The goal was to build something small that could have a big impact. We hoped that Dollar a Day would grow organically — fueled by people sharing it with their friends. If it grew a ton, we would recruit a dedicated team to nurture and support it. If it didn’t catch on, we could easily shut it down.
To select nonprofits we started by building large lists of nonprofits — from reading, searching online, and from suggestions. We decided to target nonprofits that were:
- Pursuing innovative solutions to problems in their fields
- Working within the communities they serve to implement long-last solutions
- Addressing root causes versus individual symptoms
- Having a meaningful impact on society, as well as a measurable one
Once we had a large list that fit our criteria, we use publicly available resources like Charity Navigator, GuideStar, and government filings (such as IRS 990s) to check a nonprofit’s financial health. This is all done online and for free. We also search for any history of an organization’s misconduct — the more you know! Google goes a long way! As we get the process down, we estimate spending about 30 minutes to an hour researching each nonprofit before deciding if it was OK to be featured. We try to be transparent about our process.
Responsive customer service is key. We try to respond to all inquiries within 24 hours.
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