2014-02-14

Co.Exist

Find Out Your Giving Footprint And Measure How Charitable You Are

A online giving company hopes that its new tool for helping people visualize their giving across the web will inspire them to be more creative in their activities.

Everydayhero was one of the earliest companies involved in online giving when it launched in 2007. Now the Australian site, which offers a peer-to-peer fundraising platform, as well as branded fundraising pages for charities, is coming to the U.S. at the same time as it launches an intriguing new service: a "Giving Footprint" that quantifies people's giving behavior across the Internet.

"We spent the last 18 months heavily researching, uncovering desires in the giving sector, looking at what are the unmet needs," says Simon Lockyer, co-founder of Everydayhero. The team emerged with a handful of key insights: fundraising isn't a true measure of how much people support various charities and causes, giving can include more than fundraising (it's also about giving up personal time and spreading the word), feedback and acknowledgment are often lacking in fundraising platforms, and a larger community is missing.

The Giving Footprint, a visualization of a person's giving patterns across the digital world, is Everydayhero's way of fixing some of these shortcomings. "It makes the experience much more inspiring, holistic, and allows people to see all that they give," says Lockyer.

So far, Giving Footprint can pull in data from a handful of sources, including Facebook, Twitter, and MapMyFitness (for people who attach fundraising efforts to their runs or walks). Everydayhero is also working with volunteer platform VolunteerMatch, so that users can log volunteer hours and see them reflected in their Footprint. "It's about pulling data back into the user account, visibly representing that, and giving them a score—a visible impact, a visible image," explains Lockyer.

He gives the example of a man named Jacob French, who dressed up as a storm trooper and walked the 3,200 miles from Perth to Sydney, Australia, in order to raise money for the Starlight Children's Foundation. He ended up raising more than $90,000, but that number doesn't tell the whole story. French gained thousands of social media followers and racked up nearly 70 media interviews, spreading the word about his cause. Giving Footprint data could have told him much more about his actual impact than the dollar amount raised (the Footprint doesn't yet take into account news items, but that's on the agenda for the future).

"The whole giving sector is really ready for innovation. Where it's been at the moment is about efficiency and distribution—now it's really time to focus on the user experience," says Lockyer.

Everydayhero goes live in the U.S. in late March.

[Image: Abstract via Shutterstock]

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