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February 01, 2022

Site boosts charity of the day, $1 at a time

Yesterday, we talked about the incredible popularity of Groupon and its clones. Now there’s a similar service that draws attention to struggling non-profits that could use a little help.

Upstart Char Philanthroper follows the daily-deal styling of Groupon but instead features one charity per day, allowing you to donate as little as a dollar – most charities require a minimum of $10 or $20 – if that’s all you can manage.

The thinking here is that handing over a buck is as tempting as, say, downloading that new app or a cup of discount joe at Tim Hortons.

The tax-deductible money reaches those in need quickly, Philanthroper claims, with most featured charities drawn from six major categories – arts, education, animals, environment, human rights, and health – receiving the funds within the week.

To keep costs down, founder Mark Wilson has teamed up with mPayy, an online payment service that trims a comparatively tiny fee of just 1 cent for each dollar donated, leaving most of the money for the cause you're trying to support.

It’s also secure, as the payments are protected by Triple DES encryption, so your personal data is protected.

As for the non-profits to which you're donating, don't worry: they can't see any of your private information either so they won't be spamming you for donations in the future.

In fact, when users make a donation, the money is transferred directly from their bank account straight to the non-profit’s. Rather than take a finder’s fee, the site plans to support itself with ads.

Although not yet available in Canada, Wilson hopes to expend the service internationally in the coming months. Other than supporting subway musicians, I can’t think of another place where you can give small amounts of cash to a large number of different groups so simply and quickly.

Will you sign up once the service hits Canada? Or is a dollar a day simply too little to make a real difference?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...