Credit cards are often associated with debt and financial trouble. But they can also be a means to a philanthropic end when used creatively. Stephen Paletta of Connecticut, who won Oprah Winfrey’s “Big Give” competition in 2008, has created GiveBack.org. The site allows people to create their own foundation and accrue money for various causes. Another website, Donors Choose, allows people to use their credit cards to donate money to schools lacking necessary materials with a click of the mouse.
How Anyone Can Run a Charitable Foundation
When Stephen Paletta won Oprah’s Big Give competition, he was awarded $1 million — half of which he had to give away. For Paletta, it was the process of figuring out how exactly to divvy up the $500,000 that led to the development of GiveBack.org. Paletta felt it was difficult to keep all his donations organized, and he could never really be sure the donation in full made it to the intended charity.
With GiveBack.org, individuals can create an account, which is like an online foundation, for specific causes. GiveBack.org now features more than 1 million IRS-registered charitable organizations, and 100% of the donations go to charity. Individuals can donate money directly to various foundations, or shop for goods and services from more than 400 retailers that will give back to the person’s foundation. Paletta would also like to offer a GiveBack credit card in the future, where a percentage of purchases would be deposited into the cardholder’s foundation of choice. Consumers can easily be philanthropic in their everyday lives thanks to credit cards.
Donors Choose School Supplies
A high school teacher in the Bronx, Charles Best, created Donors Choose, an organization with the goal of connecting donors with schools in need of supplies. Teachers can request resources for their classroom through the site, and then the charity handles purchasing and shipping the supplies directly to the school. This allows the classrooms in need to move forward their assignments, and in return donors get to see pictures of the completed project and even letters from the students. Donations can be made easily at DonorsChoose.org with just a credit card and a click of a button. Both of these websites also have the advantage of keeping an individual’s credit card donation information conveniently in one place for tax time.