If you solve that properly, this will really take off and do a lot of good.
Also, you're going to eventually need to take a very small cut of the donations to pay living expenses for your volunteers. 100% to the patient sounds great, but for my donation, I'd prefer to know that there is someone dedicated full-time to the cause and overseeing the process, and receiving a reasonable salary for it. Of course, be 100% transparent about those salaries as well.
I agree that learning from other charities is the best way to evolve. Kiva has a pretty awesome due diligence process that we would like to pick and choose elements from as we grow: http://www.kiva.org/about/risk/kiva-role
The US govt does not do significant oversight of 501(c)(3) organizations. They don't care at all about effectiveness.
EDIT: I dug through the pages and found a link to a Google Spreadsheet doc with basic information regarding the sponsor for each patient. This is one area I would definitely improve into a sponsor link on each patient's donations page. But all-in-all, great stuff!!
Did you get a chance to click on the Medical Partner link on the patient profiles? It opens a lightbox with some info on the partner.
But we'd love to have more robust pages with tons of awesome info (map, financials, photos, data, etc.) for each Medical Partner. We just need to raise the money to pay for the quality dev time we need!
We definitely need to make some money to keep this thing going. But right now we are still just looking for proof of concept. If we fund these treatments, then our goal is to go out and raise money to really expand the organization. We have tons of financial sustainability ideas, a few are:
1) a "tip" jar where donors can add to their donation to cover overhead
2) Grants and competitions
3) Co-branded CSR programs for companies
Hope that helps to answer your questions!
This would be somewhat similar to Costco's model, where most (all?) of employee wages come from membership card fees, not product revenue. With this model, you could still let people donate 100% of their funds to the patient if they wanted.
You could even make a slider with an animation that displays the percent which goes to each part of your business - so 10% or 15% of the donation could goto administration.
I love your idea, it's tremendous. Good luck!
This is a great idea. Check the Humble Bundle's (http://www.humblebundle.com/) sliders at the bottom of the page to see how they handle their "Humble Tip", maybe you guys can do something similar.
Maybe make it 'what is the max percent you want to see spent on admin cost'. that way you are allowed to use as much as you'd like to for the patient.
You never know!
This might also be accomplished with a "tipping" model. Always advertise the full 100%, but when they go to "checkout", give them the option of tipping the organization. Make a default recommendation of, say, 10%, but let them pick their own tip amount as well.
It would be interesting to see what the average tip amount would be here.
While I think transparency is important. It's disappointing that this project attracts suspicion, especially in the light of Kickstarter projects for non essential consumables attracting millions with little to no oversight/transparency.
Watsi have done much more than the average Kickstarter campaign to show where the money goes and who's involved: http://watsi.org/faq#really-100-of-my-donation-goes-to-the-c...
The skepticism or desire for transparency here stems directly from the service they say they provide.
One shouldn't be cynical of holding people to their own standards otherwise the words are meaningless.
I have no data to back me up here but I'm not sure whether people in countries like Ethiopia (just an example 'cause it was on the OPs front page) are rich enough to possess the necessary hardware to run Android apps.
As the previous poster mentioned, I too recommend you guys continue focusing on transparency and preventing scams. You don't want the service to be ruined because of a few bad apples.
IMO, a smartphone/android app would probably not be accessible for many of those living in developing countries. But the general trend I've been hearing about is that a growing number of people living in developing countries are getting access to basic cellular/text service.
Right now we are only working with three partners, all of whom we have a personal relationship with and trust 100%. That said, if/when we expand, we won't have the luxury of only working with people we know and that's going to make the due-diligence process more difficult. But unlike other NGO's (like global giving, kiva, etc.) we don't need a ton of partners to grow. A single partnership with an organization like Doctors Without Borders would ensure we have enough profiles for a lifetime.
However, I love the idea of having the community regulate the Medical Partner via SMS or something like that (sort of like an, "am I driving poorly? call 1-800... for healthcare providers). Great idea!
If there is any information with regard to transparency that you don't see on the site, please let us know and we will add it. Thanks for the support!
Not to mention the 11 staff members they have, who probably are not in this just for the joy of saving adorable little African babies.
You probably have a deluge of emails so I'm going to harass you from every vector :)
Hey there, my name is Joe and I want to work for you for free.
In the summer I work in the US as a skydiving instructor. In the (north american) winter I travel around, mostly to third world countries in southeast asia.
I want to volunteer and find people in need of medical care. My girlfriend is Filipino and as a native speaker we could really do some good there, as well as in other countries in the area.
I have many years of experience in the wild, the Mongolian steppe (three months on horseback), the Brazilian jungle (4 months on foot), and all of southeast asia.
I can cover all my own expenses and won't need a dime for travel or in country needs.
Let me work for you.
If you want transparency, it has to be done by the organization (lots of foot work and following up with where the money was spent by the implementing orgs).