October 16, 2010; Source: TechCrunch | Causes, which began life as a Facebook application to help raise money for charity, seems to have a growing list of friends itself. The company just raised $9 million in funding to help it bolster its fundraising capability, including via its standalone website, Causes.com.

According to TechCrunch, Causes is now raising $20,000 a day—twice what it was bringing in just two months ago—via its “Birthday Wish” feature that lets people ask their friends to donate to a favorite cause in honor of their birthdays. The organization collects $40,000 a day in donations from all its online channels overall, according to TechCruch.

As part of its growth plans, which are being fueled by $16 million it has raised for its operations to date, the company plans hire more staff. It also has just closed a deal to sell its gift cards in Safeway and Vons supermarkets throughout California. After buying the cards, users go online and donate to the charities of their choice.

Because Causes is a for-profit company, it also asks its users for a tip—typically between 10 percent to 20 percent. It explains on the website that “by tipping Causes, you are helping Causes and its nonprofit donations processor, Network for Good, keep the platform running and free to use.”—Bruce Trachtenberg