Saturday, June 04, 2011

So How Is This Sgt Fitness Charity Thing Gonna Work Anyway?

I haven't gotten much direct reaction yet (in front of my eyes) to my "Help me give one million dollars to charity!" tag line. I'm curious to know what people think: do they think I have a million dollars in the bank already, ready to give away now? (Hint: I don't...) Or that I'm delusional to think I could sell so many copies in such a short amount of time?

My wife's told a few people over the last month, handing out some of my Sgt Fitness promo cards, and she tells me some have asked "How are you going to give away a million dollars?"

The answer is really simple, actually. It's just a matter of a little discipline, some arithmetic, mixed in with a little publicity, a bit of luck and some dogged persistence.

Here's my pledge at its most basic: I will donate $1.25 to charity for each copy of Sgt Fitness that sells on the app store from now until the end of 2011.

To get from that pledge to $1M to charity is simply a matter of selling 800,000 copies of Sgt Fitness on the app store. Ambitious, perhaps, but certainly within the realm of the possible...

Now, Sgt Fitness only costs $4.99+tax for each person who buys a copy. A one time cost. There are literally now millions of iPhone users out there, each paying something like $30 a month each and every month just for their data plan. I really don't think it's a stretch to say that a very small fraction of them would: (a) be financially able to purchase a copy of Sgt Fitness, (b) actually find it useful in helping to stay fit, and (c) have that warm, fuzzy feeling of knowing they're helping to fund a worthy cause or three.

Everybody who buys a copy also gets a say in how the money will be donated. I have set up a voting capability on my web site so that people who visit the voting booth from inside the app may cast a vote (once per day, per device) for their favorite charity. I'll tally up the votes at the end of the year, and use those votes to decide how to divvy up the million dollars (or however much we're up to at that point...)

Obviously, I'm going to have to exercise some discretion and judgment with respect to tallying and evaluating the votes. For one thing, the charities will have to be real, recognized charitable organizations, and not just "Joe the Plumber's Belt Fund." For another, depending on the numbers, I'll probably end up splitting the vast majority of the money proportionally among the top three vote getters, with "substantial" donations going to the runners up. Perhaps even up to 10 to 20 or more organizations, if there are that many organizations receiving votes.

So: regardless of how many copies I actually sell this year, whatever funds are available based on $1.25 per copy, will be donated to charities in December 2011. I, for one, am hoping to meet and even exceed the million dollar goal.

Hope with me, won't you?

Stay fit and be generous!

(And spread the word to help me reach this goal!)

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