It might be a bit unusual for some to read about giving your hard-earned money to others without getting anything in return on a blog that talks about how to make and save money. But there are two sides of every story – in order to receive money, one has to give it away (these two are not necessarily the same person, mind you). Today, let's talk a bit about charity – donations, to be exact – and the impact technology had on them in the last couple of years. Because let me tell you, there's been a lot of evolution happening since the emergence of fundraisers going door-to-door.
One of the most innovative ways charities are using to raise funds in real life is social swiping for charity using interactive billboards that give donors instant feedback after their donations. These billboards come with a card reader that donors can use to donate using their credit and debit cards. Donating activates a video sequence showing the donors what their donations mean for the beneficiaries. The billboard used by Misereor, a charity fighting poverty, and injustice, shows donors a slice of bread reaching the hands of a starving child, for example.
Kickstarter was a truly revolutionary product allowing startups at the beginning of their way (and not only them) to raise funds to create awesome products relying on the support of the crowd rather than a venture capitalist. It has some success stories, like the Pebble smartwatch and Exploding Kittens, the card game created by famed online cartoonist The Oatmeal. Raising funds online is practical and easy, and not just for products but for causes and charities, too.
Today, there are several platforms where people can start online fundraisers for various causes. GoFundMe is, perhaps, the most widely known – the platform takes pride in running over 50,000 charity fundraisers each year and raising more than $50 million for causes ranging from funding animal shelters to non-government organizations and pretty much everything in between.
Last but not least, let us take a look at Patreon. It's not a fundraiser, nor a charity, but it's something that the internet was mostly without for ages: a platform to help fans directly fund (and reward) online content creators and artists. Patreon is a social network combined with a payment processor, allowing people to subscribe to the feeds of content creators and pay them as a sign of appreciation for the work they do.
Creators can offer their supporters – patrons – a variety of rewards for their subscriptions, in different tiers. These range from eternal appreciation to exclusive content available to them only. All this quickly and easily, through Patreon.