Arredondar Movement: Expanding Micro-Donations in Brazil
Arredondar was a nongovernmental organization (NGO) whose objective was encouraging the culture of donation in Brazil through acts of micro-donations. Any shopper could donate at the retail stores that partnered with Arredondar. The process was simple: customers could round up the total value of their purchase to the next whole value, and the difference in cents would be donated to carefully selected NGOs. Arredondar offered a simple, accessible, and transparent way to donate, which seemed compatible with the characteristics of a country in which the donation culture was not yet strong, and where there was distrust of NGOs. However, there were indications that despite awards and success, the project might not be able to achieve financial sustainability. The case focuses on a common dilemma of social enterprises: how to be financially sustainable while creating a strong social impact. Although Arredondar had already partnered with large retailers, it needed to rethink its operation in order to break even. Arredondar's leadership considered the following strategies: (1) focus on the core through existing retail partners; (2) expand toward new retailers; (3) implement new ways for consumers to donate the money other than through cashiers at partnering retailers; or (4) increase the administrative fee. Would one of these four options help Arredondar be financially sustainable?