Meta Charity

With such a plethora of worthy charities pleading for your monthly commitment, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to figure out how you can make a difference. It’s not possible to give to all the causes that you care about and this may play a part in why so few of us give at all. It’s a poor excuse – but I feel that it’s a reality for many.

This gave me the idea for a new way of giving; a ‘Meta Charity’. Individuals make a monthly pledge to this single entity, and utilise a web platform to dynamically decide how their donation is employed; based upon their value set.

Each charity is held in a database and attributed with all of its charitable activities. Users are questioned how they rate the relative importance of some specific social and economic issues, and this information is processed to provide a bespoke suggestion of how their donation could be distributed. With a large group of users, charities will still receive a worthwhile lump sum each month, whilst the individual feels that they are helping many issues in a way that was not previously possible. Moreover, the platform would allow the user to instantly redistribute funds; reflecting for current affairs and changing needs.

Technically, the concept is not overly complex. Furthermore, user submissions, ratings and volunteer moderators could be leveraged to reduce operational overheads. A single corporate sponsor should be easy to recruit given the lack of ties to any one organisation and help ensure that 100% of proceeds are put into use.

Meta Charity

Update: I submitted the idea to Facebook’s fbFund in late February. No response as yet.

Update #2: Facebook rejected my proposal for a fbFund grant. Too bad. Anyone else fancy donating some angel-level investment?

Update #3: I’ve purchased the domain name metacharity.com just in case I ever get around to developing this idea and can’t think of a better name.

 Tags: Business, Ideas, Internet   Published: 5th February '08


14 Archived Wordpress Comments

Ross Mander

One of your better ideas.

Nicholas Fehlberg

is this philanthropy or are you making a cut of each donation?

john

Rob pointed this one out to me – http://www.globalgiving.com/

Mander – have a look at my site and tell me what you think.

http://dev.mapible.com

Nicholas Fehlberg

My 2 cents worth: I think that what is missing from the act of giving is the acknowledgement. lets be honest, most of us give for selfish reasons or out of guilt. Even those wonderful, glowing individuals whose motives are far purer than my own, still don't mind other people knowing how they are contributing. I like this charitable concept, but i think to really take it to a big level, people need to feel the love. They want some bang for their buck, so why not give it to them. An app that shows which charities users donate to, and possibly the 'level' they donate at – power donaters are recognized with a special graphic in the users profile etc.Facebook can be a medium that users can promote their fave charities to their friends – with the vast majority of users being skewed to the left, i can see this being very popular with FB.

Keith Mander

Are you suggesting I'm only in it for the money?!

I think your suggestion is a very good one. You're quite right – there is a bunch of people who only give for egotistic reasons and this could be leveraged through the social graph.

I'll make a follow-up shortly developing the Facebook app idea.

Nicholas Fehlberg

…not a judgement of you at all K Man, but i would make sure that (at the very least) a nominal sum of each donation is used to fund the business development and operations. While charities are 'not for profit' they certainly need money to keep em going. Good luck with this.

Keith Mander

Are you suggesting I'm only in it for the money?!I think your suggestion is a very good one. You're quite right – there is a bunch of people who only give for egotistic reasons and this could be leveraged through the social graph.I'll make a follow-up shortly developing the Facebook app idea.

Keith Mander

I’ve subjected this idea to be considered for a Facebook grant, but was rejected – anyone want to help fund this endeavor?

Keith Mander

I still think you could use Facebook Beacon to leverage the social graph, without any direct integration.

Albert

You have built a good website

Nicholas Fehlberg

My 2 cents worth: I think that what is missing from the act of giving is the acknowledgement. lets be honest, most of us give for selfish reasons or out of guilt. Even those wonderful, glowing individuals whose motives are far purer than my own, still don't mind other people knowing how they are contributing. I like this charitable concept, but i think to really take it to a big level, people need to feel the love. They want some bang for their buck, so why not give it to them. An app that shows which charities users donate to, and possibly the 'level' they donate at – power donaters are recognized with a special graphic in the users profile etc.
Facebook can be a medium that users can promote their fave charities to their friends – with the vast majority of users being skewed to the left, i can see this being very popular with FB.

Nicholas Fehlberg

also check this out for ideas maybe.. http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=2318966938&ref=pr

Keith Mander

http://www.mycharitypie.com is a recent Launch48 startup. Their slogan is “One donation, many charities”; pretty darn similar to the ethos of the Meta Charity concept.