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Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is: Pledgeit


My latest find on the interwebs is Pledgeit; it’s a new charity crowd funding site “formed by a heady mix of social media, peer pressure, and fundraising”, says their website. In a nutshell, you can dare your friends to do any challenge you’d like, back it up with pledges, and then leverage your social networks to make your goal and control your pals, all while donating to charity.

MDG Advertising reported how great 2012 was for social giving; new channels and platforms are evolving all the time. Pledgeit is interesting, in my opinion, for a few reasons:

  1. It is a proprietary tool built by ONE organization (not a pick-your-charity type of platform). Although they could eventually expand, this isn’t the experimental effort of an agency or someone trying to make a buck under the guise of helping charity. They explain it clear as day on their website that 100% of the efforts go to Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research:
    • “Well, Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research built Pledgeit – we are them, so there’s no middle man. We thought it was a good idea, so set to making it happen – kind of like you can do with Pledgeit.”
    • This is financially interesting (most places you contribute at least take a cut), and an investment from the nonprofit in a tool that they could later license and sell, and they will always control the platform.
  2. Suddenly crowd-funding isn’t just for the valiant efforts, it can be for anything.
    • The site itself encourages any kind of challenge – from pushing a friend who’s talented but shy to do karaoke to simply pledging support to honor a friend, like pledging toward them running their 10K.
    • The power lies in the charitable aspect – your friend may protest their lack of interest in karaoke, but do they really want to deny L&L Research donations because they have stage fright? Social peer pressure at its best

It’s easy, it’s sleek and fun to browse, and it has a social power that is smart. I’m sure it took a pretty penny to create, but the cause has tapped into something bigger than leukaemia; double-dog-daring your friends to do something gains power when charity is involved. And if the power lies in the social aspect, the actual cause hardly matters. People will be doing this because “it gives back” and they can make their friends do stuff, not because they are wildly passionate advocates of L&L Research. This opens up their audience far beyond just their dedicated fans, but keeping the social good option ever-present makes it far more powerful than just a site to call out your friends.

What will you challenge YOUR networks to do with Pledgeit?

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