I'll admit it, I tend to lower my gaze and pick up my pace if I see someone up ahead with a clipboard and a florescent Amnesty jacket. Getting out credit cards, rustling for change at the bottom of purses - these things are a hassle and as much as giving to charity is a great, fulfilling thing to do - I'll bet most of us would say we don't do it as often as we should.
This is why I find the growing trend of mirco-donations so interesting. This trend makes small, affordable payments as accessible and convenient as possible - integrating regular donation into our daily lives. Here are a few examples of interesting players in this space, who have influenced and inspired me in my own social entrepreneurship project.
Tab For A Cause is a clever browser extension that replaces your tabs with sponsored messages. The sponsors donate every time their message is seen - so with With Tab For A Cause you donate to charity just by surfing the web. The idea was born 5 years ago in a college dorm room and since then they've raised over $200,000 for charity.
Lilo is the search engine that finances social projects. They forward more than 50% of their search engine advertising revenue to a huge range of social and environmental projects. Based in France, Lilo is the brain child of a group of young entrepreneurs who decided to start redistributing a part of the money from advertisements on the internet. So you can donate just by searching for cat videos, without spending a penny.
Pennies work with payment technology providers to allow customers the opportunity to donate a few pence to charity when they pay by card in shops, online and in apps. They have raised over £7,500,000 for charity since launch - because 32,000,000 customers shave decided to give a small contribution at the point of purchase.
The Spare5 app gives people micro-tasks that they can perform in their spare time for extra cash. Recently the Spare5 team announced a micro-donations feature where users have the option to select and complete pro-bono tasks, such as surveys and image descriptions, and donate their earnings to charity.
All of these fantastic organisations are finding clever ways to harness our technological habits and integrate small but regular donations. Donation becomes ingrained and almost effortless, which is why I believe that mirco-donation represents true progress towards sustainably funded charities.
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