Jay Boolkin: Promise or Pay

Jay Boolkin: Promise or Pay

Are your personal goals eluding you? Promise or Pay will increase your likelihood of succeeding in more ways than one.


Are you in need of a bit of inspiration and motivation to help you achieve your goals? If you are, you’re not alone. According to research from the University of Scranton, just 8% of people achieve their New Years Resolutions. That leaves a lot of us, resetting goals each year without much success. So just why are so many of us unsuccessful?

According to Promise or Pay founder Jay Boolkin, there are a number of reasons why. “We don’t write down our goals, we focus on too many changes at once, we tend to be overzealous and set too high expectations, we aren’t held accountable and we often underestimate the importance of positive feedback and rewards.” That’s why Jay developed Promise or Pay, a new social motivation platform designed to promote positive change.

Promise or Pay was developed based on research showing you can increase the chance of successfully achieving a personal goal by 33% if you share it with others or by as much as 72% if you put your money on the line. On the site, you make a promise and tell your friends about it so that they can get behind you. If you don’t follow through, you donate money to charity. If you succeed, your friends who have supported you do the donating.

“Promise or Pay was born out of my own struggles to achieve my personal goals as well as my experience within the not-for-profit sector and my feeling that there is a desperate need to find alternatives to hard-selling fundraising tactics,” explains Jay. Jay’s vision for Promise or Pay is to create a platform that will inspire people to be the best that they can be, and at the same time, encourage and facilitate millions of dollars in donations to charities. Such a win-win initiative.

With tertiary studies in development, project management and commerce, and a background working with not-for-profits and non-government organisations both in Australia and overseas, Jay’s focus is on making a difference and drive wide scale social change. While living in Cambodia, Jay won the Social Startups MVP Program, a worldwide competition based on social impact scalability. “The prize allowed me to build a beta site, which saw over 250 promises made, over $5,500 in donations to charities and over $11,000 in donations promised.”

After completing the selective INCUBATE accelerator program at the University of Sydney, Jay relaunched a new version of the Promise or Pay website and offered the public the opportunity to donate to a number of charities that he personally selected. “To maximise the impact of every dollar donated I have partner with charities that are clear about their purpose, mission and values,” explains Jay. In just a few months, almost 200 promises and $15,000 in promised donations have been made, and the number of promises made is growing each month.

When it comes to achieving change, Jay believes the key to success is not to be hasty. “Set goals you’ve thought through and are willing to dedicate your time and energy towards. If you‘re not 100% dedicated to your goal, the odds of staying motivated are not in your favour.” Of course, by publically announcing your personal goals on Promise or Pay and putting your money to it, will also increase your likelihood of success (and help an amazing challenge in the process).

What do you want to start, stop, change or do in 2015? It’s never too early or too late to get started. Make good on your goals at Promise or Pay.

Promise or Pay



CAITLIN (53 of 58)About the author
Caitlin Reid is a unique health professional with qualifications as an accredited nutritionist, accredited exercise physiologist and yoga teacher. Caitlin is passionate about all things health and wellness, and keeps up-to-date with the latest health research, which she uses when contributing expert advice to health, fitness, lifestyle and food companies. She is also the nutrition expert for the Women’s Fitness magazine, the dietitian for the South Sydney Rabbitohs and ambassador for Papaya Australia. Follow Caitlin on Instagram @caitlinareid or visit her website.

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