Micro-Philanthropy: Discover and Support Nonprofits with a Dollar a Day

dollar billMany of us are willing to regularly give from our own pockets to a worthy nonprofit or cause, but sometimes we may refrain from doing so, in part because we just don’t know which organizations are doing great work, and in part because we may feel as if we can’t afford to give enough to really make a difference.

But now, thanks to a side project from one of the creators of Kickstarter, Perry Chen, and a team of volunteers, supporting  and discovering great nonprofits can be as simple as donating a dollar a day.

The basic idea behind Dollar a Day is that even if we can only afford to give as little as a dollar, if that dollar was added to the dollars donated by others, it could add up to a significant amount. And instead of donating all of the money every day to the same nonprofit, the donations are allocated to a different organization each day, which enables the average person to be able to learn about and contribute to a much wider range of causes and initiatives.

Donors can sign up at Dollar a Day, where their $30 monthly donation is US tax-deductible, and 100% of the money (less the usual card processing fee) goes to the nonprofits, not to the Dollar a Day team. According to the website, the organization seeks out “innovative and high impact nonprofits with responsible track records” to receive the donations:

“When selecting nonprofits, we consider a variety of factors. We look for organizations that pursue innovative solutions to problems in their fields, such as pushing the envelope with cutting edge research, designing new methods to solve problems more efficiently, or identifying and tackling underrepresented issues.

We look for high impact organizations that work with the communities they serve to implement long-lasting solutions, as well as those that address root causes rather than only individual symptoms. We look for organizations that have a meaningful impact on society, like art and cultural institutions, as well as a measurable one — deeply affecting people’s lives or successfully helping a large constituency.”


Dollar a Day
just launched this morning, and at the time this was written, has already signed up 225 micro-philanthropists. Even if you’re not quite ready to commit to donating a dollar a day to great nonprofits, you can still discover amazing nonprofits by signing up for the daily emails from Dollar a Day, which highlights that day’s featured organization.

[hat tip to Good. Image: MoneyBlogNewz at Flickr.]

About the Author

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!