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Benj and Jessica launched a nonprofit. Follow our journey as we built a 501(c)(3) and a web site, and now usher in an endless stream of worthy charity nominees and monthly grant winners!

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Spotlight on Project HALO

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Project HALO

Third in our series of posts about Charitocracy nominees, we have Project HALO nominated by donor Tewtone.

Project HALO (Helping Animals Live On) is a non-profit, NO-KILL animal rescue and sanctuary based in Charlotte, N.C. We are a 100% volunteer organization and are funded privately by generous donors.

Project HALO rescues homeless, stray and unwanted dogs and gives them a second chance, providing a safe and loving foster home along with any medical attention they may need while looking for permanent loving homes to adopt them. All of Project HALO’s animals are spayed or neutered and are vet current at the time of their adoption. Further, we provide a home for those animals that are deemed unadoptable so they may live out the rest of their lives in a loving, caring atmosphere.

There are many things that sets Project HALO apart from other organizations. For one, no one is paid a salary through Project HALO so you know that every penny you donate goes to the direct care of the animals.

Visit Project Halo's page on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause!

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Spotlight on Southern Poverty Law Center

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Southern Poverty Law Center

Second in our series of posts about Charitocracy nominees, we have Southern Poverty Law Center nominated by donor damianf.

The SPLC is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy, the SPLC works toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality.

Civil rights lawyers Morris Dees and Joseph Levin Jr. founded the SPLC in 1971 to ensure that the promise of the civil rights movement became a reality for all. Since then, we’ve won numerous landmark legal victories on behalf of the exploited, the powerless and the forgotten.

Our lawsuits have toppled institutional racism and stamped out remnants of Jim Crow segregation; destroyed some of the nation’s most violent white supremacist groups; and protected the civil rights of children, women, the disabled, immigrants and migrant workers, the LGBT community, prisoners, and many others who faced discrimination, abuse or exploitation.

Visit SPLC's page on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause!

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Spotlight on Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue

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Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue

Our friend Maurice (aka Moe) made a great suggestion: write a brief post about each nominated cause. So I'm going to cover them in chronological order, starting with this, our very first nominee by donor llemarie.

Mickaboo is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Our basic goal is to rescue parrots and other commonly domesticated companion birds who have been neglected, abused, injured or surrendered to us because their owners can no longer care for them. To accomplish this goal, we do the following:

  • Provide medical care and safe, healthy, foster homes for the rescued birds we take in.
  • Take in and rehabilitate injured or sick conures from the San Francisco "Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill” flock.
  • Find and educate quality adoptive homes for the birds in our foster care.
  • Inform avian caregivers on the most current standards of care via our free classes, online resources, and consultations.
  • Educate the public about the tragedies of overpopulation, and encourage them to adopt, not buy or breed birds.

Visit Mickaboo's page on Charitocracy to vote for, like, or discuss this cause!

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October 2016 winner Fisher House

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Charitocracy's 2nd check to October winner Fisher House Foundation for $539

We voted in our second winner last night!

Congratulations to winner Fisher House Foundation, and to donor Sue Wilkerson for nominating it! You can find their web site here. Check out this short film about them, and feel good about your part in our collective $539 grant!

Now have a great November, and log into Charitocracy to update your votes or nominate a new cause!

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Riddle Me This

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There are exactly twice as many Facebook users who like Charitocracy (244) as there are donors on the site (122). While I risk sounding like an NPR pledge drive, here goes nothing: "What's it going to take to get you to donate?"

We're so close to passing the $500 mark. We hit that mark in September with the help of some one-time "sweeten the pot" donations from enthusiastic donors. This time, thanks to our enlarged donor base, we're poised to do it naturally. We're just a few signups shy of $500 in monthly donations! (That means we'd be starting at $500 in November.)

So why the reluctance, you other 50%-ers? Help me understand! Maybe I can convince you? Here are some fun facts to consider:

  • It takes about 2 minutes to sign up. You supply your name, email, a username, optional zip code for the neato donor map, and your credit card info, which your browser might already have memorized. Done.
  • You can sign up from your phone, tablet, mainframe, whatever you prefer.
  • Your donations are tax-deductible. We're a 501(c)(3) and we'll email you a receipt within seconds.
  • Each individual in a family can have a separate account, with a separate voice and separate vote. (Partners/SOs, do not throw away your shot!)
  • $13 per year is pretty reasonable considering you'll automatically support a dozen different causes throughout the year, whether you actively participate (vote, nominate, etc.) or not. I spent this much on a sandwich and coffee just trying to come up with ways to persuade you.

Just 3 days left to sign up and get your vote in for October!

During this Charitocracy fund drive, Benj has something he'd like you to try: charitocracy.org/sign-up/

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It’s the End of the World as We Know It

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Charitocracy after Benj returns to his day job?

Today is the last day of The Year of Benj™.

Tomorrow I return to my day job. I'm looking forward to tackling problems and improving technology that benefits millions of people. I'm looking forward to the camaraderie of my colleagues. And I'm looking forward to getting paid again!

But... I'm already mourning the loss of my Charitocracy productivity (Charitivity™) which can't possibly sustain its present level after today. I'll prioritize the most important new features to keep Charitocracy thriving, and make the most of my moonlighting hours. Charitocracy in its present form practically runs itself, so it'll be fine, right? I just can't wait to build it into so much more...

I simply need to remind myself that Charitocracy isn't a race. The pace of development will depend on the demands of my day job and the pursuit of a healthy work/life balance. If you donors keep on voting, nominating, and sharing Charitocracy with your friends and family, I'll keep making it better. Deal?

Charitocracy's new tempo? Slow & low.

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Double Your Pleasure. Double Your Fun.

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Double your donation via employer matching programs

Last time I talked about smile.amazon.com as a way to boost the size of the monthly pot at Charitocracy. But I'm reminded of an even better way: employer matching programs. We received our first such match last week!

If you happen to work for a big company, or an extraordinarily awesome small company, there's a good chance they match their employees' charitable donations 1:1. If for example you signed up for $65/year, your employer might accept a copy of your Charitocracy receipt email and send along another $65 straight from them to us.

We're more than happy to jump through any administrative hoops with your company if we're not already in their system; usually it only requires us to complete a quick registration form. Check with your HR department. And if you contact us to let us know you applied for a match and who your employer is, we can update your account's donation tally so you get credit for your employer's match when it comes in! Win, win.

Some employers: better than others

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Smile! We’re on smile.amazon.com!

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I said smile, dangit!

Thanks to a heads up from the amazing Kim Andrews, I'm now aware of Charitocracy's presence on smile.amazon.com. I'll let Amazon explain:

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization.

So if you shop at Amazon, you can reach it through the smile front door, choose Charitocracy as your charitable cause to support, and then buy what you would normally buy. Or better yet, buy one of EVERYTHING!

Buy all the things for Charitocracy

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September 2016 winner The NEA Foundation

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Charitocracy's 1st check to September winner The NEA Foundation for $500

We voted in our first winner this weekend!

Congratulations to winner The NEA Foundation, and to donor sherylwthorp for nominating it! You can find their web site here. Check out this short film about them, and feel good about your part in our collective $500 grant!

Nominations for October close on Friday night. Go ahead and familiarize yourself with the 21 nominated causes (15 from last month, 6 so far this month) and if one doesn't catch your imagination, consider nominating one yourself!

Finally, feel free to mention Charitocracy to your friends! Rumor has it there's a pitch video coming soon... all part of our cutting edge social media strategy here at Charitocracy. (Step #1 was "get rid of that rubbish /dashboard/ back door," and we totally nailed that one!)

I may be gone from your URL, but Charitocracy's dashboard still has a time and a place: inside

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Charitocracy Finally Explained

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Charitocracy finally explained. How do you like them apples?

We have $230 in September's pot, and on Friday night at midnight we'll name our first recipient cause! And if after 9 months -- the gestation period for a web charity -- and 33 blog posts you don't fully grasp Charitocracy yet, I don't blame you! I've only just taken the time to really explain it here. (Existing donors need to log out first to see it, since it's geared toward new recruits.)

To be honest, 6 months ago when I took a guess at how many donors we'd attract in our first month, I guessed higher. I figured we might get 100 donors, since there were plenty more than that who liked our Facebook page. Currently there are 220 likes, but only 47 donors. Some of that discrepancy is due to households creating one account whereas multiple family members like Charitocracy. But I'm hopeful there are still a lot of friends and family members out there who simply need our persistent yammering here before they'll climb aboard. At $13/year and 2 minutes to enter your name and credit card info, it's not a steep climb!

At the same time, I totally underestimated the generosity of our donors. I imagined we'd average maybe $2/month from each donor, but instead we're seeing closer to $5/month! This is great, since it tells me our monthly pot will be somewhere in the vicinity of $500 once we cross that 100 donor mark. If you're reading this, you've probably already signed up, but if not, let me know what it's going to take. I will suffer a bucket of ice water. I will eat a lime. I will sing karaoke (or not sing karaoke if you prefer). Tell me what I can do that I'm not already doing to earn your $13! Operators are standing by.

Yes, Benj would do that!

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