Faced with the glaring reality that one-third of the Philippine population is in poverty, while on the other hand over US$ 20 Billion from overseas Filipinos are remitted to the country in 2011 alone, they posed a question to themselves: "Could we help redirect some of these remittances to development via credible projects and by engaging overseas Filipinos?"
In October 2011, they both believed that creating a crowdfunding platform was the best and most effective way to help and support the ecosystem of social enterprises and NGOs in the country. This decision was strengthened by conversations Justin had with Filipino-Americans in the US and learning more about Diaspora Philanthropy. He learned that people really wanted to help out and give back, but there was not an engaging, credible and transparent way to channel their donations.
Justin was also inspired by Kiva, an online lending platform that connects online lenders to entrepreneurs in developing countries. Kiva’s 2011 Annual Report also showed that the Philippines has the most number of funded micro-enterprises.
In 2012, he entered the business plan that he and Julia worked on at the Melbourne University Entrepreneur's Challenge (MUEC). "SocialProject.PH – Crowdfunding a Better Philippines" won the top prize
With several crowd-funding platforms in the world and a few already operating in the country, SocialProject.PH positions itself as a giving platform focused on connecting potential supporters and donors to social and environment-focused projects in the Philippines. The site will engage both Filipinos abroad and locally, as well as friends of the Philippines, towards the benefits of online giving.
To ensure security, SocialProject.PH is SSL-certified to safeguard donor information. The platform processes payments securely via PayPal Adaptive payments, which only charges a donor if a project is successfully funded and only after the 30 or 60 day fundraising timeline.
For project partners, it allows flexible funding, with the option to receive funds when a milestone is achieved. The platform only receives a 5 percent commission if a milestone is reached or if a project is successfully funded for the full amount.
SocialProject.PH project partners must be a registered organization. They must also have a PayPal business account. For non-profit PayPal accounts, PayPal requires the organization to submit their SEC, BIR, and other documents to prove they are indeed a registered non-profit.
For a project partner to be featured on the website, they have to submit a four page application form that requires information about the organization as well as the project's scope, timeline, budget, and estimated social impact. Project partners must also submit audited financial statements, as well as SEC and BIR registration documents.