A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Published January 5th 2016
Be stronger than your excuses
What was your New Year's resolution for 2016? Are you going to give up smoking? Lose weight? Exercise more? Donate more to charity? Undertake daily random acts of kindness? Whatever your goal, hooking up with Promise or Pay can help you stick to your resolution.
Whatever your goal, staking money on it increases the odds of success. (Image credit: We Are Fit, Are You' (stock image) from freedigitalphotos.net)
Promise or Pay is an online honour system in which you publicly state your goals, and then use charitable giving as an incentive to stick by them.
Here's how it works. First make your promise. This can be anything, it doesn't have to be fitness related. It could be a promise to spend more time with a friend, to learn a new language, to do your first bungy jump - anything!
Let's say you pledge to walk to work three days a week for the next three months. If you don't meet this pledge, you agree up-front to pay an amount of money - say $100 (but it's up to you) - to a charity. You share your promise online, and can get others to support you by pledging to donate an agreed amount to charity if you DO achieve your goal of walking to work the agreed number of times.
Get friends to support you by pledging to donate to charity if you succeed in meeting your goal. (Image credit: 'Success Road Sign' by scottchan from freedigitalphotos.net)
From there - it's up to you. Stick to your goal, and your friends make the donation to charity. Break your goal, and you make the donation to charity. Either way, the charity you choose benefits.
If you don't achieve your goal, you make a donation to one of Promise or Pay's partner charities. (Image credit: 'Heart Symbol And Donation' by winnond from freedigitalphotos.net)
The other big advantage of this approach is that, according to Promise or Pay, your chances of achieving a goal increase by 33% if it is shared with others, and up to 72% if money is put on the line.
To me, this is a true win-win approach.
Which charities can I pledge to support?
Promise or Pay has selected a range of charities that are 'clear about their purpose, mission and values' and that 'use their resources wisely to effectively implement programs that have the ability to actually make a difference'. While the partner charities are not all household names, they cover a wide range of social issues. Hopefully, potential pledgers can find a charity that resonates with them. Amongst the partner charities are Suicide Prevention Australia, Bowel Cancer Australia and Assistance Dogs Australia. For the full list of partner charities, click here.
Is the money I donate tax deductible?
You will need to check the organisation concerned. Promise or Pay issues tax deductible receipts where the organisation has advised them they have the appropriate charitable status.