Replyforall: Social Enterprise for Your Email
A San Francisco-based startup has come up with a way to do social good via the email you already send. replyforall allows you to donate for free to your favorite cause in a simple, practical, and sustainable way - by attaching a sponsored signature to your emails.
In order to donate, you simply use a replyforall signature in your emails. The signature features your contact information, your cause, as well a brand sponsor. When you use the signature, replyforall dones half the advertising funds from the sponsor to your select cause. Current sponsors include JetBlue, ThinkMTV, and The Body Shop. Causes that can be supported via replyforall include the ASPCA, TechnoServe, and Partners in Health. For users who pick Global Warming or Animal Rights as their cause, their signature will graphically change as they use it more and go up in "levels."
The signatures need not be attached to every message you send, so you can toggle the service on and off.
According to founder Enmi Kendall, "Our goal's to provide a way for all of us to help make a difference while we're doing something we already do -- so our actions can be sustained over time and scale. Aside from the donation aspect, my hope is that the signatures serve as the first step of a longer path towards greater engagement. Most of our users customize their signatures with rotating factoids related to their cause. After sending hundreds of emails with a new factoid in it each time, you actually retain a ton, as do the friends and family receiving your emails. I know it's definitely changed some of my own behavior - one important step towards deepening awareness of the challenges facing our world."
In the first year since the company's launch, they claim their sponsored signatures have:
replyforall works with Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, and AOL webmail accessed through Firefox 3+ and Internet Explorer 7+. A Chrome extension is in the works. The replyforall signatures can also be attached to Facebook messages.
According to the company's website, "replyforall is anchored by the belief that the most sustainable way for people to have an impact is to make it a part of what they do everyday. if participating is too painful, too hard to remember, or only appealing to a handful of people, then it limits our impact." A simple step in social enterprise, replyforall has created an easy and effective tool for making a difference.