Using the internet to create a better world

We all know it, but often we are reluctant to acknowledge it: there are a lot of people in the world that need our help. This is why there are so many charities, often calling or approaching you on the street asking for money. But many people simply ignore this, thinking their money will probably not reach the cause anyway… The problem with these organizations collecting money is that they often convince you to send a monthly payment to the organization, and you end up not even knowing exactly how your money is being used. (Yes, I am one of those victims that has been donating a couple of euro’s a month to a charity organization for several years now, I have no idea where it is going though).

So what can you do if you want to give aid to a specific cause, and decide for yourself how much and when you are giving money? Here the online world comes into play once again. Through crowdfunding based on donations there are many sites that facilitate you to donate to a specific cause of your choice. For example the websites or, which allows you to search for a cause, make your own ‘giving-page’ and start giving!

These sites also use crowdsourcing to their advantage: most causes on the site are advertised by the crowd: let’s say I want to run 5 miles to support Kika cancer fund, companies and individuals can then decide to support me and donate a small price. Besides individuals, also companies or events can register on the site and start giving to or advertising their cause.

Beside sponsoring specific events, another option is to donate to charities through the donation module. This shows again, the broad possibilities the websites give you in order to find the exact match for your donation. The statistics show the successes of these websites: over € 7.349.955,34 (!) has been donated through the site so far.

The next question is: what can explain the success of these sites? The incentive for most people to donate is of course Love, they want to give back to society, share some of the wealth or some may have a more personal relationship with the cause. The online platforms have also made it possible to share with the world what you are doing, so if it wasn’t just for love now there is also the factor of Glory. You might not want to admit it, but often you feel more satisfied donating to a cause when you know it is acknowledged by those around you. This might even give your friends the incentive to start donating as well, seeing they don’t want to seem like the bad guy…


  • Malone, Thomas W., Robert Laubacher, and Chrysanthos Dellarocas. “The Collective
  • Intelligence Genome.” MIT Sloan Management Review 51.3 (2010): 21-31.
  • Agrawal, Ajay K., Christian Catalini, and Avi Goldfarb. “Some simple economics of crowdfunding”. No. w19133. National Bureau of Economic Research (2013)

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