Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Check-Ins for Charity

By Courtney Carey

Checking-in online is not a foreign concept these days due to popular social media sites such as Foursquare, Gowalla and of course, Facebook. As of March, Foursquare reported that it had seven million active users. A recent social media site, DailyFeats, is taking the popular concept of “check-ins”and making it philanthropic.

This social media site describes its purpose as, “DailyFeats guides you in doing small actions -- or "feats" -- that reflect your values and your life's goals. Along the way, you'll earn points, meet a helpful community, and save money on real-life expenses, motivating you to go do good -- every day.” Each time a user reports an act on DailyFeats, they earn reward points depending on the size of the task. The acts range in size from choosing to eat healthier foods to volunteering your time at a non-profit organization. Once enough reward points are earned, they can be redeemed for coupons or discounts with certain participating organizations.

The popular social media website,, describes the benefits that DailyFeats offers for sponsors or corporate partners, “DailyFeats has managed to integrate its social layer with targeted coupons and sponsors. Certain actions unlock specific discounts. For example, sponsors “!newskills” and “!makeconnections” sections whereas sponsors “!sympathy” sections. It’s a smart way to target consumers and encourage good deeds at the same time.”

The catch with this social media site is that all of the actions are self-reported, meaning that people can say they completed an action even if they really did not. What is to stop people from lying on the site simply so they can reap the benefits of the rewards and coupons? While DailyFeats has some checks in place, they rely heavily on trust. Mashable describes the site’s philosophy, “The site was formed as a way to promote good deeds of any nature and ultimately to make America a better place. People may start by making themselves better, but they’ll eventually graduate to projects with more impact. The hope is that this next step won’t just be to get more rewards, but to actually embrace DailyFeats’ positive ethos.”

Is choosing to trust online users a gamble? My thought is that while there will always be those who choose to abuse the system, DailyFeats is a cool and interesting way to keep track of the good deeds, big or small, that one does on a daily basis. I look forward to seeing how this concept evolves and encourages people to make philanthropy a part of their daily lives.

Courtney Carey is Manager of Social Media at Maroon PR. Contact her at

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