Enabling "bite-size" giving.
By Citi April 06, 2010 03:49 PM
Citi is working with the developer of the mobile phone application CauseWorld to support two organizations dedicated to alleviating poverty and supporting economic growth: BRAC and ACCION USA. Once downloaded, the CauseWorld app allows users to donate to those organizations and others by allocating "karma points" they've earned simply by checking in at certain retail stores. "Karma points" are converted by Citi into real dollar donations.
We've committed $700,000 toward the 18 organizations supported by CauseWorld, and with the inclusion of BRAC and ACCION USA, users can now focus donations on the type of long-term economic empowerment projects made possible by microfinance.
CauseWorld, which launched in December, has been described by tech writers as being at the center of big trends: the intersection of online and offline shopping and "bite-size philanthropy" using mobile phones and social media.
shopkick CEO Cyriac Roeding, who developed the location-based mobile app while an entrepreneur-in-residence at Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, talked about our early involvement (December of 2009) in a recent video blog: "[Three] months later, [CauseWorld's] now at a point where we have donated more than 16,000 books to children, we have offset more than a million pounds of carbon, we have planted 35,000 trees in the rainforest and provided 150,000 meals to families in America," he says. "The next time you go shopping, when you leave the store, you might have already fed a family or provided a microloan to somebody who wants to build a new business."