Innovation That Matters

A donation to charity for each hour wasted online

Work & Lifestyle

Anyone who spends any time at all online knows how easy it is to waste that time on sites one might call the online equivalent of junk food. ProcrasDonate is a site that hopes to turn that wasted time into something good while also giving users an incentive to waste less in the future.

Users begin by downloading Massachusetts-based ProcrasDonate’s free Firefox add-on and registering with the site, including choosing the charities they’d like to support and the amounts they pledge for each hour they waste. They then select the sites they consider their biggest time-wasters—Facebook and Twitter are both obvious choices, the site notes—and link their Amazon account for payments. There’s also an option to highlight sites that are the opposite of time-wasters through ProcrasDonate’s TimeWellSpent category; in that case, users can choose to reward those site owners for their worthy content.

Either way, users then go about their normal online activities, and ProcrasDonate records the way their time is spent. For each hour they spend on websites marked as time-wasters, a pledge gets recorded for their selected charities; every hour spent on those marked as TimeWellSpent, conversely, means a donation to those sites’ owners. Whenever a pledge reaches a threshold of USD 10, a donation is made directly and in full from the user’s Amazon account. Users can track their cumulative donations via ProcrasDonate’s “my impact” page; they can also request weekly emails with progress updates. A meter bar in the browser add-on, meanwhile, shows how much time has been wasted over the course of the week, gradually turning red when that amount exceeds the user’s set goal.

Much like Pledgehammer—which turns resolution set-backs into charitable donations—ProcrasDonate’s win-win-win potential is what makes it especially compelling. Consumers waste less time; good sites get supported; and charities get helped along the way. Where else could consumers’ ongoing challenges be turned around for good…? (Related: Wrist device rewards kids for exercisingLearning site motivates kids with real rewardsAppealing to gravanity of smokers who plan to quit.)

Spotted by: Margarita Barry



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