Helpalot

Attempt to create a charity social network site.

In 2006 I made my first attempt at a charity platform. The goal was to make it easier to find charities you can trust. The site (Helpalot.org) had about 300+ accounts and over 100 charity projects.

In 2016, I created Charitius, where I tried to serve the same goal, but in a more focused way.

Status

How far along the plan is it?
Circle representing a challenge (illustration)
Find worthy challenges
Outsourcing your good intentions to charities is hard. You need a way to find the charity projects that you can trust.
Person thinking (illustration)
Think it through
In order to better be able to select the charity projects you can trust, you need quick and easy access to all the relevant context. The 'wisdom of the crowds' and presonal accountability can furthermore be used to help filter and narrow choices.
Circle with edges of a star (illustration)
Create concepts & prototypes
I had set up a foundation and a small team to build the Helpalot.org website. It had potential, but in the end it lacked both my time (I had a day job), and a smarter approach to the execution of the project.
Two people with a star above them, as combined thoughts (illustration)
Partner up
I was able to partner with Derick Mekking, who had experience in social network sites and with his help was able to gather a little funding to pay for a developer. I was in contact with a couple of Dutch foundations related to reviewing charities and 'competing' platforms.
Star surrounded by smaller stars (illustration
Make it self sustainable
I did not have this part covered. There was potential for public funding of sorts probably, but my time was spread too thin and I was too much focused on trying to keep the design and development on track. I ended up starting a games company and was not able to keep Helpalot.org running when it started to receive cyber attacks.
Three people with star on their chest (illustration)
Make a real impact
The site lacked critical mass. It had charities from all over the world, and for all sorts of topics. So it was a tiny bit relevant for everyone, but not actually relevant for anyone. I think the only lasting impact it made, was some lessons learned for me personally. I used those lessons for my Charitius project 10 years later.

Effort for Tools for fairness

Create tools that increase understanding by providing context and fresh perspectives. By including diverse human perspectives, the aim is to enable fairness as an integral part of the choices we make when we build our future.