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What is OurMark?
Philosophically speaking, OurMark is a reflection of the many things we currently do, as human beings, to make a positive "Mark" on the world; it's the combination of the individual "Mark" that each one of us make when we "do good". Practically speaking, OurMark is an online platform where people can keep a record of their good deeds in a wide variety of activities worldwide, and engage in new ways of "Doing Good". To do this, OurMark:
Many people are Doing Good every day, everywhere. There is a clear trend of "Doing Good", but not yet a unified way of representing how any given person is participating in it. We want to support this trend, and we believe that the features of OurMark (the profile, the score, the concept of "Topics" as we define them) will help more people get involved. Our goal is to amplify the global trend of Doing Good by helping people:
Not doing anything yet? Get started!
Already doing something? Do more!
Doing a lot? Inspire others!
What type of company is OurMark?
We define OurMark as a "for-profit, for-good" company: a for-profit venture with a social impact mission. Though not yet certified as a B Corp (http://www.bcorporation.net/), we align ourselves with the spirit and definitions of the B Corp movement (and hope to eventually join their ranks!).
In OurMark's business model, nonprofits use the platform for free, while "for-profit, for-good companies" pay a fee, which helps sustain and grow OurMark over time.
Will OurMark offer additional features in the future?
We have many, many more features to add into OurMark! But besides what we have in mind, we would love to hear from you. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please send us your feedback.
What is the BETA stage of OurMark?
This stage is an intense learning period. We want to see how people and organizations react to OurMark, and how we can improve the platform based on initial feedback.
During the BETA stage, there will be no cost for "for-profit, for-good companies" to use the site. Once the BETA is finalized, there will be an additional free trial period for this type of companies, after which we will invite them to subscribe for a membership fee.
How can I be a part of OurMark?
Becoming a user of OurMark is very simple: just sign up using your Email, Facebook or Twitter accounts, and you are set to go! You can then immediately add your past good deeds, find things to do, learn about the Impact Topics, and share all of this with your friends and contacts.
We'd also love to hear from you how you think we can improve OurMark! Thanks for sending us your feedback.
What can I do in OurMark?
OurMark features options for anybody interested in Doing Good:
Not doing anything yet? Search and find through our "Impact Topics" the type of things that you would like to do, at any given location (and in some cases online). There are thousands of organizations that need your support, and can help you make your Mark.
Already doing something? Discover a new way of reflecting your participation in the Doing Good Global Trend, by creating a unique profile, featuring all your good deeds, and getting your score. Also, find new ways in which you can do more good, and share your activities with others to invite them in!
Doing a lot? What you do can be an inspiration for others. From OurMark you can share what you care about, and in this way promote the efforts of the people and organizations that are contributing to a better world.
Can organizations be members of OurMark?
Yes, besides people, organizations are also a part of OurMark; and a very important one indeed.
What types of organizations can be members of OurMark?
OurMark features two types of organizations that are engaged in Doing Good: nonprofits and "for-profit, for-good" companies.
Non-profits are the main type of organizations through which people currently "do good" (in the terms defined by OurMark). Many of the more traditional Impact Topics (Charity, Volunteering, Blood Donation, Food Donation, among others) feature exclusively nonprofits.
We have also included "for-profit, for-good companies", which act in OurMark in the same way as nonprofits, and are growing participants in the Doing Good Global Trend. These companies make a positive social or environmental impact through their core business activity: Renewable Energies, Impact Investing, and Reusing, among others.
The use of OurMark by "for-profit, for-good" companies differs from nonprofits in that, starting from a certain scale, and after our BETA, these companies will have a membership fee for participating in OurMark (pricing will be informed later on).
You'll find that in OurMark we refer to both, nonprofits and "for-profit, for-good" companies, generically as "organizations".
What are the benefits for my organization?
OurMark "pools together" more than 20 Impact Topics and the people and organizations involved with them, creating an important critical mass of People Doing Good your organization can engage with. OurMark offers organizations like yours a set of tools to help them engage their supporters (donors, volunteers, clients, etc) in an innovative way, to effectively create a long lasting relationship:
How can my organization be a part of OurMark?
Registration is simple, and won't take more than 2 minutes. Click here to register your organization.
VERY IMPORTANT: Only individuals that are authorized by an organization can register that organization. Before confirming a registration request, we do double-check this.
There are two ways by which you help us validate this authorization: first, if you register the organization using an email with the same domain as the official domain of the organization, which means you are a part; second, we offer a sign that you can download and post in your Facebook Fan page (and Tag OurMark), which confirms us that you effectively represent the organization. To download this sign Click here.
If you want to learn more how OurMark can contribute to your organization's Mission, check out How it works for organizations.
What is "Doing Good" for OurMark?
We use a broad definition of Doing Good. To us, it is any action that carries with it a positive impact on other people, your community and the planet. This definition has allowed us to put together such diverse Topics as Charity, Impact Investing, Pet Adoption, Hair Donation, and Bicycle Sharing, and to include both nonprofits and "for-profit, for-good" companies.
Does OurMark pretend to encompass all "good" that can be done?
No, absolutely not. There are many things that OurMark does not reflect. For example, if someone is a good parent, a good brother or sister, a good neighbor, or a good citizen. These are all definitions of "acting good" that fall out of our scope but that are a part of "being good". We only focus, for the time being, on those good deeds that are done with or through organizations, and can therefore be validated (leaving out individual actions, that potentially have great impacts, but the occurrence of which is difficult to validate in OurMark).
Does OurMark intend to define "good people"?
No, we do not intend to tell a "good person" from a "not-good person".
We just intend to reflect what kind, and how much of, the Doing Good activities (under our specific Topics) any given person does as part of what we call the Doing Good Global Trend. We could never account for the rest of the things that a person does but, quite obviously, the more time a person spends doing good, the less time this person has for "not-good" activities!
What is the purpose of having a score for my good deeds?
We think that having a score for Doing Good opens up new possibilities that until now were unheard of. For example, you can set yourself simple goals based on a number of "marks" you'd like to achieve, and try to beat that score every year. Or you can compare with individuals or groups of people as a way of determining if you are doing as much as you can (or could be doing more).
We believe that a score is an effective way of sharing "how much" we have done, and learning from others "how much" they have done. If we are all measuring with the same scale, it becomes a standard and simple way of sharing and inspiring those around us, and of answering the question "What is your Mark"?
What is an Impact Topic for OurMark?
For OurMark, an Impact Topic is a very specific way in which a person can make a positive contribution to "People and Planet". They are defined from the "do-gooder's" perspective to describe precisely how a person can contribute and make a positive Mark.
Every Topic has a specific name and description, and is different from all other Topics. This very precise way of defining each "good thing you can do" helps users search and find more effectively what they are interested in. Topics are a good starting point, and a guide to the things you can find and reflect on in OurMark.
How are Topics chosen?
The Topics included in OurMark have been defined by our team. We have made extensive research to "find" (define) these Topics, and our criteria while doing so included:
Will new Topics be added in the future?
Yes, definitely! Even though we have defined over 40 Topics, we have launched with an initial 24 and will be adding the rest over time.
Plus, we are sure there are more Topics waiting to be discovered out there! The fact that people and organizations are increasingly creative in designing solutions for the social and environmental problems that we are facing, means that we will certainly have many more Topics to add in the future. Now that OurMark is live and running, we'd love to hear from our users about new Topics we could include. Any comments about Topics?
How are the values in "marks" assigned to each Topic?
There is no straightforward formula to determine the value of marks of a good deed in any given Topic. Also, there is no "scientific" or "truth" pretension in these values: we just want them to be transparent and simple to understand by all people.
Where available, we have used statistical information offered by reliable sources to determine a certain value, while in other cases we have simply used "gut feeling" and common sense. We have also looked at the effort that, on average, a given action demands from the "do-gooder", and we have tried to compare it with the efforts implicit in other Topics. Time and money spent are two key variables of this "effort", but not the only ones.
Over time, members of OurMark will be able to participate with their opinions and experience in defining the values of each Topic, which will be updated annually. This is in recognition of the fact that there are no "right or wrong" values, and that the most relevant definitions are those created by users themselves.
Is the value in marks measuring impact?
No, the value in marks does not measure and recognize impact. Measuring impact is very complex and there are many expert people and organizations worldwide committed to this task. Also, every single good deed can have a different impact, which often depends on external factors, so we couldn't possibly assign the same value to all similar good deeds.
Mostly, what marks try to reflect is a combination of effort and motivation by the do-gooder, which we think can have an approximate average for our purpose.
How can I compare the values assigned to the different Topics?
We will soon have a "Topic Equivalences" page to help you easily compare the values of any two given Topics. In the meantime, you can still easily calculate this by knowing that values in all topics are converted to a common unit: marks.
What is OurMark's approach to privacy?
Is sharing compulsory in OurMark?
No, sharing is completely optional. We understand that some people may not want to share their good deeds with others, and we are fine with that.
However, we do believe that sharing our examples of Doing Good is a powerful way to influence others: maybe our friends don't know the kind of things that we do, and if they did, they would offer to help. Our neighbors might not be aware of the presence and needs of local community organizations, and learn this directly from us. People in general may not be aware of how easy it is to do-good, and reflect on this when they see so many others involved.
One thing is for sure: if we don't share, we'll never know how much more impact our individual actions could have had.
Do I need to share my personal information to be a member of OurMark?
You do not need to share with other people, or even share with OurMark, your personal information. Any information that you do choose to share or upload will be used by OurMark to help make your user experience more effective and pleasant. Regarding your identity, you can identify yourself with a nickname if you prefer not to use your real name.
How can I set my privacy preferences?
Your privacy preferences can be adjusted in several sections: in your profile, you can define a nickname by which you will be known to others in OurMark. In the "Settings" section of your Profile you can choose between a "Public" or "Private" mode for your certificates, on one side, and for your Mark, on the other. Finally, in the "My Mark" section of your account, you can choose to hide whichever good deed you want in your Mark. Doing this does not affect your score and the good deeds that you hide will simply appear grouped under a "Private" category for other people that might view it.