FEATURE INTERVIEW & CORPORATE PROFILE – IMPACTWAYV
BI: Tell our readers what they don’t already know about ImpactWayv…
Dan Rubino (ImpactWayv Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO): ImpactWayv is the first social media platform that’s focused on social good. For people, for businesses, and for nonprofits – it’s purpose-built for more meaningful social interaction and engagement. Our objective was to create a healthier alternative to existing social media networks.
We created the vision for ImpactWayv nearly two years ago, but it has been in the making for more than two decades. Our team consists of thinkers and doers with many years of experience and expertise in the world of nonprofits, as well as in the worlds of business and technology. Just like other sectors of society that have been transformed by technology, we recognized that philanthropy needed the transformation and disruption of technology to bring it into the 21st century.
To do so and to make the world a better place, we created ImpactWayv, a thriving and sustainable next generation ecosystem that serves at the intersection of people and businesses through the lens of social good. ImpactWayv is the only technology and social media platform that addresses the “megatrend” of social impact in our society – where most people, businesses and nonprofits want to interact and engage at a higher level on a more meaningful basis.
Other outlets are too fragmented and too scattered. Facebook, for instance, has over 2.85 billion users., without a common thread or focus. We knew there needed to be a space where these vital sectors pursuing social good wouldn’t have their respective voices drowned out through all the noise.
So we built a cutting-edge social media platform where people can interact, businesses can interact, and not for profits can interact just as they would on any social media system, but on the basis of social impact – discussing, engaging in and effecting change with respect to the causes they care about. With a focus that maximizes user engagement and the network effect.
We see our technology as the best vehicle to bring these universes together and to drive engagement, drive interaction, and drive connection between the three major cohorts – businesses, individuals, and not for profits.
This potent combination, with a common underlying theme of social good, is the simple social media solution for our times. It’s an everyday social media network for users to engage 24/7 in conversation and interaction, just like they would on Facebook, Instagram or TikTok, but with a major twist – to make the world a better place.
BI: Can you gentlemen explain how a nonprofit or a corporation would utilize the ImpactWayv service?
Dan Rubino: We welcome all for profits,nonprofits and individuals to join the platform. An individual can easily download the app from the App Store, and get on the app by including certain basic information, and all of a sudden, they’re ‘on’, just like you would be on any other social media site. And the same holds true for entities, corporations, as well as nonprofits. They can come onto the platform, claim their profile, and get on-boarded, all through our seamless process. They can then start posting and demonstrating on the platform everything that they do, from a social good perspective, while inviting all of their stakeholders on as well.
Benji Bernstein (ImpactWayv Co-Founder, EVP and Chief Technology Officer): We have a team at ImpactWayv that is focused on facilitating the onboarding process for both for-profit companies as well as nonprofit organizations. As part of that process, we set up a 10-minute call with organizations that join, to walk them through the platform, to show them how they can optimize their use of ImpactWayv, and then set them up as admins of their organization profile.
We work with them on how to get the word out to their stakeholders, employees, and investors,and how to promote their active presence on ImpactWayv.
We are a very focused platform. Our audiences want a go-to, centralized hub for all things relating to social impact. They want to understand what businesses are doing from a social good standpoint, as well as how nonprofits are making a difference in their respective focus areas. As a digital platform that’s focused on those areas specifically, ImpactWayv is a fully dedicated and inclusive setting for social impact, where people, businesses, and nonprofits can come together, exchange ideas and collaborate to advance different cause areas, and ultimately drive greater collective impact.
Despite the myriad challenges of 2020, charitable giving hit a record $471.44 Billion leading into 2021, and recent studies demonstrate that global interest in social good continues to rise to unprecedented highs. We believe that ImpactWayv, as a centralized impact ecosystem, can help all users channel their social good interests and ambitions into wide scale impact, through an exciting and empowering user experience.
BI: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has certainly become something of a cottage industry, however one that in recent years has fallen under scrutiny in terms of tangible accountability. Was the motivation for founding ImpactWayv the idea of addressing a lack of transparency in the CSR business?
Dan Rubino: Yes, but just as importantly we also wanted to address the lack of trust, transparency and accountability in social media generally.
As to CSR, I remember when we formulated the business plan a couple of years ago– that was right around the time when Business Roundtable came out with their statement that corporations should be run for the benefit of all stakeholders, including their communities. Almost 200 companies signed on to that statement, nearly overnight. We thought that this was a terrific indicator and we wanted to use that as a foundation in connection with building out our platform and certainly building out the app itself.
And what you’ve seen since that time is certainly that acronyms such as CSR and ESG are coming into the public vernacular; yet they’re all somewhat disparate. And now, it’s almost hard to follow. That’s why we built the platform whereby everything is clean, cohesive and collected into a platform that everyone could use.
With ImpactWayv, first – there’s transparency; second – there’s accountability; and third – there’s momentum. You can actually see in real-time what your selected company or nonprofit organization is doing. And then you can match their progress against their own benchmarks; you can define your own metrics, you can match them against what other companies are doing, all in one unified platform.
George Dolatly (ImpactWayv Co-Founder and President): The ImpactWayv platform thrives on positivity, unlike what we’re seeing in the broader social media space. We create transparency and clarity by focusing the conversation on making the world a better place. User engagement is focused around “Wayvs”, or social good topics and causes. And the essential measurement metric on the ImpactWayv platform is “Impacts”, rather than “likes.” It allows all our users – people, for-profits and nonprofits alike – to really measure the good that they’re doing by indicating what they’re accomplishing throughout the CSR space, the social good space, via our system’s proprietary metrics.
Benji Bernstein: We created the “Impact” metrics as a way to measure the positive ripple effect that people, as well as brands, their stakeholders, and employees, are creating. For example, every user of ImpactWayv has their own total “Impact” score. The way you grow that score is basically by sharing, by engaging, and by inviting people into this social impact ecosystem. The”Impact” metrics are essentially measuring the amount of awareness that you’re spreading around these different areas of social good and causes that mean so much to you, as well as your level of activity to advance those different causes.
Additionally, they track how much users are moving others to take action–to share impactful content, to click-through to learn more about a cause or initiative,to follow and support different organizations that are making a difference. It’s all about capturing the positive action caused by one’s posts and engagement. That’s the whole concept of “Impacts”.
Instead of this type of social media platform being “all about me” and focused on“how many likes can I get, how much attention can I garner”, we want users on ImpactWayv to be thinking about, “how can my posts actually benefit others and make an impact on the issue areas that I care about?”
People are talking more and more about the different frameworks out there for measuring Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria. However, what many companies, and we as a society, are really looking to get better at is measuring the ‘social’ part of ESG. We think that our “Impact”metrics concept can help be a part of this solution, by measuring the social good activity, aptitude and overall impact of employees and external stakeholders — ultimately serving as a real-time indicators for companies around their brand community’s social good engagement.
Sam Amsterdam (Marketing and Communications): I think there’s a tremendous opportunity to showcase accountability on this social media platform, applicable to corporations and nonprofits from all walks of life.
And in this era of citizen journalism, where everyone has a voice, to offer clarity on any platform that prides itself on its due diligence, its relationships, and one that is sitting at the intersection between the nonprofit and non-governmental organization sector, and the industry of Corporate Social Responsibility, to provide an equitable platform for visibility, and accountability in terms of impact, is particularly exciting.
ImpactWayv is something that is really next generation. It’s intuitive and has the potential to take the CSR, the ESG, the DEI communities and those that follow these ‘Wayvs’ if you will, by storm.
George Dolatly: Ultimately, we are democratizing social good. And we’re doing this while living at an unprecedented moment in time, with more interest than ever in social good issues. It’s been building up over time, but certainly the events of the past few years have exponentially accelerated the need for an interest in this platform and its goals and ethos. This is the venue for people who are focused and driven to make change. And this is the venue for businesses to show that they’re responsive to people’s interests in social good, and that they’re doing their part to make the world a better place. It’s a self-perpetuating cycle of good.
BI: But how do you look to monetize ImpactWayv – How can one participate in ‘gamified’ CSR activities through ImpactWayv?
Dan Rubino: It’s an excellent question, because at the same time we bring into the fold people who have a passion for social good, we want people to enjoy the experience and be entertained. We’ll have friendly contests, challenges and campaigns – fun ways that people can interact and compete – all centered on social good activities and goals.
The other aspect is helping users to be creative in terms of what they do with respect to social good.We want to see people becoming creators; we want people to become developers on the platform. And we want people to become influencers on the platform. To have someone become an influencer with respect to a particular cause or a particular “Wayv”, and then having this social media app as their platform is an amazing combination.
The monetization of the platform is, of course, key. That’s how it’s going to sustain itself forever and ever. The bottom line is that individuals will have unlimited access to the platform for free, just like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.
We purposely designed the platform such that most of the nonprofits will be able to access the platform and utilize it at no cost. That was an essential element of our business plan because the thesis here is social good; the goal is to give nonprofits connectivity and a viable social media platform to showcase the good work that they do, and to reach potential new supporters more efficiently.
The basic revenue model is that businesses will pay to be on the platform. It’s a combination of subscription fees, paid content and advertising and sponsored marketing.
Businesses’ activities on the platform will include posting about what matters to them as an enterprise, discussing what they’ve done and plan to do to address important issues, and celebrating their social good activities. It’s enhancing their brand, it’s enhancing their image.And ultimately it is telling the world who they are, which will result in more people, more partners and more customers coming to the table.
Benji Bernstein: We have a multitude of businesses, including Fortune-500 major brands across industries, as well as some of the largest NGOs and nonprofits in the world already on our platform; they are already active, already engaging with their stakeholders and bringing them on to the platform.
Many brands coming onto ImpactWayv are telling us how much they need an avenue dedicated to promoting their corporate social responsibility and impact efforts—in a setting that is more conducive to those messages, without the noise and clutter of other more broadly focused social media platforms. So there’s already a major demand for this type of focused ecosystem for demonstrating and pushing out ongoing CSR and ESG content in a dynamic way. Companies are increasingly looking for a dedicated space to get these messages and initiatives out, in order to remain competitive and grow brand loyalty in this rapidly evolving “purpose” economy.
George Dolatly: In addition, it’s rare today that you would see any marketing activities by companies that don’t at least mention their CSR efforts. People expect that you stand for something — it’s inextricably linked with the company’s operations. And that trend is going to continue apace.
Dan Rubino: And it’s also very key in terms of how the platform is to be used going forward.
We mentioned before, the ‘real-time’ aspect of the platform, and it is real time – you post, it’s immediate; you engage, it’s immediate; you create, it’s immediate. And it connects the content you create with the entire universe on the ImpactWayv platform.
But the real-time aspect is critical. If you look around us, and you look at the topics that come up on a daily basis, whether it be Afghanistan, or COVID-19, a hurricane or the tragicearthquake in Haiti – every day, there’s something of significance that comes up. And what the world doesn’t have is one unified platform, a social media platform, that is purpose-built around social good, that can actually identify that kind of an event on a daily basis and if and how it is being addressed in real time.
We offer a portal, for lack of a better phrase, through which the world can see, learn, engage, and ultimately do something about that particular event or issue.
I wish we were up and running before the COVID-19 pandemic, because it could be something significant wherein you have unified thought and unified opinions coming to one central location, and that learning and development and solution exchange; the capability of the platform could be revolutionary, as far as I’m concerned.
It’s that aspect of it that we’re also very proud of, and it’s because of the social good theme that underlies our entire business model.
Sam Amsterdam: And this dynamic further allows ImpactWayv to be not just sustainable, but to host the potential for evolutionary growth month on month.We are the choice, some might contend,the singular platform for our soon-to-be-partners to showcase global gift matching programs, corporate volunteer programs, ESG and overarching CSR initiatives, both at home in the US and worldwide, initiatives each expected to be on the continued rise in 2022 and beyond.
Dan Rubino: That’s exactly right.
BI: Gentlemen, where in your estimations and under your vision, would you see ImpactWayv in the next five to ten years?
Dan Rubino: We’re proud to answer that question, because if you want to do something disruptive and transformative, you have to aspire to that.
And with the backing of social good and the urgency behind promoting it, we think we can get there.
What we want to be, and what we want to do, is to transform, disrupt and unite the global social impact space. We want to capture the global megatrend of social impact.
The bottom line is that we want to become the leading media and technology platform for social good.
We want to do that in five to 10 years. Frankly, we want to do that next year. But on the continuum, that’s what we want to accomplish.
Benji Bernstein: When you look at this space of social impact and social media, we want ImpactWayvt o be the healthier, more meaningful social media platform; an alternative that really provides a more empowering experience; one that ultimately, as Dan mentioned, delivers greater collective impact to the world, something that is needed now more than ever.
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