Pledge-to-charity website director Marc Simpson believes so much in his idea that he’s suspended its fees – and his salary – for a year to help it take off.
Creative father-of-two Marc, 49, of Lakeside, Tring, gave up a lucrative career in advertising to set up Ploink! in 2009 and he’s the first to admit that it’s difficult to make a breakthrough.
Luckily Marc’s wife, successful graphic designer Annie, 48, is as committed to Ploink! as he is and the couple worked out they could live on her salary and his income from a part-time charity job.
“I didn’t want to grow old and be thinking back and wondering whether I could have made something of this,” said Marc, who has two sons, Tom and Joe.
“I loved my career. I was thinking of ideas for other people and I wanted to know whether this one could work,” he added.
“When you strip everything to the basics, Ploink is an online collection tin. It allows people to drag and drop virtual coins into a piggy bank.”
The coins are pledges, which can be turned into real money.
“The ethos is give a penny or a pound. The act of giving is just as valuable as giving,” he said.
Marc even has a word for it – microphilanthropy. “You don’t have to be Bill Gates of Microsoft to give money,”he added.
The name Ploink is a combination of the “oink” of a piggy bank and the “plonk” when a coin drops in.
There’s a Facebook game based on Ploink! in the offing as well as an app that uses augmented reality to create a 3D image of a piggy bank. “The other thing about Ploink! is it is great fun and I think it will sit well with the ‘gamification’ trend, where concepts are turned into games,” said Marc.
More than 500 charities have signed up at www.ploink.co.uk