Self Improvement Accountability Tied to Philanthropy: Promise or Pay

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A key component to sticking with your self improvement goals is accountability, and a new social enterprise startup aims to help users put their money where their mouth is, by tying commitment to philanthropy and holding them financially accountable for their failure.

Making commitments to self improvement programs, whether it’s a goal of eating better or exercising more or meditating everyday, is easy. It’s the sticking with it part that hangs many of us up, especially if we’re going it alone and nobody else is holding us accountable for our lapses (or cheering our successes). To help people stick to their self improvement commitments, Promise or Pay lets users make a public commitment and set a financial penalty for their failure to stick to them, in an effort to motivate them to follow through.

“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.” – Jay Boolkin, CEO of Promise or Pay

By tying philanthropy to self improvement commitments, Promise or Pay offers a method of charitable giving that is potentially more engaging than just making a simple donation, as users can fail in their commitments and still make a difference in the world by supporting charities doing good in the world. If users follow through in their commitments, then they are still making a difference in the world, by improving themselves through their personal, relationship, or career goals.

Getting started is easy. Simply make a promise (it could be anything from quitting smoking to not gossiping to working out more often or waking up earlier), then pick a participating charity that you’d like to support if you fail, pledge an amount of money you’re willing to pay for failing to stick to your promise, and then make yourself publicly accountable for your promise by sharing it with others. If you break your promise, your pledge amount will get donated to charity, making the world a better place even through failure.

“To maximise the impact of every dollar donated we have partner with charities that are clear about their purpose, mission and values. We believe they use their resources wisely to effectively implement programs that have the ability to actually make a difference. We also want to give you the opportunity to choose from a number of charities working to combat a wide range of social issues.” – Promise or Pay

If you need help sticking to your self improvement commitments, you can get started (for free) today at Promise or Pay.

[Image: lucidtech]

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About the Author

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!