Donor tips from a broke chick: Micro-philanthropy

Shortly after my posts about young and poor donors went up I was amazed at the feedback from fellow young poor donors and organizations, with questions and ideas on how to bring the two together.

Clare McDowall brought up the brilliant point of micro-philanthropy (Disclaimer: she works at Small Change Fund, which I talk about later). If you’re not familiar with it, think KickStarter for a good cause. The geniuses behind micro-philanthropy worked out that enough small donations add up to bigger donations, and bigger donations can make a bigger impact.

Take Kiva, for instance. Empower people around with world with a $25 loan. Their site lists projects looking for financing. You pick one, and send $25 their way so they can fund their project. As the project takes off, you get paid back. How’s that for cash-strapped philanthropy? You get your money back, or you can decide to re-invest it in another project. Especially useful for donors concerned about their money being filtered through administration before getting to the intended recipient, 100% of what Kiva receives go directly towards funding loans.

Closer to home is Small Change Fund. Projects are from all across Canada, ranging from physical infrastructure and community harvesting to environment conservation and education. You choose the amount to donate, and your money is pooled with that of donors from across the country to make these projects a reality.

The great thing about micro-philanthropy is that they are really looking for those small donations. A lot of them ensure all the money donation goes straight to the cause, and keep donors informed on how the project is doing. And there are micro-philanthropy organizations cropping up all over the place, for any cause you can think of.

I’m going to close with a video from DonorsChoose.org, the brain-child of teachers frustrated with the lack of supplies made available to their students and a wonderful example of successful crowd-sourced fundraising. Also because it has famous people in it.

Have you ever given to a micro-philanthropic cause?

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