A Boost for E-philanthropy

A coalition of corporations and nonprofit agencies launched “Network for Good,” an online portal aimed at helping charities strengthen their connections with people seeking to donate, volunteer or speak out on issues.

The ePhilanthropy Portal was founded by the AOL Time Warner Foundation and AOL Inc. , the Cisco Systems Foundation and Cisco Systems Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. in partnership with about 20 nonprofit foundations and associations that seek to foster use of the Internet for civic participation and philanthropy.

The Web site was designed to aggregate and organize content and resources, making it easier for consumers to give of their time and money.

The backers said the Network for Good site builds “on the phenomenal rise in online giving and volunteering that took place in response to the events of Sept. 11 and is aimed at making donating, volunteering and other tools available to all charities, big and small, whether they have a Web site or not.

The supporters said that consumers will be able to explore and give to the nearly 850,000 charities listed in the GuideStar database, knowing that if they choose to make a credit card contribution the charity they select will receive 100 percent of their donation.

Network for Good will subsidize the transaction and credit card costs of all donations.

The site also will feature a database of tens of thousands of volunteer opportunities provided by VolunteerMatch. Twenty-seven different categories are available for searching, including advocacy and human rights, women’s and children’s issues, and community and crisis support.

“By combining the passion, expertise and grass-roots affiliations of our nonprofit partners and the reach, resources and Internet capabilities of our corporate founders, we will be able to make giving, volunteering and speaking out on issues as central a part of the Internet as shopping or getting e-mail,” said Steve Case, chairman of AOL Time Warner.

Network for Good includes supporters and partner organizations that include The Ad Council, The American Red Cross, America’s Promise, Benton Foundation, The Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance, ePhilanthropyFoundation.org, GuideStar, Independent Sector, Leadership Conference Education Fund, National Mentoring Partnership, National Urban League, NetAid, PipeVine, Points of Light Foundation, PowerUP, SHiNE, StargazerNET.net, TechSoup, The Urban Institute/National Center for Charitable Statistics, VolunteerMatch, W.K. Kellogg Foundation and YouthNOISE.

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