After a three week hiatus, I’m back to blogging. I just got back from an amazing three weeks traveling in Europe, followed by one of my best friend’s wedding. I’ll have a few posts about where I went and some observations about the contrasts between Europe, the UK and the United States, but first, I had to write about this because its so cool.
I was driving back from my friend’s wedding today, listening to NPR and heard about Giving Anonymously, a website dedicated to letting people give money to their family and friends, without their knowledge. From their website:
Giving Anonymously is a non-profit organization facilitating generosity between people. We are a volunteer organization; each of us donates our time without pay to keep Giving Anonymously running.
Giving Anonymously began in 2005 with our website up and running in early 2007. We began with a few goals in mind: We wanted to relationally connect people through giving, to make it fun, and in the process protect relationships from feelings of obligation. Giving to others in need can be full of mixed motivations and our hope is to facilitate Pure giving.
Anyone who enjoys putting cash under a friends door or in their mailbox will often times not know if their friend actually got the gift and they cannot hear what it meant to them. So, we came up with an idea to have a messaging line where recipients could call after receiving their gift. When a recipient doesn’t know who gave the gift to them they are even more free to express their gratitude and we capture this through voice files that we email to the donor.
I think this is an amazing idea with lots of potential, especially in a down economy. Although the non-profit changes credit card processing fees of 3% for gifts over $500, its still loads more efficient than many charities that take up to 30% of donations in overhead. The only hitch is that these gifts are not tax deductible. Since you are choosing who gets the money, it is not deductible. I understand why the rule exists, but it would be cool to see some sort of exception in this case. Its good to see innovation coming out of our current downturn to help people in need.