Philanthroper Makes Charity Cheap and Easy

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January 26, 2011; Source: GOOD | Mark Wilson is a guy who gets it. As a reporter for Gizmodo, Esquire, and others, he is frequently exposed to the cutting edge, which perhaps contributed to his founding of Philanthroper [], a deal-a-day website that stumps for nonprofits. The principle is quite the same as Groupon, for example, except at Philanthroper, visitors get the chance to give $1 to the day's featured 501(c)(3).

Philanthroper's mission is to "make giving a habit," and to encourage the routine Wilson and company have developed a site that is all about simplicity. You can donate one dollar to one featured nonprofit per day, that's it. The chosen nonprofits are vetted, and they're intentionally small or fledgling organizations that are "in need of every extra dollar they can get," according to Philanthroper's website, which frequently means having a budget of under $1 million.

Donations through the website are secure, and nobody is skimming more than a penny off the top. The company handling Philanthroper's financial transactions, mPayy, offered to take just 1 percent of each donation – 1 cent – compared to PayPal, which would take over 30 cents on every donated dollar.

Besides, after Flux Foundation's experience and the Wikileaks debacle, Philanthroper was wise to forego using PayPal.

In short, Philanthroper demonstrates crowdsourcing as it ought to be – direct, grassroots, and beneficial down to the small-scale. And, did we mention they're accepting applications from nonprofits?—James David Morgan

  • Cheryl Black

    Having just done some research on Jumo, Causes, and others, my first question to Philanthroper is this: are the nonprofits given a list of those who donated to them? I hope that’s the case so that the NPO can properly thank the donor and continue providing engagement opportunities.

  • Carrole

    😥 😮 Philanthroper implies the nonprofit receives the entire donation because they don’t take any of it. However, the fine print tells you that PayPal is taking 10% right off the top for “administrative fees”. 10% is OUTRAGEOUS! Nonprofits can have online donations processed for as low as 2.5% through highly secure, reputable processors. In my view, Philanthroper is completely misrepresenting their “service”.