If you see myDunkTank co-founder Blake Jennelle walking around Center City with a cowboy hat, cowboy boots and a fake beard, rest assured he hasn’t gone completely crazy.
Jennelle along with co-founder Chap Ambrose are subjecting themselves to public humiliation in order to raise money for their favorite charities using DunkTank, an expiramental new fundraising website launching this week that the two coded over a weekend.
The idea is to make fundraising fun by having users offer to perform dares in return from donations from strangers. Users will be able to post a profile, the charity they hope to raise money for and what that money will be used for. Visitors can then donate money to see the dare carried out, hopefully though a posted video or photos and comment why they donated.
“We don’t have a master plan,” says Jennelle, “we hope people find it to be a really fun way to raise money with almost no work.”
Jennelle says that after kicking around the idea for three months with non-profits and fundraisers, he and Ambrose coded the site last weekend. Ambrose handled building the site in Ruby, while Blake wrote the copy and set up the payment system. The two originally hoped to launch the site with celebrities (“Celebrities that your [family] would know. Not just geek celebrities,” says Jennelle) as the first experimental users.
The two instead just decided to launch hard coded themselves as the first two profiles, eventually planning to add the ability for users to add their own.
The site’s fundraisers are posted for two weeks, DunkTank charges $0.99 plus nine percent of each donation.
Jennelle says that DunkTank is an example of a project inline with Missioneurs, one of his other projects that promotes socially responsible – yet profit driven – businesses.
“I hate begging, so we wondered how can we make fundraising more fun and more viral,” says Jennelle. “I can’t wait to sit on panels dressed as a cowboy.”
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