Curation and monetization are hot trends within the online and digital age (think: The Fancy, The Cools). Donating product and money to charities are hot trends within the business and consumer space (think: Toms, Warby Parker). But what if somehow you could put the two concepts together?
Launched in December of 2011, Mulu is a social platform for sharing items you love all the while making bank for a good cause.
The creator, Amaryllis Fox, wanted to facilitate a more sustainable donation model, one that tapped into a grassroots economy and made donors excited. The result was Mulu.me, a site that allows users to make product recommendations and earn money for themselves or a social cause they want to support.
“When someone snags one of your picks, a percentage of the purchase goes straight to your cause,” Fox explained to Paper magazine. “We're trying to use peoples' good taste in gadgets, books or shoes to help build health clinics in Sudan.”
Big names are taking notice to Fox's “curate and give back” structure — initial curators included Zooey Deschanel and the girls from HelloGiggles, J Cole, Wes Anderson, Lance Armstrong, Michael Kors, among many other notable tastemakers.
For example, Amaryllis Fox noted, “Zooey Deschanel and HelloGiggles are using their Mulu to support 826 LA, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.”
So, how does it work?
– You start by signing in and choosing topics you find of interest, whether it be womenswear or kitchen appliances.
– Then choose whether you want your proceeds to go to yourself or a charity on their list. If you charity is not listed, you can have the proceeds to to you and then separately donate it to your charity of choice.
– Most online retailers pay between 5% and 20% for referred sales. By using the Mulu affiliate, the site lets you collect this profit for yourself or directly for a charity. Each retailer has a different percentage.
– You can “like” items, repost them to your feed, and you can also post your own organically found items from any website, much like a Pinterest feed.
Why Mulu makes sense for bloggers:
– You can choose a product from any site, anywhere. You don't have to pick from just an allotted group of websites. So, theoretically, it gives you more editorial control where you are picking items from websites you actually frequent and shop from.
– You can switch where your money earned goes. For instance, if you wanted to vary charities, or switch from charity to you, you can at any time. For instance, if you want to do a different charity for every month, you can!
– You can easily add the Mulu box coding to your blog, making it easy for your readers to access.