Regular readers may recall a discussion back in June about how UNICEF was phasing out their ubiquitous orange coin-collection boxes in Canada. At the time (though apparently not in the post) I mused that it was a market opportunity for somebody else.
Yesterday I was in the GiveMeaning offices here in Vancouver. GiveMeaning is “an online charitable foundation for philanthropists of all ages and means”, and they use the widsom of crowds to determine what gets funded when. It’s a really interesting project on the cusp of greatness.
One such example of their emergent greatness is their Pig-E-Bank, a 21st century alternative to the UNICEF box. The model is similar to UNICEF’s orange boxes with two important improvements. One, the kid can chose which charitable project to support, and two, there’s an online tracking component:
Every childÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s BankBox has its own unique Pig-e-Bank number printed on it. This is where things get interesting: On the back of every box, there are 100 tear-away cards, all printed with the same unique Pig-e-Bank number assigned to that BankBox. The kids Log In by entering this number and a Password that we send you. That takes them to their own secure page on the site…
We encourage the children to give a tear-away card to each person who deposits money in their Pig-e-BankBox. This way, each donor can go online, enter the Pig-e-Bank number and learn which charity your child has chosen and why. They will also be allowed to make a further donation online.
Brilliant. There’s going to be an article in the Globe and Mail tomorrow about the project, which is in its pilot stages for the moment. The GiveMeaning folks (here they are madly assembling boxes) tell me that it’s not too late to participate for Halloween. They’ll ship boxes anywhere in Canada up to noon on October 30.
UPDATE: I submitted the GiveMeaning’s Pig-E-Bank page to Digg. Go digg that badboy.