Passive Philanthropy

PSFK: “What if you could cure cancer in your sleep? What if throwing out food meant feeding more people? What if helping coffee farmers in developing nations was as easy as a retweet? Today, businesses pay big money in order to reach the same audience as some viral tweets, and the same strategy is being applied to the reach and impact of social good campaigns. Nonprofits have also begun to leverage creative opportunities to spread awareness and raise funds to harness socially-aware citizens and rethink how social good is spread and executed. Take, for instance, an app that tracks exercise and donates to the charity of choice based on distance….

The DreamLab is a free app that turns smartphones into a research tool for cancer researchers in the Garvan Institute in Australia when their users are sleeping. Developed in conjunction with Vodaphone, the app uses the processing power of idle phones as an alternative to supercomputers which can be difficult to access. After downloading the app, participants simply open it and charge their phone. Once the phone reaches 95 percent charge, it gets to work, acting as a networked processor alongside other users with the app. Each phone solves a small piece of a larger puzzle and sends it back to Garvan.

If 1,000 people are using the app, cancer puzzles can be solved 30x faster.

As DreamLab researchers work toward finding a cure for cancer, Feeding Forward is working toward ending hunger. In America, hunger is not a problem of supply, but rather of distribution. Feeding Forward aims to solves this by connecting restaurants, grocery stores, caterers, or other businesses that are forced to throw away perishable food products with those in need.

Businesses simply need post their excess food on the platform and a driver will come pick it up to deliver to a food bank in need. Donors receive profiles of the people they helped and can also write off the donation as a charitable contribution for tax purposes. Since their launch in 2013, Feeding Forward has achieved a pick up rate of 99 percent, distributing 780,000 pounds of food saving business $3.9 million.

DreamLab and Feeding Forward are putting activities people are already going to do to use, while One Big Tweet harnesses the power of people’s social media accounts as a fundraising strategy. Cafédirect Producers’ Foundation are getting people to donate their Twitter followings for charity, asking people to sign up to post an automated tweet from a corporate sponsor who purchased the privilege at an auction for social good. The more people who donate their accounts, the higher the value of the tweet at auction. After four months, over 700 people with a collective reach of 3.2 mil followers, signed up to help make the One Big Tweet worth $49,000. While the charity is still in search of a buyer, Cafédirect promises the tweet that will be sent out through participants’ accounts will only happen once and be “safe enough for your Gran to read.” All money from the sale will go directly to continuing the work they do with coffee and tea farmers in Africa, Asia, and Latin America…(MoreMore)