Brightgiving is a smart charity to help people in post-war and developing countries.
Have you heard the saying "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime?" This is true, but only to some extent. I believe the best way to help that man (or woman) to have a sustainable livelihood is to buy the fish he (or she) catches. This is the main idea behind Brightgiving. But, it’s also more than that. I will explain below.
First, there are some major problems with current charity, as you may know. And I am not just talking about the recent abuse scandals . One big problem that discourages people from giving is that charities keep a large percentage of the donations for themselves. However, the main problem is that charity usually does not do much to help people out of poverty. And, it can often be counterproductive. We can address these issues by building an online platform, which both reduces the role of the middleman, and ensures donations are effective in lifting people out of poverty.
Second, in my research I found that, for people to be lifted out of poverty they need to have sustainable livelihoods. This is achieved when they can set up local industries with steady revenues. This is difficult to do in post-conflict and developing societies, where people have little purchasing power. So, that’s where we come in. Instead of just donating, we buy products from manufacturers so communities can lift themselves out of poverty. Then we donate those products to a chosen charity in the community. And the ripple effects continue, the economic activity generates public income from taxation. And in turn, people demand public services in exchange for taxes, thus cultivating civic culture. In brief, this is “smarter giving.”
Finally, old models of charity are not working. People receiving charity cannot create a livelihood because they remain in poverty. They leave in the thousands in search of jobs in richer countries. This is the case in most post-war and developing countries. If we create a platform to help people apply their trade, we will ensure that they are not uprooted and their communities thrive.
How does it work?
You can select a country where you want your donations to go (for example, Kosovo, Albania or Macedonia); then you pick the products to buy, and finally select the charity to donate the products to.
The online platform is backed up by agreements with manufacturers and charities in individual countries.
We will track each purchase and donation to make sure it ends up in the right hands, and send pictures of products and receipts to the smart givers.
How your donations will help?
Your donations will directly help people in need, including the people displaced by the earthquake in Albania. And they will help small manufacturers, and further create jobs.
Who will benefit?
The people who will benefit from this project and your donations are poor people in poor countries who will ultimately receive the donations. Also, small firms who make the products that buyers will buy to donate will benefit, as well as those young people to be employed as a result of the business that will be created. Generally, the people of poor communities will benefit because the firms will pay taxes that will be used for better public services.
Where will the funds go?
The funds will go towards paying for the donations (food, clothes, hygiene products) for families in need.