The Crowd as a sales force: Raising $2 million for Neighborhood Business Associations in Portland

Imagine the impact that could be made if businesses in Portland were enabled to transform their buyers into a huge salesforce shared by all sellers in the city. What if everyone involved in a sale got paid and donations were made to nonprofits after each sale? Portland would be the first city in the world to empower the crowd as a salesforce and create a new kind of social capital: small actions as a service to the community. The city would see an unprecedented boost to its economy, it would be a win-win for everyone and it’s coming very soon!

I’m writing today to illustrate how the crowd as a salesforce solves a problem we’re all aware of: nonprofit leaders constantly struggling to balance their budgets. The crowd as a salesforce brings many other benefits, to individuals, businesses, nonprofits and the greater community – I’ll write another blog about that soon.

The crowd as a salesforce is a new category in the Collaborative Economy. Groowin’s leadership in this category is driven by sharing rewards with those who create value while providing risk free services to others.

To illustrate the power of the crowd as a salesforce, let’s take the example of how a local nonprofit – Venture Portland – could raise over $2,003,635.29 in just one year. Since 2009, with Venture Portland’s help, business districts raised and invested $2 million in the Portland economy. In the face of budget cuts proposed by Portland Mayor Charlie Hale, Venture Portland has asked the Portland community to show its support for the organization.

Groowin is stepping in to propose a solution that could lend a hand to Venture Portland in building support for the vital services it provides to Portland’s business community. I’m using the Groowin Impact Calculator to demonstrate how small actions made by Venture Portland and, in turn, Portland’s business districts, individual business owners, their employees and customers, could meet their fundraising goals.

With Groowin’s collaborative marketplace community (I’ll also write more about this in a subsequent post – be sure to subscribe for future updates!), Venture Portland could generate about $2 million over a period of one year, here’s the breakdown:

  • $277,400 would be the total invitation income earned by Venture Portland just for having invited all 19,000 businesses across the 50 districts to join Groowin.
  • $111,647 would be the total hosting income earned by Venture Portland if it were to host a collaborative marketplace for just over half – 10,000 – of these businesses.
  • $326,353 would be the total donated to Venture Portland if each of the 19,000 Portland businesses were to create just two offers (for a total of 38,000 offers) to sell on their marketplace and donate the resulting creation income.
  • $1.28 million would be the total buying income earned by Venture Portland if it were to invite 250,000 individuals to join Groowin and each were to purchase just one offer per day at an average price of $9 each and sales commission of 4 percent.

Sounds too good to be true? Try out the Groowin Impact Calculator for yourself and tell us what you discover. If you like it, invite others to help support the community. You can start with a simple invitation email to your mailing list or listserv, post a direct link on your website and in social media, and invite your members and followers to join.

As a citizen of Portland, I’m dedicated to working with you and Venture Portland to grow our local businesses, build a strong and resilient economy and create a marketplace community that gives back.

At Groowin, we know that big impact starts small.

We also know that Venture Portland is not alone. If you know business associations, chambers, and councils that are also struggling to raise the funding support they need to continue the good work they do all across the country, you can calculate their impact and send them an invitation with the result of your fund raising estimation.

Interested? Need help developing your own impacting strategy? Have suggestions for how we can make your impact even bigger? Please comment below – we’d love to hear from you!

To support Venture Portland, use this Groowin invite US931111942 or click here:


Join me – spread the word – and together, let’s support our neighborhood businesses!

Small actions, big impact.

Mo Kandé,
Co-Founder and CEO
Groowin, Inc.