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Putting the Fun in Crowdfunded Cause Marketing

Wikipedia says there’s at least 450 crowdfunding platforms out there including a substantial minority that exist to benefit nonprofits, notably Ed Norton’s Crowdsourcing.org, and microfinance giant Kiva.org. Both are fine organizations, if sometimes a little bit earnest.

In the U.K. a charity called Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research built Pledgeit, a platform that puts the fun back in crowdfunding for causes.

Here’s how it works: Suppose your friend Spencer has been nattering on for 15 years about his karaoke rendition of the old Bill Withers’ classic “Ain’t No Sunshine.” How he brought down the house at the oldest karaoke joint in Osaka, won the contest, made young women weep with the tenderness of his interpretation, and actually got the right number of “I know’s” in the chorus of the song. But is there an mp3 of Spencer's performance? A trophy from that glorious night? An Instagram of him actually singing anything? No. No. And no.

Pledgeit helps you call out Spencer and others like them all to benefit Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. You lay down the challenge then pledge, as an incentive, to donate a sum of money to Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. Naturally, you can bring in your social network… and Spencer’s… to up the ante.

So the challenge you might issue to Spencer is to enter a locale karaoke contest in your hometown and show that his version of “Ain’t No Sunshine,” can somehow approach the genius of Bill Withers (see at left).

Setting up the challenge requires a credit card number. But Pledgeit won’t ding your card unless you certify that Spencer accomplished the challenge within the predetermined timeframe.

It’s all pretty slick and fun and makes me wonder if Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research would consider selling its backend programming to other charities so they could do the same.

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