I just wanted to run an idea for a new site past everybody that I’ve had brewing in my head for a while. Basically I’d like people to post back to say whether it’s already been done, whether it’s a good idea or whether it’s a bad idea. If it’s a good idea how could it be made better and if it’s a bad idea could the idea be tweaked slightly so that it’s a good idea?
OK, here’s the actual idea. It’s a membership site, free to join, probably hooked up to some kind of forum if there’s enough users. The purpose of the site would be to make it easier for people to make donations to charities in various ways. Each user would have a user profile and they would be able to donate via paypal, world pay or perhaps with a credit/debit card, though obviously a trusted third party company would be needed for that aswell.
Then they’d be able to pick one or more charities from the list of charities on the site, they could then setup daily, weekly, monthly or yearly donations to those charities. They could also do a one-off donation if they wanted. Aside from the list of charities, they will also be able to select the current week’s most worthy cause to donate to, which members would be able to vote on in a poll.
Each week there would be a poll to determine which charity is the most worthy cause, the poll would run for a week and then the winner would become the most worthy cause for the next week. To avoid the same couple of charities winning the polls over and over again, once a charity has won a poll it would not be entered into the poll again for a certain amount of time, maybe a couple of months.
Should any big disasters occur, such as the Tsunami just after Christmas in 2004, then the user would have the option of selecting to donate to any charities relating to that. They would be able to select ahead of time to switch all of their donations to this charity or they could donate a certain amount to that charity on top of what they donate to all of the other charities.
Google Adsense adverts would be used throughout the site in various places, the placement of them would be such that they intrude as little as possible. There would be an option in the users profile to turn these adverts off while they are logged in, if they decide that they do not want to see them. Money from advertisements would be go towards hosting costs and any excess would be donated to that weeks worthy cause (or major disaster charity if there is one). If the money from advertisements doesn’t cover the hosting costs then I would make up the difference.
I was also planning on each charity having it’s own page where people could post comments, much like a blog. Failing that perhaps each charity could get it’s own thread in a forum. Another alternative would be that each charity has it’s own sub-forum, so that members can create their own threads and discuss any events or fundraisers that that charity is running.
With just a few clicks users could setup automatic donations to any number of causes. All donations would be tracked and stored in a database so that all of the statistics junkies can see how much they’ve dontaed, when they donated it and where it went to. An overall statistics page could show things like the total amount donated by everyone and the distribution of donations.
So basically that’s my idea. It would make donating to charities (and even perhaps open-source projects) easier and quicker. With the setting up of automatic donations all it takes is a small initial time investment and PHP would do the rest.
If such a web-site, or a similar site, already exists then obviously all that I’ve said here is a complete waste of time, but if there isn’t one then I’ll begin working on it.