Charity CHAMPs – get involved with microphilanthropy now!

“Microphilanthropy”? What?? by sylvng
November 8, 2009, 10:58 pm
Filed under: CHAMPs News, Microphilanthropy | Tags:

Charity CHAMPS’ mission is to get more people doing good in small ways. The small actions all add up, after all, to big things, and if you follow this blog, you will have seen the staggering growth numbers of organizations doing “microphilanthropy”.

I’m not one for big words, but I do like the word “microphilanthropy”. It makes natural sense to me – “small good”. And with others like Peter Deitz from Social Actions also using the word, I thought it would be appropriate to throw Charity CHAMPS behind it as well. From as far back as 2006 people have been blogging and saying that “microphilanthropy”  is the next up-and-coming word. But if I had a penny for every time when I get a blank look for using the word, Charity CHAMPS might not need to apply to the Aviva Community Fund for funding. It seems that “philanthropy” on its own isn’t widely understood, let alone with “micro” in front of it.

It is a word though, I swear! It even has a wikipedia entry. I’m just not sure that it’s the right word to associate Charity CHAMPS with. While discussing with an SEO expert on what keywords we want to be aligned with, this question came up, and the unfortunate fact is, if we don’t use this word, the other options are slim pickings. “Micro-actions”? “Micro-giving”, at the obvious risk of sounding just like Industry standards like “volunteer” just don’t sound sexy to me by comparison, but maybe that’s just what we need.


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Vote for Charity CHAMPS, boost microphilanthropy! by Kevin Wong
November 3, 2009, 10:58 pm
Filed under: CHAMPs News | Tags: , , , , , ,

Today is day 3 of Round 2 of the Aviva Community Fund up in Canada. The slogan of the competition is “Supporting what’s important to you”. Charity CHAMPS is promoting microphilanthropy amongst youth, the most important, but least engaged demographic in philanthropy. That’s important to us!

Also unlike a lot of the other ideas competing for votes, ours has a fundamental online and micro-action foundation which we think there needs to be more of. Philanthropy needs to benefit from the huge changes in technology like every other industry!

If any of these things are important to you (and we hope they are), please vote for us. The money is going to be critical for us hitting targets we’ve set for ourselves!

Vote here:

Check out the new video on our site:

From pyjamas to your backyard by sylvng

Not long ago I wrote about how you can volunteer in your pyjamas. If you’ve done lots in your pyjamas and feel like trying something in the sunlight, try volunteering in your own backyard.  🙂

This week a blog reader suggested that I look at It stands for In Our Backyards, and is a microphilanthropy site that fosters environmental knowledge and action in NYC. Unlike some of the sites that offer purely online actions, ioby gives a mix of actions that you can do both offline and online. Online you can donate and post projects. Offline you can participate in projects like restoring gardens, cleaning parks, build outdoor classrooms for children, and teach composting. Project progress is posted on their blog, so you can see photos of your money in action if you choose to donate.

I’d love to find a similar site for Toronto, so if you know of one, please give me a shout!

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Accomplish a lot … in your pyjamas! by sylvng

How much do you get done in your pyjamas? On weekends, I do a lot in my pyjamas (mostly out of laziness to change), and with Volunteer From Home, you can as well!

Volunteer From Home was started by Mike Bright, who a few years ago was doing a lot of volunteering from his own home, from writing to sick children to make them smile, to converting public domain books into e-books and raising money for charity for free by using click-to-donate sites. Over time he realized he wanted to do more to benefit others, so he started looking for more home-based volunteer placements. That’s when he realized the real opportunity. Here’s his story from his own words:

“One over-riding feature I discovered about these [volunteer] opportunities was that for one reason or another they were just not featured on any of the volunteering portal websites like VolunteerMatch. Also, I realised that if you didn’t even know that such an opportunity existed (and there are some pretty obscure ones out there) there would be little chance in finding it. That’s when I realised that these type of opportunities really needed to be collated and put into one place, which I also discovered hadn’t been done before.”

And so he set up Help From Home, which he continues to run today altruistically. The site has only been live for 7 months, but over 450 home based volunteering opportunities have already been added to the site and there are literally hundreds more waiting to be vetted and potentially included on the website. Mike’s goal is to “inspire and encourage people to do things that help others”, by show-casing microphilanthropy opportunities that are :

  1. easy to perform
  2. involve no ongoing commitment (you could dip in and dip out whenever you wanted)
  3. cost nothing or very little to complete
  4. take no more than 30 minutes to accomplish
  5. and if possible, be capable of actually being done whilst still dressed in your pyjamas

Some examples of some cool actions that you can find on the site:

  • Install free software to help fight cancer with your pc
  • Make a very seriously ill child smile with just a letter or an email
  • Donate your excess food, plants and seeds to be redistributed to needy causes
  • Join a Virtual March on global warming
  • Posters for Peace. Print them out and display them somewhere prominently

I of course love the concept – that is afterall why I believe so much in microphilanthropy. So check out Mike’s site, and hope to catch you online sometime (maybe in your pyjamas)!

Special thanks Mike for sharing his story with Charity CHAMPS.

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Call2Action is looking for Beta Testers by sylvng
July 3, 2009, 6:55 pm
Filed under: Microphilanthropy | Tags: , ,

Interested in being involved with the development of a new microphilanthropy site? Call2Action is an upcoming site that going to use film and video media to ignite social change. The site will enable you to create, share and partake in unique Calls to Actions that are mashups of videos with a cause. The idea sounds very neat; you can sign up to be one of the first users by going to their site.

If you’re interested in learning more about social entreprenurship and social advocacy, you should hit up their blog, or follow them on Twitter @call2act.

Microphilanthropy sites – don’t block me out! by sylvng

The other day I discovered an organization called 10Beyond on Twitter. They have a great pyramid model going where they hope that each person who donates to a charity through their platform manages to inspire at least 10 other donations through referrals. Apparently donations through the site have increased 5-fold since launch (see article). It’s a great model that I would love to learn more about, but the only information I can gather is through peripheral news articles and blogs. Why? Because I’m located in Canada. Which frustrates me to no end, because even if I cannot participate on your site as a Canadian, there’s no reason to block me from reading about what’s going on. Not to mention that it actually takes effort to develop a block based on IP, and on top of that, US residents who cross the border won’t be able to access their accounts from Canada.

The most popular page on this blog by far is the list of microphilanthopy organizations that I’ve complied over the months. If I ever have the time, I’d love to add a column to show where each organization is based, and mark which geographic markets they cater to. Not that I believe every organization should be catering to Canadians, but I would hate to create the bad experience where I tell somebody about how great a site is, only for them to find out they can’t be a part of it.

For organizations out there who don’t currently cater to Canadians, consider the fact that the Canadian market is the size of California, and the fact that our cultures are so close that you really don’t really need much localization work (unless you’re thinking about Quebec). =)

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Who is participating in microphilanthropy and why Charity CHAMPS wants to focus on youth by sylvng

At Charity CHAMPS we’ve been thinking for a while about who our target “market” should be. While we would love to encourage the whole world to be involved with microphilanthropy, we have to face reality: we can only reach certain segments of people with our website, and we would probably be more successful having a focus rather than not. So just who is participating in online microphilanthropy right now? Our rough market research would suggest that a main segment of online givers are middle-aged women, possibly stay-at-home moms who have some spare income as well as time to be involved with social networks and therefore charity using social media.

Some traffic statistics gathered from Quantcast today (June 10 2009):

Site % Female % Aged 3-17 % Aged 18-34 % Aged 35-49 % Aged 50+ 60% 12% 49% 25% 14% 63% 37% 14% 31% 18% 57% 1% 21% 48% 30% 55% 9% 19% 36% 36% 66% 1% 31% 29% 39%

Of course, these are only estimates so you have to take the data with a grain of salt. But even if the data is only directional, there’s a definite difference in % of youth on various sites; Donorschoose and Microgiving both have lots more youth traffic than Kiva or Change. On some level I think it’s fairly obvious why this is the case – Donorschoose afterall is raising money for students and if you just visit Microgiving you can see why it appeals to youngsters more than Kiva and Change.

So just what market does Charity CHAMPS want to focus on? Well for now we’re thinking the youth. Why? Because good kids grow up to be good adults. The Canadian Survey of Giving, Volunteering, and Participating (CSVP) has a bunch of information on the connection between early life experiences and the rate of donating in later life. Not surprisingly, the survey found that those who were involved with community activities as youth donated more than their peers as adults. Not only that, but young volunteers (particularly 15 to 19 year olds), are more likely than other age groups to report that they don’t volunteer because they were not asked (45% of 15 to 19 year olds vs. 39% of 20 to 24 year olds and 27% of those 25 and over), or because they don’t know how to become involved (35% vs. 21% and 11%). And both those things we can potentially have an impact on.

Not to mention, our general concept was always meant to be a fun and even a bit frivolous. So watch out youth, here we come!

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