Donating without money is the novel concept of innovative new enterprise `The DoNation’. An online sponsorship network, The DoNation replaces monetary sponsorship with personal environmental commitments, aptly called ‘DoActions’.
The DoNation is the brainchild of Hermione Taylor who realised that raising money to then pump back into environmental awareness was creating an unnecessary middle step. Why not remove money from the picture and promote awareness by encouraging sponsors to actively `do’ something?
It was also a response to the recognition that people are less willing to part with their money in the current economic climate.
How does it work?
Individuals who undertake a challenge, such as a marathon or a car-free month, challenge others to sponsor them by pledging their own short-term green actions. Ranging from adopting vegetarianism, to taking the stairs, to cycling; the options are many. The underlying aim being to inspire longer-term, wider behaviour change through demonstrating the ease with which adjustments to one’s lifestyle can be made. Post-sponsorship, The DoNation will calculate the amount of CO2 saved by the collaborative effort. All in all, this process not only results in carbon reductions, it also unites people by highlighting the achievements possible through collective effort.
As a business scheme
After two years of running ‘Donate by doing’, The DoNation launched its ‘Do Good for Business’ and ‘Do Good for Uni’ programmes with the aim of reaching a greater audience and thus creating far greater impact.
The DGFB and DGFU programmes engage staff and students in sustainability in a fun and friendly way. Simply put, teams compete against one another to make the most pledges; things like cycling to work, eating less meat or using tap water instead of bottled water.
In this way, The DoNation is creating long term behaviour change through the use of simple actions, friendly competition, and the measurement of impact created.
The DoNation estimates that it has saved close to 80,000 kgs of CO2 in the one year it has been running. Providing a service that allows you to quantify your environmental efforts is a key drawcard to this network. Perhaps more importantly, it is an interesting and inspiring forum through which to involve an entire team in sustainability and incentivise others to join you.
Check out The DoNation’s website for more information
Acacia Smith is a New Zealander now based in London. She holds a bachelor degree and postgraduate diploma from Victoria University of Wellington. She has worked for the Council for International Development (CID) and more recently in Bolivia for CIWY, a network of private parks for the rehabilitation and conservation of Amazonian fauna. Acacia is passionate about sustainability and the role businesses can play in promoting a better, more sustainable future.