Michael Lazerow, “serial entrepreneur” and CEO of Buddy Media (a social enterprise suite who you may recognize from their frequent Ad Age magazine wraps), celebrates his 38th birthday today. In a gesture of philanthropy and PR, Lazerow has decided to ask for his birthday presents to come in the form of donations to Charity: Water, an organization dedicated to bringing clean, safe drinking water to developing countries.
In tying to get people on board, Lazerow is using peer pressure, asking his network of friends and acquaintances, “Do You Want to Be Like Jonah Peretti?” Peretti, Huffington Post founder and current BuzzFeed.com overseer, was apparently initially apprehensive about donating to Lazerow’s cause despite the man’s apparent wealth. Lazerow says, “You’d think [Peretti] could afford a $38 donation, unlike my other friend Reece Pacheco who is a poor startup CEO looking for his first exit. Reece donated $38 Friday, and is still my friend.”
Lazerow is asking for donations in increments of $38, $380, and $3800, with the goal of reaching $15,000 by noon today (up from a previous goal $5000, which he promised to match dollar for dollar). Lazerow’s name-checking and digital peer pressuring has worked, as he’s already reached about $12,500 as of the publication of his post. Oh, and his buddy Peretti finally relented, pledging $3800 toward the cause. Learn more about Charity: Water in the video below.