Task is about to update the platform with new capabilities that enable funding to be injected into projects, and the organisations and individuals providing the funding to see exactly what happens to their investments.
This is an overview of how it works, what to expect, and what you can do to take advantage of this improved means of investing into Impact Projects.
Rule one: reputation is everything
"It takes 20 years to build a reputation, and 5 minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently" (Warren Buffet)
Your reputation is everything. And it’s a product of your relationships. How you treat people. How you exist within teams and organisations. How you relate to your family — all working together to produce your perceived reputation.
So to the reputation of any project or social enterprise that seeks to create change. This isn’t an overhead, a burden, or something that requires manipulation. A team focussed on creating change should track relevant activity, and by doing so provide good data to share. Good reputation should be a natural byproduct of what you do.
The approach Task has taken is that the reputation of the project is determined predominantly by the Project Owner — as well as the team they choose to bring together to make things happen. Funders interested in supporting a project may want detailed drill down of spend, but there are also Key Performance Indicators such as “funding in” vs “tracked spending out” which give an instant insight into efficient project outcome.
The health rings as the “instant” insight
As we prepare to release updates to the Task platform that allow Investors to fund projects with tracked performance — we’ve been pondering how we can provide unified “health metrics” to Task projects. Enter the project health rings.
The ring graphic is well understood. It’s being used by Apple, Fitbit and others for activity tracking. It’s an excellent visual and as we will explain — it is the perfect way for Task to give insight to project performance and reputation.
Micawber, input-output and success
“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen, nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”
…said Mr. Micawber in David Copperfield, and while he referred to finance — it is in essence a simple statement around the fundamental laws of input and output ratios, and how they define success.
We are not saying that all projects must be accounted for down to the last penny. But we do want Funder to feel clear on what they should be expecting in return. The Task mobile app makes it incredibly easy for teams working on projects to track what they do, and this in turn produces all the reporting data required to produce clarity and confidence.
The Task rings of reputation
So without further ado, let’s break down the Task rings and how they provide funders overview insight into the health of a project.
Outer ring — How much fuel is in the tank?
The outer ring shows how much current funding the project has relative to the funding target. This target could be a total amount of funding, or it could be (for example) a monthly target.
Monthly or quarterly targets are important as Task is focussed on longer-term, ongoing projects. Creating impact requires ongoing effort — so Task seeks to bring long-term funders to the table who are happy to continue to support a project on the basis of ongoing performance. Its a win-win for both parties. Because the project team are required to consistently feedback success to the investors, so the investors are happy to provide ongoing support.
Task is about projects creating impact over years — not a weekend. So the outer ring tells us… Do we have enough fuel in the tank to take us to where we want to go?
Middle ring — How are the funds being spent?
Tasks’ mobile app not only remunerates the team, but also easily tracks how funds are spent.
The middle ring shows the activities in realtime that lead to use of the funds. These can purchase of materials, proof of delivery, project milestones or awards to individual team members for work done — anything that leads towards the successful outcome of the project you are supporting.
As a Funder you’d expect to see the money provided being converted to work that aligns with the project mission. That’s why you’re funding it after all!
Inner ring — Connecting you to the people you support
Let’s say you are funding an initiative to get educational books to students who prove they are attending classes. They’ll earn tokens for being at the class, but you want to know they go the books. When the students exchange their tokens for the reward (in this case books), you want know about it.
This inner ring is optional. But it is useful where the tokens used to make payments are deigned to be converted into some type of reward. The inner ring shows you the ratio of reward conversion against the tokens paid out. If the Project Owner has committed to — for example — getting books into the hands of Students, this will let you know.
How does this provide an instant “health insight”?
As Task tracks the funding utilised — input (funding) should relate to output (results). The Task rings provide a quick insight into the health of a project — but in essence it tells you quickly: Is the funding creating the results we want, and how efficiently?
Deep diving into funding — per-transaction analysis
Unless you’ve been resident on another planet for the last few years, you’ll be aware of the attention (and in many cases hyperbole) around Blockchain. If you’re close to Task you’ll also be aware we’ve been using a number of advantages Blockchain Ledgers bring to transparency, and this forms a major part of how we are disrupting the funding and impact investment paradigms.
Task provides custom Stellar Tokens to organisations using Task to track funds. Stellar is fast, low-cost — and it provides a publicly accessible ledger system that’s perfect for the type of proof of impact Task Project Owners seek to make.
Each Funder is provided with a “funding wallet”. Funding can be switched on or off on a per project basis. And as the funding is used to provide the fast, low-cost payments for activities, the transactions are baked into the ledger for immutable proof of impact. Task uses a special technique to encode the tracked activity data, so that this data can be checked for veracity (i.e. no one has tampered with it) at any point in the future.
Using these wallets — whether you are a large investment fund or an individual supporter, Task provides per transaction tracking as the funds get utilised. When your funding is used to get stuff done, you get to see who got paid, and why they got paid.
This isn’t about big brother control. After all, anyone utilising the Task app knows exactly what data they are providing when they track activity. It’s about celebrating the connections that exist between different stakeholders in a mission to create change. As a funder, you can virtually meet the people, animals or resources you support.
It’s a very different approach to so many investment and funding experiences where the supporters have little to no idea what happened to their support. Task changes that.
Large-scale funding and 30k foot analysis
At the heart of the Task platform is the ease at which data can be collected, individuals can be rewarded, and we see the flow of funds to the right places. That means there’s lots of data that can be utilised to tell the stories of impact, the only gap is — where are the story telling tools?
At the same time, while per transaction insights is useful in some cases, it’s not pragmatic for large investments that see millions of tracked activities at scale.
The next phase of the Task roadmap sees per project and account data silos that allow larger organisations to extract more value from their data stored. Custom analytics, secure sharing of data, and the ability to develop macro insights and impact trends.
4 ways Task brings change to the investment space
a) If you want to use Task to raise funds you need to take reputation management seriously. That means you need to understand what your funding audience is looking for, and what they hope to see as proof that you’re using their funds inline with their expectations.
b) If #1 sounds like an ordeal, don’t worry. Tracking activities via Task creates massive efficiencies for organisations. Yes it provides the funding insights, but it simultaneously team activity reports, integrates into existing reporting systems, and can provide other reporting that automates significant parts of an organisations administration overheads, saving time and lowering costs.
c) The best sales and marketing team to raise more investment for what you are doing should be your existing funders. By providing the transparency around fund spend, and allowing Funders to view it and share it with friends socially — they are best possible group to provide social proof and incentivise other organisations and people to join your mission.
d) Innovation in technology so often breaks down walls. The new benefits Task delivers from blockchain ledger storage, low-cost tokenised payments that create an immutable paper-trail, produce an investment tracking mechanism that is as effective for a $1b investment fund creating immense change as as it is for an individual providing $100 per month to something close to their heart.
Invest a little time for your future potential
Now is the time to contact us at Task if you are:
- An impact project with a great story who deserves funding
- An organisation looking to inject funds, but desiring better insights
- An individual who’d like to support work that makes a difference
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