Saturday, May 3, 2008

Charity . . . Just a Click Away

Who remembers what life was like before the internet? While it may not be difficult for some, at 23, the internet has been a reality for me for nearly half of my life. Nearly everyday the internet serves some function in my life. Today I stayed in touch with Mom and backed up files on Google's large web database. Tomorrow I may check out the scores for Playoff Basketball and read articles about the Olympic protests. It's all just a click away for me. And, as wireless becomes more prevalent I have access just about everywhere. In addition to making communication and research easier the internet has by some measure made charity easier. From facebook campaigns and website clicks to search engines and automatic withdrawls we use the internet and other resources to make giving easier. The purpose of this post is to provide a syllabus of the types of giving require not much more than the click of a mouse.

Hunger Site: View themselves as a leader in online activism against global poverty. Started in June of 1999. In the about section of their page Hunger Site states that their "Click Here It's Free" button has, ". . . given 300 million cups of staple food" to needy. This is financed by their sponsors. And really, all you do is click on the button and food will be distributed to those in need through Mercy Corps (America's Second Harvest).

Facebook: If you're on facebook occasionally you receive invitations for groups where a person will state that they will give $1 to Charity X for each person that joins. Facebook, in case you didn't know, is a social network where people can communicate with each other in a variety of ways other than a vanilla email.

Good Search: I just found out about this one thanks to an email from Mary. It has been around since 2005 when, "Ken Ramberg (the former founder of JOBTRAK, now a division of and JJ Ramberg (an MSNBC anchor and the former Director of Marketing at asked themselves a few years ago. After realizing what a fraction of the $8 billion generated annually by search engine advertisers could do if it were directed towards organizations trying to make the world a better place". Just pick your favorite charity and search for something and about a penny will go to that charity. Like some of the people who covered the launch of Good Search said, "This is a business model waiting to happen." If the charity you should give to is not obvious check out Charity Navigator, one of a crop of new agencies that seek to inform the public about the efficiency of the charities that they give their hard earned cash to support.

This is not an exhaustive list. If there are more that were unmentioned please let me know. To me it is just fascinating that charity has become so easy. Now that summer is here I will be posting once weekly on some subject that strikes me. I apologize for my long absence and hope that some of these posts strike your curiosity. Thank you.

No comments: