Feel-good, inclusive fundraising for your supporters

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Guilty Pledgers app on mobile

Partial to Abba or a sing-along to the Bee Gees’ greatest hits? Or is rocking out to a power ballad by Guns N’ Roses more your style? Whatever your taste, the clever folks at Guilty Pledgers have come up with a way of turning your party playlist into a fun opportunity to raise money for your favourite cause. Co-founder Andy Whitlock tells us more. 

What is Guilty Pledgers?

Guilty Pledgers is a ‘charity jukebox’ app powered by Spotify and JustGiving. To explain more fully, it’s a Spotify app that lets your friends donate to charity to add their ‘guilty pleasures’ to your playlist. A simple idea on the outside, but a clever one on the inside.

Guilty Pledgers logo

The Guilty Pledgers app is accessible within the Spotify desktop client so it can power any party where the music is supplied by Spotify. And it can be used to fundraise for any charity on JustGiving. But of course, making this possible wasn’t so simple.

Where did the idea come from?

We wanted to invent a way to fundraise that would be as feel-good and inclusive as possible. These values lie behind many of the decisions we made.

It’s why we made it so people can join your party and pledge money to add songs via the website, guiltypledgers.com. This means they can do so on any device – no specific handset is necessary and no app needs to be downloaded by party guests. Only the party host needs to use the Spotify app.

Guilty Pledgers app on desktop

Where does JustGiving come in?

Inclusivity brings us back to JustGiving and its API, which we used to fulfill the donation part of the concept.

There were two main reasons we used JustGiving: First, its popularity meant the chances were good that users would already have an account, which would reduce friction. And second, the API was the best one available.

After researching and designing the service, we hired Macclesfield-based Abstraktion to build the Guilty Pledgers app and website for us. Here’s what founder Chris Garrett had to say:

“We don’t know of another service that will enable you to plug in to 13,000 charities so easily. It helped us to concentrate on building out the user interface as the Guilty Pledgers team had envisaged it, without having to worry about how we were going to ensure seamless pledging to a user’s chosen charity.”

‘Seamless’ hits the nail on the head. At Guilty Pledgers, we’re attempting to create an entirely new behaviour. Pulling out your phone at a party and pledging to charity to add a song is not a normal thing to do! So making it frictionless was critical. The fun had to outweigh the required thinking.

Sounds great, so how does it actually work?

The JustGiving API also allow us to set up all the donation mechanics at the point a party is created, so users don’t even have to think about it. Of course it’s easy for me to say this, but there were complex technical challenges that Abstraktion had to battle with to make it feel this easy.

While setting up their party, the host chooses their favourite charity and from that point everything is automatic. The app clocks up how much each guest pledges and sends guests an email the next morning. They’re sent to the JustGiving page of their chosen charity and the amount they owe is even pre-populated in the donation form.

Guilty Pledgers app on mobile

Like I said, clever on the inside.

As Chris says:

“There’s no point having the most incredible app idea in the world, if the actual user journey is convoluted and complex. Keep things simple and more often than not they work. Using the JustGiving API made that simplicity possible.”

How can my charity get involved?

Above all, this project is about creating more than an app. It’s about creating a platform – a platform for charities and fundraisers to use to help the causes they care about.

The beauty of the JustGiving integration is that any charity on JustGiving is already in Guilty Pledgers. So this gives people one more, super fun way to fundraise with all the complicated stuff already taken care of for them. You can pick it up and use it today for your charity.

If you work for or support a charity, please do spread the word and try throwing a Guilty Pledgers party. Let’s face it, not all of us can run marathons, and this offers a sacrifice-free alternative. All you have to do is open the app, create a party and dance the night away to feel-good music.

Have your supporters thrown a Guilty Pledgers party for your charity? We’d love to hear more about it below! 

If you’re interested in guest blogging for us, drop us a line at blog@justgiving.com

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Guilty Pledgers was founded by Andy Whitlock, Katy Theakston and Ben Tomlinson, three friends that met at a digital marketing agency in London. They developed the app because of an unquenchable, booty-shaking desire to use technology for good.