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This is really cool, but I'm curious how an investment in this is different than a charitable contribution. The contribution is awesome for the network it introduces Watsi to, but I can't imagine there will ever be a return on this kind of investment.

(This is not meant to sound negative. I am truly excited to see it, interested to see what the YC network can bring to it, and very curious about the investment thinking behind it.)




There is no difference; it is simply a charitable contribution.


Will they also be going through dinners, office-hours and the like?

I could see this being a good way to help new non-profits get over the initial hump of raising awareness, getting administrative issues sorted out and so on. Certainly a service worth more than just the money provided.


Yes, everything is the same. They're going to present at Demo Day too (lots of rich people in that room).


That is awesome. A really great use of the YC network.


Site and mission sound great, I'm looking forward to contributing.

Hopefully it'll quickly join the ranks of the larger crowdfunding non-for-profits like Kiva.org, Donorschoose, etc...


> The contribution is awesome for the network it introduces Watsi to, but I can't imagine there will ever be a return on this kind of investment.

The model of charityfund-operationsfunding separation is quite enticing. This kind of transparency fosters trust. If they ask for donations on the side to keep their operations running, by golly they've got access to my wallet alright.


If it takes off and is successful on a massive scale, I'm sure they will find a method to monetize it other than transaction fees on donations. One example that I can think of off the top of my head is to charge medical device manufacturers or pharmaceutical companies a fee to market their products the recently funded with direct messages or traditional advertising.


I don't think this ("monetization", for profit) is planned -- and if it were I and many others would have a big problem with it. See pg's comment above.


Exactly what I was thinking. It says on Wikipedia that YC takes about 6% of the company's equity. But I suppose a nonprofit doesn't have equity. So what's the benefit to YC? Simply some good PR?




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