Does the project meet our guidelines?
3. Has the project cost been researched thoroughly? Is it a reasonable cost?
4. Who will run the project and what is their track record?
5. Can sufficient reports be provided on completion?
Have a look at the very top of this page! There's a running total of donations and funds that's generated in real time. By the time you refresh the page, it will probably have gone up by $1 or $2.
Footprints Fundraising raises funds on behalf of other organisations and we do not run any projects directly ourselves. 100% of the funds people donate go to the project the selected and we do not fund projects with any significant 'administration' overhead so that they have a real effect in the communities for which they are intended.
The larger project partners are accredited with AusAid (the Australian Federal Government organisation that manages distribution of Aid) and must meet stringent accountability guidelines. Each of these project partners is responsible to its members and donors through it's board and usually publish their Annual Reports publically.
The small grassroots organisations and individuals we fund are required to return a budget acquital and receipts with their project reports.
Additionally, Footprints is audited every year by our generous supporter, Grant Thornton. You can download PDFs of the accounts and auditor's reports on this page.
The Footprints Network uses a variety of online technologies to record the link between your donation and your chosen project. Once a project has been fully funded it is removed from the system and no further donations can be made towards it. In this way, there is no overfunding or any need to re-direct some donations to other projects.
You can get involved with a project by making a donation when you
purchase goods and services online. At the moment, our business
The Footprints Network specializes in micro-payments. Our
sophisticated reporting tools collate thousands of tiny donations all
made in any currency, by anyone, anywhere in the world. Charities would
have a hard time with these kind of donations on their own.
Individually, it would be more hassle than it's worth to administer and
allocate each one. Our technology expertise brings it all together
easily on their behalf.
Any single donation may seem insignificant, but collectively they make
a big splash. It's a practical implementation of the 'Think
globally, act locally' maxim.
you're feeling philanthropic and would like to make a really big
donation, our charity partners would be happy to help you out. Please
visit their individual websites.
Your donations to projects administered by the Footprints Network are not tax deductible.
This is because our organisation does not have DGR status, the tax deductible status required in Australia. As donors to our projects come from across the globe (150+ countries to date), we feel that pursuing tax deductiblity in Australia would only benefit a small percentage of donors. Additionally, as we've chosen to specialise in micro-donations, such as A$2, €2, US$2, most donors do not seek tax deductible receipts for such small contributions. We encourage people who wish to make significant donations to charitable projects and who seek tax deductibility for doing so, to contact our project partners directly; they would welcome you warmly!
We encourage all our business member sites (who facilitate the donations), to clearly state the donation and the amount on receipts they issue so you have a record and it matches your credit card statement.
No it's your choice. Different businesses may present the option to donate to Footprints projects in slightly different ways on their sites, but you can always choose not to donate.
FAQs for businesses
Online customers are smart and they care about the ethics and values
of the companies from which they purchase. There are 6 key ways in which your business could benefit - we recommend you read this info.
Footprints would like to include into the Network, companies...
- That run e-commerce applications on their own site and are
prepared to make some integration changes to your shop pages i.e.
there's some technical stuff to do!
- Who are doing a minimum of 1000 transactions per month and can provide business references
- That philosophically believe in Social Responsibility
Who are creative, use imagination and innovation
Who believe in Customer/Community Engagement
Who sell products that are sustainable/do not do more damage than good
That are committed to a sustainable future
We will not consider adult or gambling websites. Neither will we consider websites that we feel conflict with the fundamental values and vision of the Footprints Network or who's business ventures impinge on those we aim to help.
Nothing - except a bit of your time, passion and a small amount of technical development work.
As the network develops we are looking for genuine contributions of time, resources and expertise from business members to sustain and grow the initiative.
your business would also like to contribute to your projects as a
corporate initiative, it is possible to dollar match your customer's
If you're interested in joining, Contact Us so we introduce ourselves and answer any questions you may have.
As we are looking to forge relationships between businesses, charities and Footprints, it's really important that we talk upfront about these things:
1. Business processes and options
+ Billing/invoicing process - let's clarify how it works up front
+ Your business goals and the kinds of projects you'd like to support.
+ Technical integration of the API on your site (we'll answer any questions)
+ Interface/branding options - You'll need to decide whether the
solutions will be opt-in, opt-out, multiple projects, donation amounts
etc - It's your decision, but I can advise our experience with
different approaches and outcomes.
We have a partner agreement that outlines how Footprints works and what
each party is responsible for. There is a phase to review and sign off the contracts.
3. Integration timeline.
There needs to be a level of coordination between your business and Footprints to ensure that everything is tested/approved for launch - and that we have the right projects ready to go.
In our experience, it takes less than a day to implement the web
services technology to your website. We then need to coordinate a short
testing period to ensure it's working correctly and provide final
approvals to launch. For more detailed information on what's involved ,
read the Footprints API Overview or give it to your technical team to review.
Before we get to the juicy integration phase though, remember that your business needs to make some decisions about it's goals, who and what to support, interface options etc... not to mention the fact that there's a relationship contract to sign. This phase is mostly just talking and can take from a few days to a few months. Please contact us so we can begin the planning phase.
Yes - the Footprints application piggybacks off your own
transactions via online payment gateways. You collect the donations as
your customers make them so the money is stored in your own accounts
until you remit it to us.
The donation data is stored in a
secure area of the Footprints website and is not published online
anywhere. We do not request your customer's personal details (such as email addresses) - just a unique reference ID such as an order number or invoice number, to make reconciliation easy.
Yes, we've got a brochure for businesses who want an overview of how Footprints would integrate into their website and the benefits of doing so.
You can download a PDF brochure here. (1.5MB)
Yes, but your project will still need to meet our proposal guidelines,
reporting criteria and be approved independantly by Footprints. An
example of someone who might wish to fund their own project is a
business who runs a foundation that manages it's own projects.
Footprints could be used as a mechanism for their customers to also
participate in funding the work of the foundation.
Yes you can. We will work with you to find projects of the right
size and cost that are relevant to your customers and business. The
technology is able to allocate projects to your business exclusively or
you can share the fundraising efforts with other businesses.
You're welcome to suggest project ideas and charity organisations you'd like to work with, bearing in mind the issues we support and the project guidelines.
Find out more about us
No - we don't have a regular newsletter at the moment. The best way to stay in touch with what the Footprints Network is doing is to join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter: @footprintsntwk
or visit the Media section where we post all of our press releases.