In today’s digital age, you can do almost anything online, from networking to reading the news and (to paraphrase the Devex slogan) doing good. Now, some of the latest IT and marketing wizardry is combining pleasure with a purpose — by allowing you to, well, do good by simply surfing the web.
The latest example: an application that converts the hours a person spends online into money for health projects.
All that’s needed to use LazyAngel is for you to download it, sign up and then browse the Internet as usual. The app, which a user will see at the bottom of their computer screen, automatically adds one health day for every hour spent. So, 365 hours spent on the Internet equal 365 health days and a year’s supply of micronutrients (the focus of LazyAngel’s first NGO grant).
LazyAngel is the brainchild of Rachel Cope and Emile Cureau, who ran a fair trade coffee business before deciding to “hack charity,” as they say.
The whole process of getting ad money to health projects, however, has been tedious. Before issuing a grant to a partner NGO, LazyAngel often waits for several months to receive enough money from its sponsors. The NGOs use the money to provide, in Cope’s words, “whatever is required to address regional dietary deficiencies.”
So far, all of LazyAngel’s revenue has gone toward grants, with growth being financed by startup funds. The goal is to spend half of the money raised on charity and use the other half to grow the social business.
LazyAngel’s first grant recipient, Wuku’ Kawoq, is an NGO based in Guatemala, the country with the fourth highest rate of chronic malnutrition in the world. The money helped Wuku’ Kawoq distribute Sprinkles, which contain micronutrients such as vitamin A and zinc, as well as packs of oral rehydration salts and deworming tablets to children.
On Friday, Jan. 20, LazyAngel users will be earning “health points” instead of “health days.” The shift, Cope says, will bring users “closer to your real-world impact.” Find out online what she means.
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