When we search for ways to bring about positive change, we look for people and institutions that share our values and intent. Millions of charities provide this service where governments are not able or willing.
Broken feedback loop
As with governments, charities can be held back by corruption and incompetence. In a healthy democracy you get to learn about the politicians via shared experiences by journalists, scientist and other citizens. Based on this knowledge you vote. This feedback loop also exists for charities, but in both cases there is much room for improvement.
In politics different parties duel each other and to stir up debate. There may be rivalry between charities, but the knowledge of each others success and shortcomings are often not shared in the open. Big media campaigns distort a clear view and downright frauds converts optimists to cynics.
It's possible, but hard
You can research charities, but it's hard. Most people don't have the time or capacity to delve deep. Luckily there are a whole range of institutions that provide certificates and try to objectively review charities. This is a great and valuable part of how we as a society can learn about charities, but it's a slow, costly and exclusive analysis that won't take into account personal experiences.
Therefore, we need to support and improve the way we as a society learn about charities. This will not only stimulate a fairer distribution of donations and effort, it will also grow the trust people have in charities as a whole and start converting cynics back to optimists.
Let's make it easy
While the main focus is to support people who want to learn about trustworthy charities, we believe that this tool will also be beneficial for charities. When appearance of charities closer matches the actual activities and results, more effort and money can shift from marketing to their real cause.
We are building a feedback machine that is meant to become a small but valuable part of the fabric of society. To create this machine, we need the core part first; something to give feedback on, on top of that we'll add ways to provide and discover feedback.
These are the 3 main milestones:
A simple way to find charities across the globe.
Use public available sources to provide context.
Let users provide feedback based on strict guidelines.
Enable others to make use of the data via an API.
I'm, Julius Huijnk, the initiator, and person to contact if you have any questions.
In 2006 I made my first attempt at a charity platform. The goal was to make it easier to find charities you can trust. The site (Helpalot.org), had about 300+ accounts and over 100 charity projects.
The main thing that went wrong was that I wanted to add all sorts of features at once. Now, more than ten years later, the time has come for a new and simpler approach to roughly the same problem.
Adrian Goodyer, helped me out in 2016 with researching features like logging in via twitter accounts.
As you can see, the team is essence a one man band, so let me know if you help out.