Experience XsperoLast Edited:
There’s a new social-giving network that allows you to support local charities in an innovative and easy way.
“It’s really the talk of the town right now,” says Maryam Nassiri over lunch at El Guacamole in downtown Millville on a recent Thursday afternoon. “People are talking about it.”
Nassiri, a local real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway, is holding her cell phone and, in between bites of a gigantic taco salad, pointing out the benefits of a new mobile app called Xspero.
She’s been using it since it was launched recently in Cumberland County.
The benefits, she says, are numerous.
Xspero sells digital certificates redeemable at local merchants. Users always get the full-value paid for certificates they buy. But with every purchase made through the app, 20 percent goes to the user’s nonprofit of choice, at no additional cost.
And through the month of February, the charity that raises the most money from supporters using the app will receive a match from Xspero.
Not only will Nassiri pay for a portion of her lunch using the app, but a portion of the amount she spends through the app will automatically go to a local charity of her choice.
“I recently downloaded the app and have tried it at three different restaurants and it was so easy to use,” says Nassiri. “It really couldn’t be easier. And the owners of the restaurants, they love it. They love that you are a part of this [network]. It gives everyone this positive energy.
“Whoever I talk with right now, they’re talking about this app. And I think the major part is because charities are involved and benefitting from it.”
Birthed in Cumberland County, Xspero is an innovative “social-giving network” that, according to its website, brings “together devoted supporters, local merchants and media companies to benefit nonprofits and each other.”
The company uses blockchain technology to help people donate to charity. The cutting-edge technology enables people to donate to charity without spending an extra dime.
“Xspero is my life’s most meaningful project,” says Ken Pustizzi, president of Xspero. “Shopping on the network means every purchase is making a difference in the local community, for both our nonprofits and merchants. And with our February contest, Xspero will double the impact for our winning nonprofit.”
And Xspero is user-friendly.
Marlon Herrera, who operates El Guacamole with his family, says the app is so simple to use that people from all age groups should be able to use it.
“The app itself runs very smoothly and it is easy to use,” says Herrera. “I’m 23, I can use it, and I believe an 11-year-old can use it. I don’t think it is age restricting.”
As a business owner, says Herrera, it makes a lot of sense to be a part of the Xspero network. And it goes way beyond marketing purposes.
“Redeeming the gift certificate is super easy and it offers a lot to all sides, so I think it is a no-brainer,” he says. “It gives an incentive to the merchant to get into business with the app because it gives the consumer a feel-good feeling to come in and purchase a certificate because [a portion of it] goes to their choice of charity organization.
“I think the app, in general, is a genius idea,” adds Herrera. “Just the way that [it makes] everything work together. You basically have a bunch of puzzle pieces and now they fit perfectly together—with marketing businesses and helping the community at the same time. It is very self- explanatory and very well put together.”
Nassiri, who sits on the boards of several local charities—including the M25 Initiative and the Rotary Club of Vineland—says that she was intrigued about Xspero as soon as she first learned of it.
“When I first learned about the app, I was interested in supporting the charities I am involved with. My main charity was M25.”
Nassiri thinks businesses will want to become part of the network because it will be like being a part of the community at large.
“They’ll love to join,” she says. “And I think at some point there will be a competition between restaurants and shops to be on Xspero. I feel like they all want to join and support this thing. It’s all about our towns; it’s all about Cumberland County.”
Local restaurants and shops are signing onto the Xspero by the dozens (see a full list by downloading the free app in the Google Play or Apple App Store) as well as several local nonprofits.
“We have had quite a few sales. One night this week we had four customers with the certificates, so again, I think the marketing is working and the word is getting out there that the app is being used. It’s not just for our restaurant; there are a bunch of other vendors and shops using it,” says Herrera.
“In Cumberland County, we’re very giving people,” says Nassiri. “We really support all the local charities and want to help. Even if some people don’t have the money, they still do something somewhere. We have a community that bonds together. We all know each other; it’s not the same in a big city, for example.
“I go out and ask for donations for different organizations and I hardly have anybody turn me down. They always give. Now, with Xspero, it makes my life easier because I can tell people to download the app and they can give to charity that way without me having to ask and without them spending any extra money.
“If I ask 200 people to download the app and they use it once and say $5 from each transaction goes to charity, that’s $1,000 raised right there. It’s changing the way we can raise money for our local charities.
“And everybody eats and shops locally. I spend about $300 a week on restaurants and coffee shops and, now with the app, that means that a portion of that $300 is going to charity—automatically. Why not use it?”
According to Xspero.com, the network was founded on one essential principle: “Better your community.”
Now people can do just that by using Xspero in connection with their dining and shopping. And with 20 percent of each certificate purchased going to a user’s charity of choice, the possibilities are endless.
Xspero will be a game-changer in the realms of giving, business, shopping and dining out locally.
And the end result should mean a brighter future for all.
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