Over the past few years, startups have emerged that are reinventing philanthropy for our tech-enabled times, making charitable giving fun, natural, and even free. Here are some cool ideas from charitable-giving startups that have recently joined the game (i.e. two years old or younger). Overwhelmed by the number of nonprofits out there and don’t know which ones to support? Bright Funds selects “best-in-class” nonprofits in a number of fields and makes it easy to donate to your favorites. Or, if you’re a techie (real or at heart), check out Omakase, which allows for monthly donations to a short list of nonprofits curated with a tech audience in mind.

Cash-strapped but still want to help? You can raise money sans spending by running, walking, or biking through Charity Miles, setting your homepage to contain sponsor content with Welzoo, or posting via social media through Changecause.

Like celebrities? With Chideo, pose questions to celebrities and then donate two dollars to charity to watch each answer. Need help sticking to that New Year’s Resolution? Promise or Pay lets you announce your commitment and publicly pledge to give to a specific charity if you break it. Want to give your friends the extra incentive to donate to your fundraiser? Causora can distribute to your donors gift vouchers based on the amount they donated.

To integrate giving seamlessly into your daily life, use Changefolio, which lets you link your giving to your daily purchases (e.g. donating 5% of your grocery store total to a soup kitchen).

And lastly, for a smile: the campaign Selfie Police. Who knew that selfies could have a positive societal impact?


- Allison Rosenberg