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Social Good, Startups

Is $5 Worth 5 Minutes?

In a typical Glue transaction, a user redeems a code for $5 or $10 to fund one of the many humanitarian non-profit projects featured on our platform.  Though some users explore the rich information about projects, categories, and non-profits, many choose a project quickly which takes about 5 minutes of their day.

This week, someone asked me whether I thought $5 was a lot or a little.  Was $5 worth 5 minutes of a user’s time?

So, I considered how I may spend $5 (and 5 minutes) in my daily life:
• A latte and muffin at the local coffee house
• A treat for my kids after school
• 1/8 of a tank of gas
• Postage
• Socks

…all things that feel more like “a little” than “a lot.”

On the Glue site, $5 and 5 minutes buys approximately:
• A duck or a chick which generates eggs, babies, and revenue to feed a hungry family
• 5 new trees
• A malaria net that protects 2 children and is likely to save a life
• 1/6 of a stove
• A soccer ball for a group of impoverished kids

…and to the recipients, those may feel more like “a lot” than “a little.”

Another consideration is what happens when MANY people spend $5 and 5 minutes…

An inspiring story from Nicholas Kristoff in last week’s New York Times told of a 9-year-old girl who requested, for her birthday, $9 donations toward clean water to save other children from illness or death.  This little girl died tragically but, in $9 increments, her inspiration led to $850,000 in donations to clean water.

In $10 increments, $35 million was donated via text message to Haiti in the wake of the tragic earthquake.

Applying this way of thinking to Glue…  If thousands of users take a $5 gift, donate to a project, tell their friends via Facebook and Twitter, and some of those friends participate too, imagine the power of $5!

• Educate villages of children to build better futures for their families and countries
• Fund microloans for businesses that build economies
• Free some of the 27 million of the world’s human slaves

So my conclusion… a $5 code sitting on a desk is worth nothing. $5 in my daily life is worth a little. $5 + 5 minutes can be worth a lot.