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An App That Helps Pay It Forward

| 04.01.2016 |

Now here is something that you do not see every day: a mobile application aimed at rewarding good deeds by using micro-donations.


The Australian company Good Thnx has partnered with more than 20 charities to create an app people can use to unleash the power of gratitude through their smart phones. Good Thnx operates as a software development firm giving students the opportunity to gain industry experience in Adelaide.


Co-founder of Good Thnx Shannon Poulton said acknowledging someone for doing a good deed by giving a gift could create an awkward situation. He explained that the free app allowed people to thank good-deed doers through a short message and donation to a chosen charity of as little as 10 cents.


“The recipient is notified and they choose an aid organization to receive the donation,” Poulton said. “This simple idea of embracing the power of gratitude and appreciation will act as a positive behavioural loop, encouraging more acts of kindness, and more rewarding of good behaviors.”


About 7,000 Good Thnx donations from around Australia have been made, totaling more than $20,000 since the app’s release last year. The Good Thnx Foundation runs as a separate entity, and was created so donors through the app could avoid bank fees, which swallow up about 10 per cent of donations, preventing the full amount reaching the intended charity.


As the Adelaide-based foundation is a non-profit, all donations are tax deductible. “We decided that what we needed was to create some way for the donations to be regulated and passed on to the different entities in full,” Poulton said. “It’s a chance for ‘thank you’ to be more than just words.”

Adelaide has been recognised as an excellent incubator city for startups at last year’s Australian Technologies Competition.


"It's about the interconnections," says competition organiser John O'Brien. "The interconnections between startup companies, researchers, investors, business and just creating an environment where those discussions can happen and opportunities can emerge."


O'Brien explains that the best technology companies usually emerge from a supportive innovation ecosystem - something that can't be created simply by throwing money at the issue.


Paul Daly, who authored the South Australian entry in to the award, is the co-founder of the MEGA SA Entrepreneurial Program and a consultant in science and technology commercialization. Daly is also a convenor of the Adelaide Entrepreneurship Forum and created the Adelaide Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Map, which tracks programs and opportunities for emerging businesses.


Poulton said that besides an innovative ecosystem, South Australia’s ability to attract a large international student population made it easier to choose Adelaide as the company’s base. “It’s easy for students to come work here and then go back to university because of the way Adelaide is designed,” Poulton said. “You can’t do that in many other places in Australia.”


The idea for the app emerged on a hot day after co-founder Ante Juricin gave Poulton a $1 ice cream to help him cool down.


“I wanted to thank Ante for the gesture because an ice cream on a hot day is worth its weight in gold; the $1 doesn’t mean much to us, but it means a lot to someone in need and that’s where we got the idea from,” Poulton said.


Poulton said that the app has opened new doors for the company who are in the process of developing new applications to be released later this year.


The Good Thnx Foundation is partnered with a number of charities and organizations including the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) South Australia, Beyond Blue, Saint Vincent de Paul Victoria, World Wide Fund for Nature Australia and World Vision Australia. It is looking to increase the number of charities involved.


WWF Australia CEO Dermot O’Gorman said the company was focused on trying to help build sanctuaries, which is only possible through generous supporters.  "Good Thnx is an innovative way to say thanks, while also making an important contribution to preserving our natural environment," he said


Good Thnx is online at www.goodthnx.me.