Fast Company December 1999 : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread

Fast Company - December 1999 by Beth Cramer "surf the web for change" The author of "surf the web for change", Gina Imperato, informs the reader that "social change is just a click away". People are finding ways to surf the web and at the same time contribute to their favorite charities. Many web sites like,,, Schoolpop and allow you to shop and simultaneously donate to your favorite cause.

The American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP), checks out and rates 400 national charities. The AIP focuses on the amount a group spends on its purpose and how much it spends raising money. The AIP allows people to make wise choices when donating to the charity of their choice, because this web site provides information about how their donation is actually utilized.

Many web sites like help organizations to raise money. For example, Randy Smith, a free agent TV producer uses to raise money for the Lost Children's Network. helped Randy Smith air four national TV programs that helped recover seven missing children.

Another web site, Inc. allows you to browse through a number of charities. This allows people to find charities that they are interested in and choose the amount they prefer to donate. Once a person finds a charity of their choice, they can even opt to donate anonymously. Inc. allows people to contribute to a charity without being put on a mailing list or having to deal with solicitors asking them to give more to the cause. The Hunger Site makes giving as simple as a mouse click. The simple process involves surfing until you locate the "Donate Free Food" button. The sponsors of this site contribute a half cent to the United Nations World Food Program for each click made by a site visitor. In September of 1999, the Hunger Site received 2.5 million hits which produced more than 200 tons of food.

One problem with contributing to charities is that it usually involves guilt. A solicitor makes you listen to the many reasons you should contribute to their charity. The charitable causes most often involve causes dealing with children, cancer, veterans or the handicapped, which are all causes I have difficulty responding to with the words "not today" or "I am unable to give at this time".

Therefore, it is exciting to have the option of contributing to social causes without the pressure of dealing with phone solicitors. I feel the need to help others, but I don't like being pressured on the phone to give to causes I know very little about. makes it possible for people to become more informed about the charities they are interested in and decide how much and when they will contribute.

I encourage anyone who reads this summary to take fifteen minutes to check out some of the web sites that allow us to contribute to social change on our own time. Not only will you have the opportunity to shop, surf and search, but you will also be able to make a difference to organizations like the United Nations World Food Program by one single click while surfing

-- Anonymous, April 23, 2000

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