Summary: » Print
This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To order presentation-ready copies for distribution to colleagues, clients or customers,
use the Reprints tool at the top of any article or visit: www.reutersreprints.com.
Wed, Sep 29 2010
By Deborah L. Cohen
CHICAGO (Reuters) - When Dan Morrison saw women in rural India hauling water for miles,
he committed to personally raising $5,000 to build a well. That philanthropic effort turned into
Citizen Effect, a website Morrison launched last year to help others complete similar
"I went home, wrote a Christmas card - a holiday card to friends and family - and immediately
started getting $500 dollar checks," said Morrison, 37, whose well project provided water for
Vachharajpur, a small village in Gujarat. "They trusted me and it passed right through to the
Citizen Effect (www.citizeneffect.org) to date has provided more than $203,000 in total
donations and completed nearly 60 projects, including funding for water tanks in India,
kitchen equipment in Peru, and a women's center in Zambia. The site is promoting more
than 100 active causes, including some closer to home, such as efforts to aid those communities affected by the Gulf Coast oil spill.
"With our model, you become the marketing, promotional and fundraising machine," said Morrison, whose non-profit venture has received close
to $500,000 in funding. "We want to reach that 1 to 3 percent of the population that wants to do more, that wants to get the project done."
Unlike micro-lending sites such as Kiva (www.kiva.org), which mines individual donors for loans to entrepreneurs in under-developed countries,