(image credit: Patrick Hoesly)
Increasingly, websites and organizations are popping up where you can spend, grow and give your money – all in the same place.
Places like Kiva, where you can make microloans to people in developing countries, or Kickstarter, where you can make donations to all sorts of little projects and causes that need money, are – by millennial standards – kind of old. However, these sites are sort of like big, anything-goes charity ragers. Websites like WorldPennyJar.com and GreenFunder.com, on the other hand, are more like theme parties.
These sites focus on specific causes – WorldPennyJar rasies money for disaster relief and GreenFunder focuses on “green” businesses and projects. That way, projects and organizations that need support don’t have to compete with a million other random people, and people who want to support a specific cause don’t have to spend forever searching through the crowd.
Sounds really nice right? Well, it is. However, the founders of these sites are also making money. Admittedly, they’re not making a ton of money, but they’re also making a difference.
Hoopfund, for example, lets you give a microloan to a poor entrepreneur somewhere, and then buy the socially responsible product to which the entrepreneur contributes. For example, you give $10 or $20 to a small farmer to plant guayusa trees, and then you can buy guayusa tea from a socially responsible company right on the site when you get your money back. And Hoofund takes a small percentage of the sale.
If you know what you care about and how to leverage your finances to express that (i.e. build your financial identity) every aspect of your financial life can work together.
Pretty cool, huh?