Donation Dashboard – Customizing Charity
April 22nd, 2008

Donation Dashboard

Via BoingBoing.

A new project from UC Berkeley’s Center for New Media is taping the “Long Tail” of donations. Ken Goldberg and his colleagues developed the project on the idea that the same collaborative filters based on recommendations that work in economic enterprises like Amazon, Rhapsody or Netflix, or in citizen journalism initiatives like NewsTrust or Digg, would apply quite well to the sphere of charity towards non-profit organizations.

The mechanism behind it is quite simple: Non-profit organizations are brought “on the market” with a description and a rating derived from the sum of ratings offered by other users of the system and yourself. Your available funds will be distributed proportionally to the non-profit organizations you choose to rate and get involved with. This way, all non-profit agencies might have equally earned chances to receive funds and smaller players can be reached indiscriminately. Thus a “donation portfolio” of yours takes shape and its interface is easy to understand and work with. A graphical pie will visually represent the status and the results of your charitable activities.

For now, the project is still in its infancy and it’s done with the help of graduate students Tavi Nathanson and Ephrat Bitton at UC Berkeley, but its development will depend heavily on the “wisdom” and participation of crowds. Developers plan to extend it in the near future by working with third parties that would help with collecting and distributing the funds.

So, all the donors who find this idea attractive can go to the project’s website and get involved.

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