Giving Turtle

At Staples, Zach Weiner was one of those students everyone knew was going somewhere.

After graduating in 2008, Zach went first to Stanford University.

Now he’s going to change the world.  And he’s doing it 1 charity at a time.

Zach Weiner

Zach and a few Stanford friends are the brains behind  The layout is as simple as the  idea:  If plenty of people give a dollar a day — or even a week — amazing things can happen.  Giving Turtle proves the power of micro-philanthropy — and the democratization of donations.

Each day, the site features a different organization.  Yesterday it was Gumball Capital — a non-profit that inspires students to fight poverty through entrepreneurship.

Visitors to Giving Turtle are encouraged to donate $1 (or more, of course).  But the good feeling of giving doesn’t end there:  Logged-in users are able to vote for a charity, from a list.  The winner becomes the next day’s featured charity.

When I checked yesterday, FaceAIDS — a student-run group that funds HIV projects in Rwanda — was in the lead.  Unicef, QuestBridge and several other very worthy charities trailed.

Users can also suggest their favorite non-profit for inclusion.

What can $1 do?  Zach says that if just 1 percent of Facebook users donate $1 a month, GivingTurtle would raise $36 million a year.

Don’t be surprised if the numbers so far look low.  The site just launched on Monday.  Already, though, it’s 1 of 5 finalists for the South by Southwest People’s Choice Web Awards.

Zach encourages Westporters to use Giving Turtle to donate, vote and submit new charities — and spread the word.

If so, Giving Turtle can take off like a hare.

(For updates, follow @givingturtle on Twitter.)

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One response to “Giving Turtle

  1. Michael Aitkenhead

    Just three days ago on my B3 trip in Peru, I was speaking with a Peace Corp volunteer about how she goes about raising funds for her projects. We both agreed that there should be some central website where people who want to help could easily go to offer their donations for their favorite cause. Leave it to a Staples grad to make it a reality 🙂
    Great work Zach!