HopeMongers is attempting to connect people together via charitable donations. The web site HopeMongers.org allows individual contributors to donate small amounts of money (they use the term "Microgiving" to describe this) to individual projects that help the poor of the world.
By doing so, they eliminate much of the bureaucracy and cost that burdens many other charitable institutions. The projects that HopeMongers supports tend to be small in size and focused on an individual community. Examples include digging a well to provide clean drinking water for a village in Haiti; construction of a building to house an orphanage in Uganda; and a computer education center in South Africa.
"All the money that's donated to HopeMongers goes to the project" said lead architect Phil Japikse.
On the web site, each project lists the amount needed to fully fund it and the amount raised so far.
Sam Henry of Microsoft is the driving force behind this site and he has traveled around the world seeking, vetting and overseeing projects to show on the site.
But many others are involved in the development of the web site.
DiscountAsp.net donated the web hosting; SAAS hosts TFS and the build servers for free; and most of the development time was donated by dozens of talented developers. Those who didn't volunteer worked on the project at a discounted bill rate.
The development team was spread across the US and worked part-time, which presented a number of challenges. For instance, most of the collaboration took place between 10PM and 1AM Eastern time, via LiveMeeting. For those interested in the technology, the site is built using ASP.Net web forms built with JQuery, C# and NHibernate.
The site is now live and accepting donations. Visit http://www.HopeMongers.org to learn about the projects and to give a little. You can even donate to the HopeMongers project itself from the site.
I gave $10 to help provide clean drinking water to a village in Uganda and I feel better for having done so.