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Donation Dashboard – a cool new tool by UC Berkeley

February 18, 2009

I just checked out “Donation Dashboard,” a pretty nifty new tool to research your giving interests that was mentioned in PND.  Just like Netflix asks you to rate movies, the Dashboard asks you to rate charities and then makes recommendations about a giving portfolio customized to your interests. It uses something called the Eigentaste algorithm to generate personalized picks.

Right now, the database only contains 70 vetted charities – I hope the creators at the Berkeley Center for New Media will consider growing this number.  It’s a pretty conventional group of charities – many of your big names like NPR, World Vision, the ASPCA, etc. are all included.  It would be wonderful to see some smaller groups and some more cutting-edge nonprofits included on the Dashboard in the future.

I rated the initial 15 charities and was given a list of about 7 big charities at the end, some of which I had rated and some similar ones (CARE, Amnesty International, etc.).  The Dashboard then gave me the opportunity to donate to those charities – pretty cool way to translate interest into action on the spot!

Visit the Dashboard now yourself and rate some charities to get started!  And report back here if you do – does the Dashboard reflect your true interests?  Did you learn about any charities you didn’t know about before?

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