Imagine harnessing the irresistible user experience and community-building aspects of social media apps — for pure good.
The DonorSee app crowdfunds support for the world’s poorest individuals, and uniquely allows donors to see how their money makes an impact through raw video updates.
When I met DonorSee Founder Gret Glyer for the first time, I thought his idea sounded interesting, but I had no idea how two aspects of DonorSee would soon shock me.
First, I downloaded the app and in a matter of minutes had made a small donation to a worthy cause: contributing to a well-building project in Chinguluma Village, Malawi, where a village of 300 families lived 45 minutes from the nearest “safe” water source. Multiple people were dying every year from contaminated water.
Across several weeks, 197 donors raised $9,000 and got a new well built.
Providing clean water for each family there for a year only costs $1.48.
As the construction occurred and the village finally celebrated their new water source with infectious enthusiasm, I received video updates in the app. Real people. Real stories. Real emotional impact. Donors liked me piled on celebratory comments. It was incredibly positive and authentic. Almost the opposite of Twitter or Youtube comment feeds.
I was shocked by the immediacy and transparency — it’s unlike any other charity I’ve ever participated in. I felt like I was an active participant in co-creating a happy story for real people.
I was hooked.
A man, a plan, an app
The second shock was in hearing Gret’s story first-hand. He was a private school kid from northern Virginia who caught a passion for the less fortunate on a family trip to Africa. After college, he headed to Malawi, the poorest nation on earth, with not much more than a rough plan and a strong passion to make a difference.
We’ve heard that story before. Every one of us has the college friend who headed out to the Third World in the Peace Corps and burned out after a year.
But Gret spent three years building an incredible impact in Malawi, which culminated in the construction of a peerless all-girls school, funded by his network back home.
And then the DonorSee idea came to him. It’s an app, a platform, a community. And it’s a success so far and growing fast.
Gret now lives back in the DC area, where he focuses on building DonorSee, coordinating aid efforts, and getting the word out — all while taking no salary from the organization.
The full story
Last week, Gret released the book If the Poor Were Next Door, sharing his own story and journey from his first exposure on that family trip to Africa through today, when DonorSee is a growing community making an impact in 50+ countries.
If you are suspicious of the “Big Aid” charity industrial complex, with its lack of transparency, I highly recommend learning more about DonorSee and it’s unique founder.
The more I learned, the more I wanted to help, which is why I’ve served on DonorSee’s Board of Advisors for the past year.
We would love to have you join us as we disrupt charity with a radically unique idea.
Gret sums it up best:
People want to donate but they don’t know how their money is really used after giving to charity. DonorSee makes donating as transparent and direct as possible. Our highly-vetted aid workers on the ground post videos and share stories of people in need. Videos are short, personal and easily taken with smartphones. Our donors can watch videos and pick projects to give to so they know exactly how their donation is spent. And, best of all, afterwards they get video updates of their money working!
How you can make a difference
Please take a look at the app, of course (web iOS android), but also consider your personal network. If you know of any responsible organizations doing good work internationally, let us know. We’d love to bring our vibrant, generous DonorSee community to partner in making a difference.
Learn more about DonorSee: www.donorsee.com