Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Paying it forward...

So much thought is put into whether charity should be anonymous, or whether it should have names attached to it. While it is true that many people give to charity in order to improve their possibly tarnished name (The Phillip Morris company comes to mind), I wonder how much it really matters.

Names are important. Good deeds are important. You can tell much of a person by how much that person may or may not give, by their charity.

The Pay It Forward idea seemingly first practiced by Benjamin Franklin, later by the science fiction author Heinlein and finally popularized by the movie based on Catherine Ryan Hyde's book [wiki] doesn't necessarily rely on anonymity. In fact, anonymity would possibly make it more difficult for the young philanthropist played by Haily Joel Osment to sketch out the pay it forward network on his screen.

I have been searching for the ultimate web application. I think I always am, even though the gold rush is mostly over. One idea that comes to mind is the pay-it-forward web application done as a plugin to Facebook. I would model the rules after Oprah's experiment done on October 26, 2006. The money had to be spent within one week and could only be used to help charitable organizations or an individual person but not a relative.

I would love to see how it might possibly blossom, especially when put onto such a large networking site like Facebook.

Let me know what you think.