It’s hard to count all of the valiant causes I’ve had the opportunity to support over the years–from 5ks to post-disaster help, to outreach in undeveloped countries, to joining the fight for human freedom. I only wish I had the money to contribute in enough of a way as to make a difference in each and every one of these missions. What if there was a way that we could afford to contribute to all of these causes in a meaningful, yet still reasonably cost-effective way. Introducing Philanthroper.com. Begun by young visionary Mark Wilson, Philanthroper answered this dilemma. Every day, the site featured a new nonprofit from six different categories: arts, education, animals, environment, human rights, and health. Site visitors had a $1 max spending limit per day. Though this seems like an extreme limitation, the site’s $1 rule actually encouraged more philanthropic spending, since it was so reasonable and so easy, with a one-click payment system. Additionally, the site offered free promotion to hundreds of nonprofits in all spheres of charitable work. This adaptation and reversal of Groupon’s easy, daily-deal system was brilliant, to say the least.
So if the idea is so amazing, why is this description written in the past tense? A little more than a year after its launch, Philanthroper went up for sale. Founder Mark Wilson found himself overcommitted and underfunded. Unfortunately, no one saw fit to accept the challenge and pick up the torch, so the life of this brilliant idea found itself cut short. For some reason this story saddens me. This idea had so much potential. Is there a chance to revive the vision?