My Fellow Philanthropers:
I'm sad to say that Philanthroper will be shutting down.
Obviously we've had operations scaled back for a while now, but as we've been unable to find a buyer to take the platform where it needs to go, we'll officially be turning off the site next month.
When I was conceptualizing Philanthroper, I'd hoped we'd be able to create the easiest, most transparent way to give small amounts of money online, ever. I was a writer and tech nut, totally new to the nonprofit industry. The laws were prehistoric. The payment options were scant. The funding we had was nonexistent. And I still think we succeeded against a lot of odds in building something special.
But by "we," I don't just mean the small team (Bernerd Schaefer, coder and UnitOneNine, designers) who developed the site, or even the incredible volunteers who helped research and pen articles. I mean all of you who've taken part in Philanthroper in some way. I had a hunch that giving could be every bit as addictive as spending, and it was all of you—about 7500, with over 1000 regulars—who opened those emails every day and gave a buck about something new that actually proved the concept. 20% of you who gave just one time actually gave ten (or many, many more) times to all sorts of causes. That's not just incredible; it's unprecedented in the industry.
Unfortunately, the site just didn't grow fast enough to make us worth the time of the big corporations who we need to subsidize your good work. And the daily "deals" take an extraordinary amount of manpower to produce.
So as we unplug the site, know that we hugely appreciate everything you've done for hundreds of nonprofits--not just the $178,491 in donations, but your engaged acknowledgment of their hard work. It meant more to them than you probably know.
And also, I'd like to personally apologize that we were unable to crack the nut of making this whole operation as big as I'm still convinced it could have been. I'm sorry, it just didn't work out. I really thought we had a shot!