Philanthroper – A Groupon For Charities

One thing I struggle with since we started this space is how to creatively espouse libertarianism. In many ways, it’s easy to reduce this writing to a kind of fingers-in-my-ears denialism, na-na-na-na-na I can’t hear you, I know why you’re wrong, etc. That’s simple to do but it’s not fun to read, and it’s not fun to write.

We shouldn’t go along with big, expensive, complicated plans for lots of reasons, mostly because they don’t work, they’re wasteful, unsustainable, and they chew up the lives of innocent people. They’re fiscally irresponsible and morally questionable. But what should we do? I work for a non-profit that works towards more social and economic freedom, more personal responsibility, and better, if smaller, government action. But outside of work, I’m often flummoxed when I try to imagine ways to act more libertarian, to lead by example, rather than by criticism. In that spirit, I thought regular readers might like to know about Philanthroper, a deal-a-day style site that aggregates charitable opportunities. Lifehacker explains:

Launched by friend-of-Lifehacker Mark Wilson, Philanthroper aims to solve a common problem with non-profit donations. The issue: Most non-profits ask for minimum donations of up to $10 or so, often because payment systems will take significant cut of your donation. (According to Mark, even the best in the business take 3-5%.) But for many of us, $10 or $20 is a larger donation that we’ve got budget for—or it’s just more than we can bring ourselves to pry open our wallets for. To fix that, Philanthroper has teamed up with mPayy, a payment service that takes a comparatively tiny 1%, leaving most of the money for the non-profit you’re trying to support. That’s how Philanthoper can sustain the $1 micro-donation. You donate $1. mPayy takes a penny. Philanthroper takes nothing. The non-profit gets the rest.

Small-scale action, crowd-sourced donation, local knowledge, and charitable work. Those are libertarian virtues I’d like to see more of in the world, and it looks like Philanthroper will help foster them. So please, make it a regular part of your day.

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