Let me guess: you’re sitting at your computer, skimming through this article looking to see if anything applies to you, so you can get back to that list of ALL those things that you simply MUST accomplish. I’ll save you some time: it DOES apply to you, so slow down and ingest…
As many of us experience every day, a reoccurring theme in blogs – in any social commentary, really – is the increasing pace of our world. Thanks to pay-by-touch features, e-ticketing and Crackberries (to name only a few), our insatiable quench for time is placated by technology. Gadgets, gizmos and thingamabobs (my non-techie lingo for widgets, applications and start-ups) create time for your “to dos”, but what about the things that aren’t on that list that we still want to accomplish?
As a non-profit enthusiast, I am thrilled that this “technology creates time” phenomenon now extends extensively into philanthropy. No matter whether you’re a proponent of a particular cause or you just want to help out, technology has, yet again, stepped up and delivered TIME for you to fit it in.
For enviro-minded people, TerraPass helps counter the carbon dioxide emissions created by your lifestyle… and you don’t even have to leave your computer! Just plug in your car’s information, your flight plans, your energy bill, etc. and TerraPass crunches your carbon dioxide output. No it’s not just to make you feel guilty; this site also enables you to donate an amount to alternative energy sources to offset your damage.
Scared that putting your foot in the door of a charity will result in a non-stop barrage of calls, letters and requests? Fear not: One Brick is a commitment-free nonprofit volunteer organization pointing you quickly to what needs to get done and who needs your help. Sign up on your terms to bypass the tedium of long-term planning, meetings or orientations.
Sometimes you don’t have to do anything but be consumer to help. Apple just announced the iPod nano (PRODUCT) RED Special Edition. More than just a sassy color – Apple donates $10 of the purchase price to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa. Inspired by U2’s Bono and other AIDS advocates, Apple’s offer exemplifies many retail campaigns to bring simple charity support to the masses. For more on the (RED) campaign check out this recent article by Read/Write Web.
Kiva is a really interesting non-profit that allows you to loan money to entrepreneurs in under privileged parts of the world. This process is called micro-finance. Eric Olson highlights his first micro-finance payment to Kiva in detail here.
Thanks to philanthropic techies, we can all now find the time to help out. I'm sure I left a few organizations out so please add others you know of in the comments section!
This article was a special guest contribution to Somewhat Frank by the extremely talented writer, Kyle Bradbury. Thank you Kyle.