At GoodPays.me, Social Good With a Twist is Catching On

December 21, 2011

11:30 am

Did you know that purpose is rapidly becoming the 5th “P” of marketing?  According to the Edelman 2010 goodpurpose Study, 86% of global consumers believe that business needs to place at least equal weight on society’s interests as on business interests.

In response to this shift in people’s mindsets, Chicago-based GoodPays.me is applying the consumer rewards program concept to social good in order to encourage people to do good deeds and to provide businesses with a way to easily jump in on the social purpose action.

I asked founder Bill Scheuer why people needed to have a carrot dangled in front of them – don’t people want to volunteer or plant a tree simply because it makes them feel better?

“What happens with nearly everyone is that you want to do more good than you actually do,” said founder Bill Scheuer.  “So instead of feeling good, you end up feeling bad.  This idea is similar to a workplace incentive program.  It’s not just the extra perk you get, which is meaningful, but the attention you get as well.”

Scheuer’s background in the incentives industry, coupled with his experience in the nonprofit industry (he created a marketplace to exchange ideas called caramelcorn.com) taught him that people need an extra push to help them break patterns of inertia.  So, he decided to try this new system – and so far it is working: 1 in 6 people who visit the site sign up.

Using GoodPays.me is easy.  Since it is a social app, so you can join the program with a Facebook login and easily share your activities on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Once in the app, you can browse or search to find offers that appeal to you and simply click to add them to your list.

By re-establishing connections in the incentives industry to furnish the rewards, Scheuer has been able to offer some really interesting rewards.  One of the sample offers is from Kevin Bacon asking you to join him at SixDegrees.org, the social network that plays off the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game to show how we are all connected and make it fun and easy for people to reach out to help others in need.

Scheuer was quick to point out that GoodPays.me is different from other programs:

“There are a lot of programs out there that are trying to combine social good with commercial behavior by inducing you to buy something and then get rewarded with social good.  GoodPays.me is the inverse of that.”

By signing up for beta, you will get advance notice of offers, basically giving you first dibs on the ones that interest you most (each offer is limited to a certain number of people).  If volunteering or getting more involved in your community is on your list of New Year’s resolutions, GoodPays.me is a great place to start.  Give it a try, and let us know what you think!

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Monika Jansen is a writer and editor who is happiest pounding out blog posts, newsletters, website content, and other materials. Follow her at: @monikacjansen

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