Pledgeit is a crowdfunding platform that invites people to seek pledges or donations in exchange for performing various challenges.
While most charity crowdfunding platforms have been launched by entrepreneurs to connect people with worthy causes and non-profits, Pledgeit was launched by the charity Leukemia & Lymphoma Research itself to ensure the most effective use of donations.
Fundraising events typically focus on a specific challenge or activity. Pledgeit broadens its reach by inviting people to set their own challenge – resulting in a mix of serious, quirky and fun challenges.
Blogger Nick Clayton noted:
“Instead of somebody deciding to take part in an activity then looking for sponsors, the new Pledgeit platform enables people to challenge their friends to complete task in return for donations.”
Rosie Baker wrote:
“Challenges can be anything from eating as many crackers as possible in a minute, doing standup comedy or running a marathon.”
People can choose their own challenge, or nominate a friend to carry out a specific challenge.
Blogger Emma Klues explains how Pledgeit works:
“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.”
Rosie Baker reported:
“People can also remove challenges set for them if they do not want to participate.”
Money is deducted from the pledgers only after a participant successfully completes a challenge, as confirmed by the challenge’s referee.
The website explains:
“The challenge referee is the sole and infallible judge of whether they deem the challenge complete. That’s either the person who created the challenge (if they were challenging a friend) or the elected referee (if the person was challenging themselves.) When they decide it’s complete, your pledges will be cashed. Their decision is final.”
Pledgeit uses gamification to create a sense of competition, peer pressure and reward. People who successfully complete challenges are crowned ‘pledgends’ and featured on a special page called “Hall de la Pledgends.”
Christina Foulger commented:
“I think this is a great idea, its fun its engaging and it has an element of competition and self worth about it.”
Bloggers, marketers and the people behind Pledgeit note that the fun approach to fundraising excites potential donors and energizes those affected by “donor fatigue.”
Cathy Gilman, chief executive of Leukemia & Lymphoma Research shared the reason they chose a creative approach:
“The financial environment for fundraising has never been more challenging. Our response at Leukemia & Lymphoma Research is to focus even more resource on creativity and innovation to inspire and engage people to in raising the money we need in ways that are relevant and enjoyable for them.”
Blogger Emma Klues noted that the approach helps reach a larger audience base, beyond the charity’s core community:
“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.”
Cause marketer Paul Jones wrote Pledgeit “puts the fun back in crowdfunding for causes.”
M&C Saatchi’s Fortnightly tech bulletin pointed out that the approach helps combat ‘donation fatigue’:
“This potentially massive fun factor helps overcome the growing problem for charities of donation fatigue.”
This approach also lets Leukemia & Lymphoma Research control and access all the data collected on the platform. Leukemia & Lymphoma Research’s Ellie Dawes explains:
“Another benefit is that Pledgeit is ours now. We do not pay any percentage fee, as we would to any external platform. We also have full access to the data. Many crowd-funding platforms release very little amounts of data, and by analysing trends on Pledgeit, we could gain insight that can help us plan and tailor our fundraising planning activities across Leukemia & Lymphoma Research.”
Howard Lake reported:
“The platform has cost around £20,000 so far, but the charity is confident in can recoup that within six months if 12 or so challenges are completed that raise a similar amount to that achieved by a London Marathon runner.”
Bloggers and thinkers also commended the relevance of the platform, both for people who already do things and don’t mind associating with a charity, and also for people who’s friends constantly talk about doing things but need an extra push.
“What a great way to encourage people to take things they are already doing and raise awareness to non-profits and funds for them.”
This is great: https://t.co/r5HAdaW7 … challenge yr friends to do that thing they’re always talking about&raise money to fight cancer
— Sarah Oxley (@soxles) November 26, 2012
Not all charities build their own platform from scratch. Many partner with pre-existing crowdfunding platforms, like GoFundMe and Razoo, which have the resources to maintain state-of-the-art platforms and large communities of donors and influencers. Some charity crowdfunding platforms focus on specific topics. For instance, Start A Cure focuses on cancer research projects.
A new charity crowdfunding platform, Philippines-based Social Project, is experimenting with ways to increase the effectiveness of crowdfunding campaigns, and breaks down a large funding goal into smaller milestones.
Some charities seek to change people’s behaviors. UK-based The DoNation encourages people to ‘replace cash with actions’ to contribute to a more sustainable world.
Some charities encourage people to spend for good. UK-based Easy Fund Raising partners with e-tailers to ensure a percentage of all online sales go to charity.
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