Smile.al program is a pioneering initiative for the promotion of social and developmental banking in Albanian society. 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, for projects of social contribution.
Smile.al is an initiative of the Credins Foundation, 100% owned by Credins bank. The platform is an initiative of the bank’s executives and shareholders to design a platform that serves to enhance awareness among the public and to motivate people to contribute as much as possible, in the implementation of projects that are necessary for the development and well-being of the Albanian society.
Credins Foundation has created a strategic partnership with some of the local most famous institutions in the field of social responsibility, such as: Partners Albania, Vodafone Foundation and Grant Thorton. Each partner will contribute to the promotion and better functioning of the platform, guaranteeing a successful selection of projects to be implemented by public contribution.
Crowdfunding is a simple, widely known fundraising practice, by which an entity, either individual, business or other entity can contribute, in line with their means, in kind or in cash, to various initiatives such as social welfare, solidarity, etc. that often focus on the community and the environment. The practice of seeking funding from a large number of people – thus giving rise to the term “crowdfunding” 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 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.
Smile.al platform covers a wide range of areas from social wellbeing and solidarity, promotion of cultural heritage, environment, social entrepreneurship, education and training, sporting activities and innovative entrepreneurship.
Any non-profit organization (NGO) has the opportunity to submit on the platform projects in the specified areas and after selection by relevant experts according to the established criteria, the winning projects will be officially launched on the platform calling on the public to contribute funds or engage as volunteers.
The feature that characterizes the Smile.al program is that it provides maximum security for all contributors, by ensuring the full transparency for every donation made, real-time information on the contribution for each supported project, as well as information on project implementation until its finalization.
In recent years crowdfunding has become a valuable tool for supporting NGOs in their efforts to acquire the funds needed to gain objectives such as carrying out welfare and social solidarity actions, which as today have been limited due to limited contributions.
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.
Every individual, organization, or private company, anywhere in the world, has greater opportunity to be informed about projects addressing social causes and to contribute directly, online, anywhere and in any country they may be, to implement such welfare initiatives for the best of the Albanian society. Now, it is time to show that we can succeed if we are all willing to donate something. The Smile.al program offers great potential for pooling resources, either in cash or in kind, through the online fundraising model, regardless of whether the contributors are in Albania or abroad.
Despite everything, Smile.al offers a new way for people to think and act. Whether there are very specific objectives and projects, or whether there are stable guarantees for transparency and absolute accountability, the contribution of each individual, no matter how small, is very valuable.
Credins Foundation is the owner of Smile.al platform. It was established in March 2021. Credins Foundation is owned 100% by Credins Bank, which has been operating for more than 18 years in the Albanian banking market. Today it is one of the 2 main banks in the market in terms of total loan portfolio and total deposits and assets. Established in 2003 as the first bank with Albanian capital, Credins continues to stay true to its mission to be the number one choice for Albanians and the Albanian-speaking regions. More than 360,000 customers have established a consolidated relationship with Credins Bank for many banking services and products which meet entirely their needs. Credins Bank has 57 branches in all major cities of Albania and over 950 professional employees.
Credins bank has been implementing for years now an active policy regarding social responsibility, supporting many initiatives in the area of education, health, environment, innovation, fight against poverty, etc. with a substantial contribution to community development.
Partners Albania for Change and Development is an independent Albanian foundation, established in 2001, which supports the development of civil society in the country and facilitates cross-sectoral cooperation in order to strengthen democratic institutions and advance economic development.
The work of Partners Albania is focused on four programmatic areas as follows: enabling environment and sustainable development of civil society; transparent and accountable participatory governance; entrepreneurship and social innovation; as well as philanthropic activity and support infrastructure.
Partners Albania is a member of the Partners Network, a partnership of 19 independent organizations in Europe, North and South America, Africa and the Middle East, which work for peaceful and democratic change.
Partners Albania is also a member of several other European and global networks such as BCSDN, ECAS, DIESIS, WINGS.
“Vodafone Albania” Foundation is a non-profit organization established by Vodafone Albania Sh.A. under the Tirana Court’s Decision No. 2577, dated 17 July 2007. “Vodafone Albania” Foundation is funded on annual basis by contributions from Vodafone Albania Sh.A and Vodafone Group Foundation in UK. Other third party donations are welcome subject to their compliance with charitable purposes.
The purpose of the Foundation is to be an accelerator of innovative ideas and efforts which use the best of technology and resources to maximize the social impacts for benefit of society. It designs programs and supports financially implementation of projects and initiatives that deliver measurable and sustainable impacts in the lives of Albanians.
The Connected for Good Program of Foundation is about combining Vodafone’s charitable giving and technology to maximize the difference it makes to the world.
Foundation in Albania aims to become the leading partner in ICT education in the country in the next 10 years by investing in education of youth and disadvantaged groups and transform their lives, equipping them with skills and capacities for the future.
Grant Thornton is one of the world’s leading organizations of independent assurance, tax and advisory firms. These firms help dynamic organizations unlock their potential for growth by providing meaningful, actionable advice. Proactive teams, led by approachable partners in these firms, use insights, experience and instinct to understand complex issues for privately owned, publicly listed and public sector clients and help them to find solutions. More than 56,000 Grant Thornton people, across over 140 countries, are focused on making a difference to clients, colleagues and the communities in which we live and work.