Have you wanted to contribute to a good cause but felt like your one single contribution wouldn't make a difference? Have you felt concerned that you didn't know how your money was going to be spent? I know I have felt both of these things numerous times. There are so many great causes out there that needs funds but it can be overwhelming deciding how to allocate your charitable contribution.
Well Members Unite has a really creative solution to all of these problems.
Members Unite is an organization that lets its members choose what causes receive a donation from the group.
Here is how it works. At the beginning of the month, Members Unite chooses a number of worthwhile causes and presents them on the Members Unite website. Then all of the members can log in and vote for their favorite cause. Each week the top causes advance and at the end of the month, the cause with the most votes gets a donation from Members Unite.
I thought this would be a great opportunity to teach my children about the importance of helping others in need. Today we logged into Members Unite and talked about all of the different causes up for a vote. This month there are nine different worthwhile causes to vote on. I let them help me decide who should get the highest rating. I showed them a $5 bill and explained that we were going to give one of these groups our $5 because they really need it. It was a great conversation starter and teaching tool with my kids.
Pictured above is three of the projects up for the vote. I love that Members Unite clearly outline what the money is going to be used for. For instance, the organization Schools on Wheels tutors homeless children that are not able to attend school regularly. The $5000 Members Unite donation will fund tutors for 30 homeless children for a year. I love knowing exactly how my money will be spent. My son is in kindergarten and education is a big topic for us so we rated Schools on Wheels 5 stars .
Members Unite is very clear about how everything works. Here is how the voting schedule will go for March.
The donation for March will be $5000. For April they have already pledged over $6500 in members contributions. That number will continue to grow and grow as more generous people sign up with premium memberships.
Anyone can log in and create an account with Members Unite. However only Premium members have the ability to rank and vote on the causes. The good news is that a premium membership starts at only $5 a month. There is a yearly fee of $25 which goes to cover the overhead costs of Members Unite. This yearly fee means that 100% of your monthly contribution goes to the charity receiving the most votes at the end of the month.
I am really looking forward to logging in with the kids next week to see if our top picks made it through to round two of voting. Normally a donation means writing a check and forgetting about it. I like the level of involvement I will have. I may only be able to contribute $5 a month, but when you add that to all the members donations, it really adds up.
I would encourage you to sign up for Members Unite if you are able to give. It might mean skipping a Starbucks run or one less happy meal, but it would be worth it.