Wide Awake

Pretty much anybody with a computer can set up a website, and while once upon a time you had to be a certified non-profit [501(c)(3)] organization to append your web domain with .org, now anyone can be a dot.org and fool us in to thinking they are a charity. I like to think that most are genuinely committed to the important, life-changing work as represented on websites, but a great tool would be an information source that vets charities to be sure they are really doing what they say. If I donate money to someone who says they’re building a school in Bangalore, how do I know that’s where my money goes, as opposed to some webmaster’s pocket?

Wide Awake is an online charitable marketplace and community where you can get involved in grassroots projects that are on the ground in the communities they serve. So far, their reach is limited–thirteen affiliate organizations in eleven countries, but each has been scrutinized for ethical practices and efficient use of funds. And these are tiny, world-shifting programs and projects that don’t get a lot of press or international awareness. Kenya, Russia, Nepal, Uganda Ukraine, Gambia…from hungry children to recovery from natural disasters, women’s empowerment to helping the developmentally disabled…you can feel confident supporting their work. Something here will tug at your heartstrings, and you’ll want to tell your family and friends.

Tell them already–what’re you waiting for?

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