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The Difference Between Micro-Volunteering and FreeRice

December 24, 2010

Odd title, right?

It is actually a really important distinction, something we have always known here at ChangeMachine but seems to get skipped over a lot in the news. We get asked sometimes what the difference between us and Facebook Causes or Jumo.

There is a difference between giving and volunteering

Why is that an important distinction? Well it came out in full during an interview with midVentures :

ChangeMachine presents itself as an alternative to apps like Causes, which “are more focused on raising awareness of an organization or raising money for it”, says Kaplan. “Rather than give a nonprofit $100 towards hiring a graphic designer, why not use students with the skills that can make the logo themselves?”

Why the dump on FreeRice? I mean no offense, it is just not what we are looking for. Following a dollar from a college students hand to a charitable organization is very difficult. There exist some nonprofits are not particularly transparent beyond what is required by law, and there is often confusion about who you are really donating to. Consider the  case of the “I ❤ Boobies” bracelets supporting the fight against breast cancer, many people had no idea where the money was actually going (I’ll give you a hint, it isn’t going to research).

But even if an organization is totally transparent, why donate money (fees) to an organization (taxes) to pay someone (taxes/fees) to do a job you can do yourself? True, building a house or making a TV commercial might be outside of a college students range, is coding for NFP website or making logo out of range?

Giving is great, seriously. It is certainly an unbelievably good thing to do. But it is old. It is the way of last century, it is time for something new.

It is time to give back, not just give.

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