Innovation That Matters

'Business cards' for homeless people let anyone donate with their phone

Nonprofit & Social Cause

HandUp uses a business card system to let citizens donate food credits to local people in need through their mobiles.

When it comes to giving money to members of a city’s homeless community, many people worry that their change isn’t going to fund essentials such as food or shelter. While startups such as TaskTurtle have already attempted to tackle the problem by offering sustenance in exchange for work, San Francisco’s HandUp is now using business cards to let citizens donate food credits to people in need through their mobiles.

The startup works with a number of homeless and deprived people, who each tell their own story through a profile on the HandUp site and app. Members are also given ‘business cards’ that they can hand out to citizens, directing them to their profile. From there, donors can send any amount they like using their credit or debit card. According to the organization, 100 percent of the money is transferred to the member’s account in the form of credits, which they can exchange for the equivalent amount in food, clothes, shelter and other necessities through the startup’s partner, Project Homeless Connect. Donors can then give money to their chosen recipient whenever they like, or browse the other profiles to help out other local people in need. The video below from CNN explains more about HandUp:

The organization gives homeless people a more direct way to connect with those willing to help, and it even aims to open up a system that lets users communicate with the recipients of their charity in the near future. Are there other ways to make charitable giving more easy and secure, as well as personal?



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