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Innovative new philanthropic platform asking donors to buy research

19 October 2022 at 4:32 pm
Ruby Kraner-Tucci
At Buying Time, donors can purchase one hour of medical research for $48 and choose where they want their impact to be directed.

Ruby Kraner-Tucci | 19 October 2022 at 4:32 pm


Innovative new philanthropic platform asking donors to buy research
19 October 2022 at 4:32 pm

At Buying Time, donors can purchase one hour of medical research for $48 and choose where they want their impact to be directed.

The Common Good, a non-profit initiative of The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation, has launched a cutting-edge new platform allowing donors to purchase medical research.

The immersive philanthropic platform, called Buying Time, is transforming charitable giving by enabling donors to buy one hour of medical research, which has been quantified into a monetary value of $48. They can also choose whether they want to direct this time into researching heart disease, lung disease, mental health or dementia.

Buying Time is initially targeted at corporations, so that organisations can bulk-buy hours of time that is then distributed among stakeholders including employees, customers or community partners to choose the area of research they want to support.

The Common Good’s general manager of marketing and memberships Chloe Nguyen said the new venture arose from corporate organisations identifying a need to be more active in philanthropy and CSR within their communities, which reaches beyond a once-off donation.

“We saw a desire for corporates to do more than just write a check and hand it over. While it is absolutely generous, organisations really want to give back, particularly in progressing sustainable medical research where everybody has a story about an area of medicine that is meaningful to them.

“We saw a real opportunity for corporates to extend their giving to their stakeholders, whether that’s their customers, employees, residents, and uniquely involve them in that journey of giving.

“We’re really confident that Buying Time gives that ability to connect corporates with their customers and their employees, and all these end users, with the impact that those hours of time can have on the lives of people around Australia.”

Several factors were considered to distil research time into a $48 dollar figure, which is primarily informed by the mean average across a number of The Common Good’s research grants.

Expenditure including infrastructure and equipment is fully funded by independent sponsors and philanthropists, while the operational and administrative side of Buying Time is supported by the revenue generated from The Common Good’s social enterprise operations, which includes a café and catering business. Many medical professionals also donate their time as well.

These income sources mean that all the hours of time purchased go exclusively to the hands of the medical researchers that are supported by The Common Good, and can be used to analyse samples, conduct preclinical experiments, test new drugs and design and evaluate devices to assist critically ill patients, among other activities.

The Buying Time platform also integrates bespoke software which allows donors to track their impact, and can be co-branded with the partnering corporation. 

It provides personalised progress updates and real-time notifications about how a donor’s purchased time contributes to their chosen area of research, including the ability to explore detailed project updates and hear from the researchers being supported.

“That feeling of giving, and that feeling of impact which is most important, is extended far beyond the initial transaction,” continued Nguyen. 

“It’s a real value add and it’s a really great opportunity for the corporate to understand what their customer base is interested in, and what areas of medical research are closest to their heart.”

So far, national brands including Australian Unity, Lite ‘n’ Easy, Merlo Coffee and Vintage Reds have committed to Buying Time in its early stages.

While members of the public can currently purchase medical research, they are not able to access the tracking software which completes the philanthropic experience. The second phase of Buying Time, which will see it made entirely available for use by the whole community, will be rolled out over the next year.

Ruby Kraner-Tucci  |  @ProBonoNews

Ruby Kraner-Tucci is a journalist, with a special interest in culture, community and social affairs. Reach her at

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One comment

  • Wendy Scaife says:

    What a great idea to take the ‘dollar handle’ of $48 and empower people to be a part of needed research in this way. The only detracting note in this story for me is the messaging that charities must be seen to not use overheads to do their work. Well done to the PCH team for the excellent earned income but I just question how so many of us still perpetuate the belief that the community is not responsible for funding the infrastructure that makes great research and other charitable outcomes possible. Things won’t change in this misperception unless we call it out. Again, no disrespect to the excellent PCHF efforts – just a wider sector task to educate the public about the realities of making change happen. Good luck PCHF re your $48 initiative.


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