电子商务给公益带来什么

(上月某电商杂志的约稿,杂志名字忘了)

在第三世界,贫困是一个很常见的现象,而受贫困影响最大的往往是妇女和儿童。传统上,人们一般通过捐款来缓解贫穷问题,但单纯的捐赠往往治标不治本。上个世纪七十年代,孟加拉的尤努斯博士采取了一种新的方法:通过为贫困妇女提供低至一到两美元的小额贷款来帮助孟加拉的贫困妇女独立创业,自主地解决贫困问题。这个方法激发了妇女们的创造力和行动力,并且在大范围内获得了成功。如今,小额贷款这种扶贫模式已经在全球多个国家成功开展,尤努斯博士和他的孟加拉乡村银行也因此获得了2006年诺贝尔和平奖。

转眼到了二十一世纪,互联网时代来临了。在美国,一个名为kiva.org的网站出现了,在网站上提供了很多第三世界希望获得小额贷款的贫困农民的项目信息。它采取电子商务的模式,每个人足不出户就可以选择任意的项目捐赠任意的金额。Kiva的出现革新了小额贷款行业,并且极大地拓展了小额贷款的参与空间。如今,Kiva的业务已经覆盖到217个国家,74万贷款人共发放了2.9亿美元。

同样采取电子商务做公益的还有斯坦福毕业的两个女孩,她们发现第三世界有很多很有意思的手工艺品,当这些手工艺品被采购并运到发达国家市场时,价格就翻了好几翻,而最终能落到手工艺人手里的钱只是售价中的很小一部分。她们想,能不能利用电子商务建立一条更直接的通路,从而减少中间环节,让消费者和生产者都获得更大收益呢?于是他们建立的World of goods网站,专门帮助第三世界的手工艺人销售他们的作品。这个网站如此成功,以致它很快就获得了风险投资,并最终成为eBay的一个公益频道。

别看我光说外国的,其实,这样的事在中国也不少。去年七月,海南的蕉农出现了卖蕉难的问题,大量的优质香蕉有可能因无人购买而烂在地里,蕉农面临血本无归的风险。看到这样的情况,淘宝发起了“聚蕉行动”,创造性地将电子商务用于解决社会问题。“聚蕉行动”以团购为载体,在全国北京、上海、杭州等八个城市开展,用户只要轻点鼠标,就可以用低廉的价格购买香蕉,并帮助到蕉农,网上购买后用户只需要凭购买凭证到当地的联华超市提货即可,整个资金流向还可以在网上看到。这个行动很快得到了全社会的支持和参与,七月份的两轮团购,热心网友共购买了520吨香蕉,极大地缓解了蕉农的困难。

看到电子商务在公益领域的巨大潜力,很多公益组织也不甘后人,纷纷在淘宝上建立了自己的公益店。根据统计,从2010年开始,陆续有200多家公益网店进驻淘宝,它们通过出售虚拟商品来直接募捐,另一部分公益组织则通过开网店出售机构徽章、明信片以及印有爱心LOGO的T恤衫等纪念性的商品取得一定利润以资助自己的事业。不过,不是所有的公益店都能活下来。最近的一份统计显示,现在还在运营的公益店只有143家,而且当中有很大一部分经营状况并不理想,有的公益组织的淘宝店收入在整个组织一年的收入中只占不到1%的比例,而另一个公益组织的负责人也曾表示,其淘宝店出售的商品大都是“内部消化”,卖给自己的志愿者,很少有非志愿者购买。

这说明了,电子商务无疑能够给公益组织带来非常巨大的想像空间,甚至有可能帮助他们革新业务,或者接触到全新的客户群体。但是,公益的电子商务应用还是一个新兴的领域,目前这个领域在整体上缺少成熟的运作经验。要玩转电子商务,公益组织们还需要更多的时间,投入更多的人力和资源。毕竟,这也是一门“生意”,就象任何生意一样,它也需要时间和投资。

我也期望,公益组织不仅仅把电子商务作为一个筹款的方式。电子商务改变了人们的交易方式,缩短了中间环节,交易方式也更加灵活,在这个基础上,很多现有的公益模式都有可能被革新。一旦一个模式被革新,它就能为公益组织带来持久的竞争力,并有可能真正大规模地解决社会问题。

电子商务给公益带来什么》上有4条评论

  1. 安猪你的项目真有意思,很佩服你。希望有机会跟您交流学习。

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