There’s no denying the fact that Kickstarter –the world’s most successful crowdfunding platform– has forever changed the fundraising landscape. It’s flung the doors of creativity wide open and enabled millions of people to bring their ideas to life — but it’s not without it’s flaws. While Kickstarter doesn’t explicitly forbid non-profit organizations from using the platform, it also doesn’t allow projects for charitable causes, which, for the most part, forces non-profits to explore other avenues for funding.
But now, Kickstarter co-founder Perry Chen is back with a new startup called Dollar A Day that will presumably help to fill this non-profit funding gap. Launched earlier today, the company is about as simple as it gets. Every day, it sends out a brief email newsletter to all of its subscribers that features one non-profit organization per day. At the most basic level, all you get is the newsletter, but if you sign up to be a donor and provide some payment information, you agree to send a single dollar every day to the featured non-profit. Then, Dollar a Day (which itself is a nonprofit) gathers up all the individual donations and sends the money to the organization of the day.
Structurally, the startup is about as lean as it gets. The company’s two full-time employees rely on off-the-shelf technology to run the entire operation: Mailgun to handle the daily email blasts, Network For Good for processing the tax-deductible donations, and a couple hours of research on sites like Guidestar and Charity Navigator to gather the information for each newsletter. It doesn’t get any simpler than this.
The Dollar a Day network is admittedly rather small at the moment, but it’s quickly gaining steam. Since launching earlier this morning (just 5 hours ago at time of writing), the site has amassed nearly 300 subscribers, and dozens more are joining each hour. Assuming it keeps the pace up, Dollar a Day could very well become a force to be reckoned with. As Chen points out, the formula adds up quickly. A dollar a day might not seem like much, but a network of just 3,000 donors would effectively raise over a million dollars for non-profits in the course of a given year.