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Senior's group tests leading edge idea

The Seniors Association of Greater Edmonton (SAGE) has partnered with a Calgary company in an innovative new approach to raising funds that has the potential to forever revolutionize the way charities operate.

The Seniors Association of Greater Edmonton (SAGE) has partnered with a Calgary company in an innovative new approach to raising funds that has the potential to forever revolutionize the way charities operate.

Biidly is the brainchild of Karen Willson, a New Zealander transplanted to Calgary. She conceived of her idea after a friend went to work in an elder care facility. The friend found there were major challenges with raising the funds to support the facility's work. Willson realized that instead of asking businesses to constantly donate, it was possible for charities to partner in a more sustainable manner that would benefit both parties.

Today Willson is beta testing her concept together with a handful of charities, including SAGE.

Biidly helps non-profits find corporate partners willing to offer their product or service to the charity at wholesale prices. The charity posts the offerings on the Biidly website at market value. Customers can buy services they were already intending to buy, while supporting their charity.

The business benefits by making money on their product or service, while also supporting the charity without having to donate. Meanwhile they are also opening their business up to new customers through Biidly channels.

The non-profit benefits because they earn consistent revenue not tied to a specific event – and also without the usual time commitment from staff and a large numbers of volunteers. When a customer makes a purchase, the charity gets the difference between the wholesale and retail price, less a small percentage that goes to Biidly.

The customer, in turn, is able to support a charity of their choice with no actual out-of-pocket costs, while getting something they were already planning to purchase. As well, they have opportunity to get unique offerings, not available anywhere else. It's also easier to share with others – friends and family might not be as interested in the fact a donor has supported a specific non-profit.

And Biidly benefits by making a small amount on each sale while helping an unlimited number of businesses and charities grow.

The whole process operates continuously without the same amount of effort usually required by fundraising activities, and without asking businesses to donate again and again resulting in donation fatigue.

SAGE's initial offerings on Biidly include:

a trip for two to see a Broadway show in New York City (including flight, three night's accommodations and the show),

a week for two at a luxury resort on the Kohala Coast of Hawaii (including flight), and

the opportunity to attend a taping of Dancing with the Stars during a three night stay at a four-star hotel in Los Angeles (flight included).

Depending on the results of the beta test, Biidly will officially launch later in 2015.

Businesses or non-profits interested in working with Biidly can contact Karen Willson at karen@biidly.com

SAGE supporters can check out, bid on and share the SAGE packages listed on Biidly.com Simply use the keyword SAGE in the search function on the website to find the packages.