A group of University of Miami alumni is launching an online marketplace that aims to donate its profits to nonprofit organizations regionally and abroad.
The THX Co., launching in April, will allow customers to purchase a product, choose a cause to support and then add a specific amount to donate to that cause.
Co-founder Ricardo Jose Bueso graduated from UM in 2013 with a bachelor of arts in political science and international studies. His brother Ricardo Juan, who is also co-founder and studied at UM’s School of Business, joined him to start up the company.
The pair teamed up with other UM alumni, including Brett Malden and Mikael Doumeng, on the project. Malden, who graduated in 1985, was a mechanical engineering major and now works as the director of marketing at The THX Co. Doumeng, who studied political science and international studies, graduated in 2013 and is the content manager.
The Miami-based social enterprise sells goods like Guatemalan coffee blends to men’s and women’s fragrances from Switzerland. THX sells its products at transparent prices that allow customers to donate money directly to partner charities.
“Giving is an extremely important aspect of our model, in that we truly want to see our customers’ donations used in the most efficient ways,” Bueso said.
For its launch, the causes that customers will be able to donate to will focus on children, specifically orphan care and education, as well as veterans, water projects and women’s issues.
Organizations that THX has partnered with include Generosity.org, Work Vessels For Veterans, 4KIDS and Food For The Poor.
At check out, customers can choose among the featured projects that they wish to support with their purchases.
When THX chooses organizations to support, the organization’s approach to community-based impact, sustainability and effectiveness are all considered. THX then analyzes the ratio of the organization’s spending on administration expenses in comparison to direct program expenses and its accountability practices to ensure transparency, Bueso explained.
“We believe that transparency is an awesome tool businesses should start using more with their customers,” Bueso said. “People are interested in knowing what they are paying for and how it’s made, particularly our Millennial generation.”
The products on THX are sold at the genuine cost of doing business, which includes the production cost, freight cost, fulfillment cost and administrative expense, Bueso said. However, no profit margin is added to that cost, because instead the company wants that profit to be the customers’ donations to nonprofits. That donation is added to the cost of the product once purchased.
To view the organizations and products that are a part of the THX.Co, visit https://thx.co/.
Updated at 10:49 a.m. on on Friday, March 20.