Thursday, December 09, 2004

Pressure on the United Way?

A question about the nature of 'charity' bubbled up at the recent post conference gathering. Then last night ... an example came forward.

At a concert, in Vancouver, patrons paid a $10.00 cover charge and received a $5.00 GiveMeaning card. The card "contains real money that you can direct to a charity or non-profit organization that is meaningful to you".

The website is a project of Plenteus Technologies.

Here are the GiveMeaning "promises":
Our Promises
We will provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision about the organizations you want to support.

We will ensure your contribution gets to where you direct it should go.

You can choose whether or not to receive reports on how your contribution is working. And you get to send feedback to the organizations who have received your gifts.

You will never be solicited by any of the organizations associated with us.

Your privacy is critical to us and we ensure all your information is secure. It will never be sold, rented or shared with anyone.

We will immediately investigate any complaint or problem you have with any part of our service, including any of the organizations listed on our site.

We are accountable to you. The future of our company will be shaped by each and every contributor and organization that receives your contributions.

While not changing the charity dynamic is GiveMeaning pushing the envelope for traditional giving schemes like the United Way?

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Blogger BryanMcKinnon said...

I counsel charities on permission marketing for their donors for a living. It's as important for charities to invest in building relationships with their donors as it is for companies to build relationships with their customers.

It wasn't clear from their FAQ if they hand over the donor information completely to the charity? They would have to in order to be ethical fundraising, and based on their desire for transparency and social good I'm sure they must.

I love interesting uses of new technology for getting more money into the hands of charities, and would be interested in following up on GiveMeaning's progress as a company, and as a fundraising tool.


5:36 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:44 p.m.  
Blogger Tom Williams said...

Someone sent me the link to this.. I am a co-founder of GiveMeaning so I thought it appropriate to post a reply. To answer your question, we hand over a donor's information ONLY AT THE REQUEST OF THE DONOR. Whether we comply with someone else's standard is secondary to whether we have done everything to earn the the trust & satisfaction of the people who use our service.

It's (s)he who is giving the money that should decide how their information is handled and by whom. Unfortunately, some people feel that charities (as a whole) reacted too late to key privacy issues and there is at least a certain kind of donor that does not donate to any charity (even those with well enforced privacy policies) because of their negative experiences with a few offending charities.

GiveMeaning's goal is to eliminate the key reason's that people DON'T donate. Thus, we knew we had to adopt a new approach to a privacy policy.

We do however make it very easy for the charity to communicate with our donors (if the donor has requested they be kept aprised of news and updates by that charity). At zero cost to the charity, we publish email newsletters and reports to the donors who asked for these types of updates.

6:02 p.m.  
Blogger Peter Rees said...

Bryan and Tom,

Thanks for the question, and answer.

1:59 p.m.  

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