What is Smile.al program?
For the first time in Albania, an online platform has been created which enables the gathering of resources from the “crowd” – from anyone interested, wherever they may be in the world. The resources are then directed to specific projects undertaken by implementing bodies. The core philosophy of crowdfunding is to enhance awareness among the public and to motivate people to contribute, as much as they can, to the implementation of projects that are needed by Albanian society.
The various smile.al actions are being implemented by bodies with a solid track record in such activity, through the program’s website www.smile.al, by leveraging the potential of the crowdfunding financing model.
The funds raising through the smile.al are donations
What is crowdfunding?
Crowdfunding is a simple, widely known fundraising concept and practice, by which an individual or legal entity can contribute, in line with their means, in kind or in cash, to various initiatives such as social welfare, solidarity and business initiatives that often focus on the community and the environment.
In recent years crowdfunding has become a valuable tool for supporting agencies, NGOs and companies in their efforts to acquire the funds needed to gain objectives such as carrying out welfare and social solidarity actions, implementing innovative business ideas, or covering operating needs. The practice of seeking funding from a large number of people – thus giving rise to the term “crowdfunding” – emerged on the margins of the traditional financial system and has become easier to achieve thanks to the spread of the internet. Besides the speed and immediacy that this fundraising model offers for the presentation of an idea and the networking of the agency that implements it, crowdfunding has the added advantages of low operating costs and wide coverage and promotion of the projects to be financed.
Crowdfunding motivates the public to contribute to the achievement of specific goals, and encourages people to support on a collective basis and in a truly practical way any kind of social or business venture that they feel merits their backing.
Our aim is to activate and mobilize Albanian society through essential partnerships and give prominence, whereas possible, to every social need from every corner of Albania by developing and supporting social programs.
Smile.al program and the online donations social platform feature the needs of significant thematic areas for improvement. The direct alliances with Civil Society Organizations and Social Partners, combined with the power of crowd, bring the vision of Smile.al into life.
We aspire to become a dynamic hub of knowledge, cooperation and action for civil society through our program.
The program’s goals are:
- To give prominence to social needs and innovative social actions from every corner of Albania
- To support and mobilize resources from individuals and institutional donors
- To implement social actions and campaigns with transparency and accountability
The Thematic areas
The program covers projects falling within 7 thematic areas:
1) Health and solidarity,
2) Promotion of cultural heritage,
4) Innovative entrepreneurship
5) Social entrepreneurship,
6) Education and training,
7) Sporting Activities.
The Strategic partners
Smile.al program is supported by businesses, organizations and foundations of international standing, such as Grand Thornton Albania, Credins Bank, Partners Albania and Vodafone Albania Fondation.
All these institutions contribute to the program by offering their know-how while also leveraging the potential of the crowdfunding platform so as to broaden and multiply the resources for projects or actions that they already support.
The implementing agencies of Smile.al
Each action is implemented by a specific agency, NGO and foundations. The implementing agencies submit their initial proposals for crowdfunding, which include all the key parameters, such as the cost, the beneficiaries of the action, the timeframe for implementation, and so on.
The contribution of the implementing agencies to the program is decisive, as their know-how, experience and scientific competence serve as guarantees for the successful outcome of each action and the effective allocation and management of the resources gathered. The implementing agencies participate in the Supporters’ Assembly, with a view to exchanging opinions and ideas with the representatives of the strategic partners and all participants in the program in general.
The institutional bodies of Smile.al
In order to plan and manage effectively the actions of the Smile.al program, the following bodies have been set up:
- Strategy Committee: This is composed of at least 5 members, individuals and legal entities, which contribute and/or support by providing funds to Smile.al. It meets at least twice a year, with a view to monitoring the progress of the program, approving the implementing bodies for each thematic area, and approving the projects proposed from time to time, preparing guidelines for the Management Committee and proposing new fields of action and activities.
- Management Committee: This is established by decision of the Board of CREDINS Foundation and is charged with coordinating, running and managing the program. Its main responsibilities are the preselection of the implementing agencies and actions and submission of proposals to the Strategy Committee, the monitoring of the implementation timeframe, coordination between all the agencies involved, promotion of the program, the selection of an independent certified auditor, the preparation of progress and evaluation reports to be submitted to the Strategy Committee.
- Supporters’ Assembly: This is composed of representatives of the participants in the program (agencies implementing the actions) and, in general, the supporters of the initiative. It is held at least once a year with a view to exchanging opinions and ideas regarding the progress of the program and reviewing its results.
Smile.al supports actions that meet specific criteria and which are selected by the Strategy Committee after careful assessment.
The user of the crowdfunding platform can see the actions that are currently running, select the one(s) that interest him and, then, follow the steps to donate, easily, quickly and with complete transparency.
In addition, a special section of the platform displays completed actions along with information on the funds gathered and the completion time.
Smile.al invites, by means of a Public Invitation, interested parties (legal persons) to submit applications so that new actions can be included in the program. In line with the Smile.al Regulation, the final selection of actions is based on the assessment of specific criteria, with the assistance of a team of experts from various scientific and professional fields.
Pillars of trust
The feature that characterizes the Smile.al program is the full transparency and control that the program provides. The Program is governed by a Regulation that sets out in detail its purpose and modus operandi, as well as the bodies that exercise management and take decisions regarding the actions implemented.
Actions are audited by (auditor), an international auditing firm that offers its services free of charge to the Program, thereby making an important contribution to the fulfilment of the Program’s aims. Accordingly, transparency and accountability, the key comparative strong pillars of trust of Smile.al, are ensured.
The said features help enable Smile.al program achieve its goals and stick to its commitment: to be an organized and reliable program that respects each and every donation offered by members of the public.