2023 is the final season of Charitocracy! There are 12 monthly pots yet to grant. Let's make them count!
I'll try to keep the sentimentality out of it for now, given there's still almost a whole year left to go. This decision comes after weeks of personal contemplation over the holidays and discussion with Jessica and the rest of our board of directors. It wasn't an easy decision. Charitocracy has been a huge part of my identity for the past 7+ years! But I think it's the right decision for me right now.
I'll cover the How first, then the Why. But feel free to follow up with me directly if you have more questions. I remain an open book, and ever at your service. ❤️
- New donations, sign-ups, gift purchases, etc. are now disabled. We're going out on top with over 400 donors across Charitocracy USA and OBX!
- All recurring donations after January 31 will be automatically cancelled. No action is required on your part. This way every donor gets at least the 12 months of grant voting they bargained for!
- Current donors are encouraged to continue voting on through the last vote on New Year's Eve 2023. Even if your Charitocracy anniversary, the day your annual donation would ordinarily be collected, comes mid-year, you won't suddenly lose your voting privileges.
- Charitocracy's remaining cash reserves will be distributed into 2023's 12 monthly USA & OBX grant pots. Each successive pot will be bigger than the previous one as we gain more confidence we can meet our final expenses with smaller cash reserves. Our final "season" of grants should be bigger than ever as we "zero out" our remaining funds!
- There's been angst surrounding some of the more polarizing nominees at Charitocracy USA. For some folks, Charitocracy hasn't represented a positive force in their lives lately, either because they don't agree with the winners or due to some negative interactions online. Believe me, I can relate! And that goes for causes across the political spectrum, both ones that have and have not yet won a monthly grant. I never wanted to create something that could hurt people or cause hard feelings, so that aspect has been a bummer.
- Meanwhile, I've spent more time than ever in the past few months fighting hackers. Rest assured, Charitocracy has never been breached, nor do we store any of your credit card information in the first place. (Our credit card processor, Stripe, takes care of that.) But what the hackers do like to do, for whatever reason, is to attack web sites and try to knock them offline. On several occasions I've had to interrupt trips or family time to literally fight bot armies (thousands of hijacked computers) flooding Charitocracy from all corners of the world with traffic, known as DDOS: Distributed Denial of Service. And the other thing they like to do is test lists of stolen credit cards by attempting to make donations from them. They automate it so I'll suddenly start getting a donation attempt every 5 seconds. Usually Stripe's fraud detection flags their attempts and reject them, but occasionally some get through. Then I have to refund the donations and eat the credit card processing fees. It's a nice adrenalin rush when it happens, but never a good time.
- Finally, and perhaps most critically, is that I don't see a clear future for Charitocracy. The prospect of setting up Charitocracy's own endowment fund really brought into focus the fact that if I get hit by a bus, there's no one to take over, and there's no one to even gracefully shut it down. So it would be irresponsible to try to raise money for an uncertain future. While I've always run Charitocracy as lean as possible, with pride in our low overhead, the truth is that my volunteered skill set is actually a bit expensive... to replace. Not to mention I'm effectively on-call 24/7 for years on end with no good way to share that responsibility.
So let's go out there and make Charitocracy's 7th full year not only our last, but also our best! Thank you for the privilege it has been to pool your resources and make a difference in the world. I've had a blast!
7 thoughts on “Charitocracy rides off into the sunset”
It’s been great being able to contribute and participate, but I commiserate on the continuity planning and perpetual on-call. Thanks for taking us on all this ride!
Thank you for running Charitocracy, Benj & Jessica !
While sad that it is ending I completely get the reasons! You created a beautiful thing here!
Thanks for a great run! I’ve enjoyed discovering great new charities and the excitement of seeing who wins the pot each month 🙂
Definitely a labor of love for the two of you! Thank you for helping raise money for so many worthy causes over the years. It has been so nice learning about new places and organizations doing amazing work in our communities. What an accomplishment. So happy to be a part of your philanthropic journey. ❤️ Looking forward to seeing the coming year’s winners.
We’ve enjoyed our involvement with Charitocracy and appreciate all your hard work behind the scenes. Alistair and Rebecca
Thanks for all your efforts Benj. Its definitely made me more connected to my community, and educated me on the organizations that are striving to make a difference. Well done!