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Charitopia's mission is to match donors of gifts-in-kind to charities that need those items.
What is Charitopia?
Charitopia is a not-for-profit website that matches donors of supplies and equipment with charitable organizations who are able to use those items. Donors can list items available for donation and can discover items needed by charities. Schools, non-profits, or other public service organizations can list their needs and search for available items from willing donors. Charitopia helps non-profit organizations benefit from this largely untapped supply of used goods, while promoting the reuse and conservation of natural resources. Charitopia is run by Stanford University and is based upon technology developed by Stanford's School of Engineering.
Charitopia is currently under development. We plan to launch during November 2006 for charities in the Bay Area.
Charitopia in detail:
Stanford University created Charitopia to help non-profit organizations benefit from a significant, but underutilized source of charitable contributions - used products, equipment, and goods. Every day, households and businesses dispose of millions of dollars worth of furniture, electronics and other useful products. Many would prefer to donate rather than dispose of these items but do not know which organizations would benefit from their use. Similarly, schools, hospitals, and other public service organizations are frequently in need of such items but are unable to easily find donors and donations that match their needs. Because of this, a large and valuable resource for charities has largely gone untapped. Charitopia fills this gap in the realm of charitable giving.
Based upon technology developed by Stanford's Department of Computer Science, Charitopia is a website which connects non-profit organizations with needed resources. Using Charitopia, organizations can request the specific products, equipment, or resources that they require. Donors, in turn, can list the products that they have available to donate. Charitopia matches the two - a school in need of a ladder can be connected to a company about to dispose of a ladder.
Charitopia's technical innovation lies in its ability to automatically match specific types of donated goods in accordance with the particular needs of an organization. Charitopia allows donated products to be precisely classified and described in terms understandable to both computers and humans. That technology permits charities and donors to easily and accurately identify products available or needed, while enabling the system to automatically link the two when there is a match. Today, charities spend significant resources turning away donated goods that are not useful to them. Using Charitopia, non-profit organizations receive only those products which they actually want and can use.
Besides opening new sources of charitable resources for charities, Charitopia's structure provides built-in incentives for consumers and businesses to participate: donors reduce the costs associated with disposing of unwanted goods. By facilitating the reuse of products and equipment, Charitopia also helps promote environmental sustainability, conservation of resources, and waste and landfill relief.
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