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Birthday Philanthropy


Last week, I received an email from my friend Joey on his birthday. I expected an invitation to celebratory drinks or dinner, but instead got a request for donations to Nyaya Health, a non-profit organization focused on revitalizing a hospital in western Nepal. “I’m trying to raise some birthday karma,” he said.

Joey asked friends and family to give money to Nyaya Health through Causes.com. The website enables users to start or join a cause – for example, disabled veterans or school gun safety – and galvanize support among their social networks – by, say, asking friends to sign a petition or donate.

For his birthday, Joey capitalized on one of the website’s featured donation tools, Causes Wish: “[T]he fun and social way to raise money for your favorite cause. Use the events of your life – like a birthday, wedding, or a 10K run – to make a difference.” The donation process was quick, easy, and immediately rewarding. I read Joey’s blurb about why he believes in the organization and its mission, clicked on the big green “Give” button, entered a donation amount and credit card information, had the opportunity to share the Causes Wish info on Facebook and Twitter, and even got to send Joey a customized e-birthday card.

The Causes model seems to be effective – three days after sending the email, Joey had raised almost twice as much as he set out to. He didn’t just get a gift, he gave one too.

Image source: www.twitter.com