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Online giving, big impact

Charitable giving

TEXT OF STORY

Doug Krizner: Albert Einstein once said it's every man's obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out.

Today, it's National Philanthropy Day. Last year, U.S. charitable giving reached an estimated $295 billion -- a record, according to Giving USA Foundation. Stacey Vanek-Smith takes a look at the contribution from cyberspace.


Stacey Vanek-Smith: The Internet is changing the way Americans give. That's according to Stacey Palmer, editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Stacey Palmer: More people give because it's so easy to do so online, and they're comfortable doing it now because they do their banking, they buy their books from Amazon, do all that kind of stuff online.

Palmer says the Internet has also made it easier to give small amounts, so more people are giving.

One site taking advantage of the trend is donorschoose.org. It's a website where teachers post projects they'd like to fund, and donors can give directly to those teachers.

Founder Charles Best says the secret to his group's success is that people give what they can.

Charles Best: Donorschoose.org is the one place where somebody with $10 gets the same level of impact and feedback from the recipients that Bill Gates gets when he's making a million-dollar gift.

So far, donorschoose.org has helped fund 35,000 classroom projects.

I'm Stacey Vanek-Smith for Marketplace.

About the author

Stacey Vanek Smith is a senior reporter for Marketplace, where she covers banking, consumer finance, housing and advertising.
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