What We Aim to Do

Seven Bainbridge Islanders and Seattleites have formed the Boomerang Giving Project. This Project will invent new technologies and approaches that will increase the extent to which baby boomers “give back” by increasing their support of non profits. Initial funding for the Project is being provided through a donor advised fund at The Seattle Foundation.

Our focus is on capturing and redirecting senior discounts, ideally at point of sale. We are not aware of any similar effort, so we hope that we can establish and seize a nationwide market. We have had encouraging results from a national survey we conducted through Survey Monkey which examined levels of interest.

Boomerang Giving

Boomerang Giving

The First Test …

We have had a promising start at the local level. The Bainbridge Cinemas and Lynwood Theatre on Bainbridge are allowing us to test the voluntary redirection of senior citizen movie discounts during the months of January and February. The total amount of the redirected discounts will be used to boost grant making for children and youth at the Bainbridge Community Foundation.

This first test examines only the extent to which those over 65 will voluntarily avail themselves of the opportunity at the retail level to forego and redeploy the discount. We imagine that if we do well we could spread this idea to independent movie theatres, movie theatre chains, community foundations and other giving intermediaries.

What’s in our Future?

As we do this first step, we are exploring multiple point-of-sale approaches that can help facilitate the donation/redirection of discounts over time. The options range from pledge cards, mobile applications which can transfer the funds, or even a Boomerang Giving Project affinity charge card. The rapid growth in digital transactions will make point-of-sale transfers easier as we move forward. Ultimately, we plan to have the redirection of senior discounts fund individual accounts so that participants can make their own charitable choices. We are exploring a number of ways these giving accounts can be fueled:

  • We are setting up a system through which prepaid gift cards secure full value when they are redeemed , but still generate as much as 8% of the sale for the purchaser to give to nonprofits
  • We plan to move beyond movie theatres to other venues which generate discounts, include restaurants and transportation.
  • We are examining such possible projects to fund individual giving accounts as a retirement gift registry; a national campaign in November to give back all or part of a Social Security check; and a payment to the giving account when homeowners make their last payment on a mortgage.

Boomerang Giving