Amplifying Community Wealth & Dignity
We want to strengthen local businesses while increasing dignity, choice & connection for those we serve through a sustainable & proven system that integrates multi-vendor loyalty rewards, local currency and more efficient payments.
IFSSA's wants to bring the Local Frequency, an established payment, loyalty, and marketing program to Edmonton. The Local Frequency provides businesses with a payment terminal and customers with an app (or card). Through this system customers learn about new local businesses they can support and are incentivized through loyalty points. Businesses gain new loyal customers and lower transaction fees than credit cards. The Local Frequency started in Winnipeg more than 5 years ago, and now serves over 130 businesses across two Canadian cities.
IFSSA's plan is to build on the Local Frequency's platform and extend it in the following ways…
Minority owned businesses face greater struggles; such as acquiring new customers, tighter margins, and less resources for promotion. They also provide more employment to minorities, and play a crucial role in supporting community development. They are generally anchored in communities that are natural 'captive' markets, eg the halal segment which is bound by religious dietary obligations is worth over $1billion a year in Canada.
The platform will help minority owned businesses with both direct to consumer marketing, as well as more efficient business to business transactions.
IFSSA serves over 5000 individuals every month and runs Edmonton's second largest food bank — this scale makes it difficult to do purchasing via small independent businesses, this platform would enable us to potentially redirect $¼ million annually towards the local economy.
The platform will allow IFSSA to more efficiently give-back to community members facing food insecurity. Instead of just giving clients a hamper, which may consist of many food items they don't want, the platform would allow IFSSA to give clients credit they can use to purchase items of their choice, thereby leveraging the efficiency and frugality of ethnic grocers, providing more dignity+choice, and reducing isolation through natural social networks.
Presently, IFSSA spends more than $250,000 every year on direct food purchases for clients. Most of this money comes from restricted funding sources that stipulate direct expenditures on clients. We'd like to use this platform to enable us to give to our clients in more dynamic and meaningful ways.
Earned revenue that aligns with charitable objectives is incredibly rare, through this platform IFSSA hopes to generate new unrestricted revenue, sustainably drive growth of the platform, and engage a broader demographic of the community. The platform would allow us to…
Presently, IFSSA spends more than $250,000 every year on direct food purchases for clients. This platform would allow us to redirect $¼ million towards the local economy & give clients dignity+choice.
Supporting Success in a post-COVID world
COVID has been especially hard on local businesses. Its impact has been even more acute in minority owned businesses because of the larger impact the virus has had in tight-knit communities, the challenges associated with physical distancing in smaller spaces and the disparities with access to supports.
IFSSA's strategy would help reconnect consumers to local businesses & incentivize shifting spending from big box / online ordering back to community owned businesses like smaller grocery stores, print shops & local restaurants.
Local businesses employ more people in a community, they hire local accountants, local printers, local cashiers, etc. The 'local multiplier' effect leads to more jobs and more resilient economies. This is more important in the post-COVID economy than ever.
Sustainability & Revenue Generation
The Local Frequency, has a proven track record of sustainability in multiple communities in Canada.
What is 'The Local Frequency?'
IFSSA & Protegra (the creators of The Local Frequency) have been planning, designing and colloborating since 2018. During that time we've…
IFSSA has earmarked $50,000+ for client disbursement through the system in 2021.
IFSSA is highly motivated to find new solutions to addressing food insecurity. IFSSA runs the second largest food depot in Edmonton, and now sees more clients in one month than it did in all of 2015. In 2019, IFSSA worked with the University of Calgary, Edmonton Social Planning Council, and NorQuest to conduct a study of our long-term clients. This study pointed to social isolation, and lack of awareness as key factors leading to habituation. IFSSA's plan is to use the app to positively engage its clients, increase their social participation, and broaden their connection to community and the city.
Means of positive impact…
IFSSA will determine its success based on the following measurables…
Profits → Purpose
IFSSA intends to direct profits from this platform to…
IFSSA is motivated to find new solutions to addressing food insecurity. IFSSA runs the second largest food depot in Edmonton & now sees more clients in one month than it did in all of 2015.
Investment Readiness Success Factors
Future Growth Opportunities
IFSSA's plan is to use the platform to support clients running home-based businesses. Presently, IFSSA helps home-based caterers with multiple barriers supplement their income through catering. IFSSA helps caterers gain practical skills like sending invoices, testing menus, learning about taxation, and developing clients.
IFSSA is looking for $74,000 in initial investment. This will help with white-label brand development, outreach/ lead development, internal infrastructure, and platform development necessary to successfully launch and test the platform. Capital will be used for hiring staff and adapting the platform. We project positive earnings by year 2 and a return on investment within 2 years.
The Local Frequency provides merchants with a sustainable alternative that's competitive with the fees charged by credit card companies.
IFSSA serves a large client base (5,000 people a month), has a broad diverse donor base, and is trusted in Edmonton's large Muslim community (~90,000 people, ~8% of the population).
Protegra is a Canadian company, a social purpose corporation that develops software for the common good. Their values align well with IFSSA, a social purpose charity with an entrepreneurial mindset. Together, we've developed a common vission, and MOUs to govern our partnership.
Protegra brings a proven product, support and technical capacity. IFSSA brings access to community, new markets, and an opportunity to expand purpose.
People come to IFSSA for support with security, safety and growth. IFSSA serves 4500 clients every month, runs Edmonton's second largest food bank, provides aid in financial crisis, supports victims of gender-based violence, settles refugees, and delivers a range of preventative programming for youth. IFSSA's services are open to all.
IFSSA is an Imagine Canada accredited charity, the winner of the Government of Alberta's Inspiration Award for its work combatting domestic violence (2020) and the Canadian Mental Health Associations Professional Service Award (2020).