How much would it cost to eliminate poverty? According to Lant Pritchett of the Harvard Kennedy School, “the world could eliminate extreme poverty for about $45 billion a year, or roughly the amount spent on movie tickets annually worldwide.” At first this quote seems depressing, how can we live in the world where more people are willing to shell out money to go see Transformers 3 then give to help change a fellow human’s life?
However as an entrepreneur I ask a different question: how do you make solving poverty as appealing as buying a movie ticket? This quote smells of opportunity to me. If we could get everyone in line at Transformers 3 to find more value in giving to those in needs, we could find a way to access that $45 billion for a good cause.
How do you do it? One example is Malaria No More which teamed up with College Humor to create Malarious, a series of videos of celebrities doing ridiculous things. Celebrities from actor Ed Helms to competitive eating champion Takeru Kobayashi do things like insulting a puppy, performing magic , or creating a slam poem to bacon.
However just like a movie all of this entertainment doesn’t come free. After watching the previews you will have to donate to Malaria No More before you can access any of Malarious’ videos. You choose how much to donate from $1 to your life savings.
Not only does Malaria No More get a donation, it gets you email as well, allowing them to contact you for further support. What I love about the project is it both entertaining and has an impact. How could other projects tap into this market for social good?