June 19, 2010; Source: Mercurynews.com | Ever since the birth of the Internet, people have been trying to find ways to use it as a profitable tool to fund-raise for charities. And even though the slice of the giving pie attributed to online fund-raising is tiny—some estimates are as low as one percent of annual donations—hope springs eternal.
Among those leading current charges to turn the Internet into a philanthropic gusher by finding even more creative uses for the Web are Howard Bornstein and Paul Weinstein, founders of myphilanthropeida.org and allthis.com, respectively. Weinstein's allthis.com is, according to the Mercury News, "a kind of eBay for charity." At allthis.com, benefactors list unusual services for auction, with the proceeds going to the charity of their choice. Bidding opportunities include an offer from comedian Ben Stiller to record your phone's voice mail greeting, to a dinner date with former Playboy model Christina DeRosa.
Weinstein believes the eclectic nature of the services offered at his site appeal to especially well-heeled people who can afford to be more generous givers. "It's really new money, that's never existed before, going to a good cause," said Weinstein, who has a history of backing several successful business startups.