21. December 2011–
A deed a day keeps your nagging social-conscience at bay. Well, that’s one of the philosophies behind Doonited anyway. It all comes down to ‘doing good’ and ‘feeling good’ in return. Getting that heart-warming fuzziness, when you feel you’ve made a difference – however small.
“I got thinking: How and where does charity actually start?” says Doonited founder Oliver Stark. And, that’s what sparked the project idea. “There are good people that want to do good, but don’t have the time or money,” he says. So, Stark thought of a way to get people to help strengthen our moral obligations in a fun and modern way, “we want to make ‘doing good’ cool, but we don’t want to take things too seriously,” he adds.
Stark set an ambitious mission of creating a sweeping social movement, “The desired impact comes from the multiplication of a small deed from many people to equal a big result.”
“It’s a bit like a game”
A ‘good deed’ gets posted to the site daily which are mostly inspired by the community. It could be anything from; ‘give a homeless man an apple’ to ‘write a letter to your Grandma.’ You can either take it or leave it. Partly adopting gaming tactics to keep users enthused, each completed deed is worth a ‘drop’ which gets added to your personal drop count as well as a total drop count of all the participants.
Since Doonited launched in its native Berlin in August this year, it has attracted 5,300 Facebook fans, and 1600 registered users. “Two days ago, our users hit the 25,000 drop line. By hitting that mark, we rewarded their efforts by renovating a youth centre,” says Stark. By reaching certain ‘drop levels’ Doonited organises Samaritan projects, to feed back into the ‘doing good’ chain.
At the end of each day, those that took part in the ‘daily good’ are welcome to post up their story and discuss it with others. Pictures, thoughts, comments; “If it felt good, talk about it – why not,” says Stark.
Doonited doing business, social business
The term ‘Social business’, was coined by Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Bangladeshi economist; Professor Muhammad Yunis. A social business aims to address a social objective, but it’s distinct from a non-profit business because it seeks to generate a modest profit. Any big profits made are fed back into the ‘social mission’. Much like Berlin’s Knowable.org, Doonited aims to do the same.
“It Doonited generates profits, we won’t be rich by other people’s good deeds and drive around in Ferarris,” says Stark. As with any social business, its founders will be allowed to pay themselves an income at market level. Any profits leftover, will go back into creating and funding ‘good deed’ projects.
Doonited’s exact money-making strategy is yet to be detailed. But it’s focused on getting big companies involved in its ‘daily good’ by adopting advertising methods. It’s looking at steering away from those ‘in your face’ ads, but rather through forms cohesive with the website’s mission. For example: ‘Big Company X had 2000 employees surprise a co-worker with a small gift or treat. Because of this, Big Company X will re-build the local women’s shelter’. “The nice thing is, businesses actually want to do it,” says Stark.
Doonited’s New Year resolution
The website is looking to establish an i-Phone platform in early 2012, and further develop its technical aspect. More importantly however, as is always the case with budding start-ups; is the goal of getting investors on board. “We have a business plan ready, but we need one that says ‘I love it’ and are looking to invest in a vision.”