Cool Social Tools: Wizeo

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This is a new series of posts from software and app and tech vendors who have new tools they’d like you to know about. Vendors are welcome to contact me at maddie[at]socialfish[dot]org to submit guest posts about their sites.

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Philanthropy Should Be More Fun

SITE: Wizeo.org

CONTACT: Guy Bauman, Founder at Wizeo-Guy[at]wizeo[dot]org

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(Leo Bertelli, Guy Bauman, Christine Del Castillo, and John Hervey from Wizeo)

Let’s face it: Donating to charity isn’t always fun. Yes, everyone knows it’s the right thing to do. Yes, there is a satisfying sense that you are helping a worthy cause. This should be enough to spurn donations to everyone that needs them, but it isn’t.

Unfortunately, the giving process has trended towards the vague and uncomfortable. Let’s think about today’s common philanthropic experiences: Getting stopped by a vest-clad, clipboard wielding street team. Dropping a single into a styrofoam cup or guitar case. Checking a box on your taxes. Texting RELIEF to 80808. Are these really the best methods?

Today’s tactics are understandable (charities need funding in a big way), but that doesn’t mean we need to accept them. In a perfect world, people would want to donate money. The process shouldn’t be a product of pressure, inconvenience or guilt. Companies have sprung up to address the bureaucracy of fundraising (Crowdrise, Go Fund Me, Donors Choose, among others), and have done a great job of reducing friction in the donation process. However, the age-old one-sided incentive scheme is still largely in place: You give us money, and pat yourself on the back.

Wizeo is on a mission to change the way people give. We’ve seen the broken state of philanthropy, and are doing our best to reframe the donation process in a way that makes everyone feel good.

Our platform hosts video chats with inspiring people. Anyone can visit and choose an inspiring person (We call each a “Wiz”) to support. In exchange for a contribution of any amount, visitors receive access to a unique, interactive video event. The Wiz takes part to raise money for a charity of their choice. They donate interesting live content, like speeches, musical performances, lectures, or book readings, and take questions from the “audience”.

The result is a symbiotic relationship between donor, charity and Wiz. Donors receive something of value: a novel, intimate experience with someone they admire, who provides unique perspective on a topic of interest. The charity reaches new donors, and gets access to a no-overhead, passive fundraising stream. The Wiz gets to leverage their influence for a cause that they hold dear. Everyone gives and receives, and the donating process becomes more balanced and appealing.

Our addition to the philanthropy conversation is gradually picking up steam. But we acknowledge we can’t fix the entire system with one platform. Hopefully, others will join in on the dialogue, and we’ll continue to take steps towards the very crucial goal of changing the way we give.

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