SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, December 17, 2013, Every once in a while, somebody takes an existing idea and improves it. This is exactly what Jay Boolkin has done with the launching of his new “Promise or Pay” website. What he has done is take an innovative approach at getting people to give to charity in a fun and engaging manner. Launching this week, the website facilitates charitable donations by enabling people to make a public promise and pay a nominated amount to a charity if they break that promise, it is particularly well suited to the New Year period when people notoriously make resolutions that few follow-through on.
Founder Jay Boolkin realised that sticking to self-improvement commitments is difficult, and what’s more, failing to reach a goal can be disappointing and discouraging. He created this new approach so that people could commit to self-improvement motivated by the process of making a public commitment. If they fail to meet their own “Promise”, they will have to “Pay” their pre-set amount to a charity of their choice. Simple and yet effective. Everybody wins. If the participant fails at their quest for self-improvement, they still can feel good about making a charitable donation.
During a recent interview, Jay Boolkin, CEO of “Promise or Pay”, had this to say: “Making a public commitment to change is one of the most powerful tools according to motivation experts. I wanted to amplify that public promise by attaching a financial penalty for failure. But of course, it was important that whoever profited from that penalty didn’t have a vested interest in the person’s success or failure. Linking it to charity creates a great win-win situation and guarantees positive social impact, regardless of the individual outcome of each promise.”
Others have been quick to pick up on the potential of this simple idea to help reinvigorate charitable giving and engage people not previously inclined to donating: Promise or Pay has won the Social Startups MVP Program, was a finalist for the Sydney Genesis Entrepreneurship Challenge Best Social or Not-For-Profit Startup, and is currently 1 of only 10 startups selected to pitch at The Guardian’s Activate 2014 Tech Talent day in Singapore in January 2014.
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