Who we are
At the beginning, we were 4 passionnate young people who met during our studies in computer science at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), about two years ago. Together, we thought about this project. Today, after things have evolved, we are much more people involved in the platform and we work on it every day. We are also constantly working with professionals related to the Governments and the International Organizations present in Geneva, as well as professionals in the Internet and technological fields.
Why we do this project
We really want to make a strong contribution to the world, and together with people from International Organisations, we believe that the technology we have today can be used in a better way when it comes to helping each other, especially when time is critical. Of course we do not have the perfect solution that will solve humanitarian crises or poverty, but we hope our project can significantly change and improve the way people help each other around the world.
What is our vision
With CharitApp, we believe the world can become a better place, with people getting closer to each other, and supporting each other in a more personal and honest way. Because everyone can choose freely how to get in touch with people who need help, and decide and choose about specific personal criterias.
Also, professionals in humanitarian and charity matters have already claimed that there is a clear opportunity for improving humanitarian and charity help with the technological tools, and this will lead to a much higher level of transparency. Basically, there is the need of a radical change. And today’s technology allows it.
And we think our project is the evolution required !
Why this idea is revolutionary
Well, it is a combination of many different possibilities finally put together. And it was never done before for two reasons : first, the technology was not developed enough to allow such a system, and second, no one thought about it before. It is, in any way, a true innovation.
For example, before CharitApp, you had no way to connect directly to people in need. You always had to pass by an organisation. Also, until now, people in need were not connected. Now, technologies (internet, cell phones, etc) are worldwide spread and everyone, even in remote locations, has a connection to the world. Also, some people were reluctant with the idea of providing help without having details about the use of the money and in which proportions it would be used. Now, with CharitApp, it is clear for everyone and transparency is at its highest level.
But these are just few of many points we could raise when it comes to why this project is revolutionary, and there are many more.
How it works, more precisely
More precisely, there are 3 major parts in CharitApp. The first one is about independent people, meaning people who created accounts by themselves, and ask for money for their personal needs. They can also create Community Projects, where some people gather together in order to get help for common projects or community needs. It is very similar to crowdfunding, but we put a limit on the money people can receive. In this first part, no organisation is involved, and people act freely.
The second part is where International Organisations and NGOs show their capmaigns and the beneficiaires involved. In this part, the money limit for each campaign is very different and it is up to the Organisations who created the campaign to dispense the money they received from donors (and according to a specific splitting they have to explain before they receive the money). This is were donors also get the chance to help people already supported by an NGO or an International Organisation.
Finally, in the third part, it is about NGOs, International Organisations, Charities, etc., simply presenting themselves. And they can raise money too.
So it is very easy.
Now, about the financial support donors provide, it is very easy too. In the first part, the money goes ONLY to the beneficiary. In the second part, it is the Organisation or the NGO that shows on the campaign page what proportion goes to the people, to the campaign itself and/or to the Organisation/NGO. And in the third part, the money goes all to the Organisation/NGO, and they can use it as they choose to.
How we limit the frauds and abuse
This is the difficult challenge we are facing. Because we don’t want people or criminal organisations to use CharitApp in a diverted way and steal from honest users. In other words, we want to make sure the end-benficiaries really need the money, and will use it in a constructive way.
So we’ve put in place a very organized procedure about the money. And to make it efficient, it involves a few things combined. One of them is that the amount someone can raise is very limited, and depends on the information provided by the beneficiary. The more information we have, the more money he/she can raise. Let’s be clear : no one can become rich with CharitApp, because the amounts are not so important. They are meant for helping and not making rich. The maximum raising money is also depending on the feedback beneficiaries give about the money they already recieved. Meaning that donors want to know how their money was used. If we can see how it was used previously, how it helped, and what difference it made, the system will allow a higher amount for the next time. Of course, we also check the users’ emails, phone numbers and more. We are also working on a collaboration with a company active in the security of banking messaging.