Modest Needs

I came across this on the AFP blog (great source) who link to an article on

 Originally this was a small site set up by Keith Taylor, a teacher, who was willing to give away some of his annual salary to help people in need, so he would get emails from a woman who needed $65 to help pay for her sons glasses to be repaired. Now the website has developed into a more sophisticated giving mechanism and is another of these sites that is giving directly to those in need (I have spoken about some other examples of this before).

So how does it work, well you can make a donation and for a once off donation you are given points for each dollar you donate. You can then invest your points into a project or individual that you think is deserving.

What a great idea. I know I have said before that I worry a bit about something like this being abused, but these guys seem to have covered the angles.

Is this the end for Charities (I ask again!). No of course not….what charities need to do though is look at sites like this and recognise that they are popular tools for people and see how they can adapt this form of donating into their organisations. How great would it be for charities to list the projects they are working on and empower donors to invest in the ones that they feel passionate about. I would love to see a charity set this up….if you know of one please let me know?

Where the hell is Matt? He’s raising money for Charity!!

I had only heard of Matt Harding last week when I posted about him. I thought his video was great and really uplifting. I finished my post by saying that if Matt had asked me to donate to something I probably would have….Well guess what, it looks like that is exactly what Matt is going to do. 

I came across this on the AFP Blog taken from Reuters:

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Matt Harding has won cult celebrity status by filming himself dancing badly around the world to the amusement of millions of Internet viewers but now he wants to get serious — raising money for laptops for the poor.

Harding, 31, began his unusual route to fame five years ago when he quit his job as a video game maker and set off to travel the world, with a traveling pal suggesting he do the same jig he used to do in the office and film himself in different spots.

His edited clip which he posted in the fall of 2004 — at the same time registering a website, — became an Internet hit and came to the attention of executives at Cadbury’s Stride chewing gum who offered to fund future trips.

His latest and third video, which runs for four-and-a-half minutes has been watched by nearly 19 million people on YouTube

Harding said it was now time take off his dancing shoes and get serious.

He met United Nations officials this month and talked to the sponsor of his video, Stride, about raising money to buy and donate laptops to the poor in Rwanda where he danced with locals and plans to go to teach them himself.

 “Laptops and access to the Internet can broaden horizons tremendously. I want to do it personally, so it won’t just be a care package,” said Harding who has also been approached with various other offers including writing a travel journal.

Read the full article from Reuters here

Real Impact

I spoke some time ago about The Suddes Group’s thinking that we should call our organisations For Impact as opposed to Non Profit (read the article I wrote called Bad Launguage here). So I was interested to read earlier this week on the AFP Blog a piece by Enid Ablowitz talking about the same topic.

Ablowitz remarks that:

They used to be called charities………Now, some are suggesting calling them public-benefit corporations or public-benefit enterprises.

What I found really interesting was this:

(they) employ more than 9 million people and have a volunteer, unpaid workforce equivalent to nearly 14 million more

Albowitz asks:

  • What if they no longer existed? What would happen if people stopped giving and the nonprofit, non-government organizations were not able to do what they do?
  • What impact might that have on communities, society, or even global viability? How do these organizations affect our lives?
  • Imagine if government taxation was the only source of funding and there were no volunteers

Really great questions.

In a time when we are reading articles about how a recession is going to affect fundraising we need to remind ourselves and then our donors of the impact we have. We need to demonstrate our value and really make an impact

Read the full Ablowitz article here