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Ask Slashdot: Where Should a Geek's Charitable Donations Go?

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the i-accept-all-major-credit-cards dept.

Education 263

An anonymous reader writes "I'm in the position to direct (or at least suggest the direction of) a fairly large amount of charitable donation on behalf of a foundation interested in promoting education. As a lifelong geek, I'd like to see some of this money directed toward organizations involved in things geeks-like (e.g. spreading technology in education to those without it, improving the use of technology for those who have it, etc.). If it was up to you, what charitable organizations would you support and why?"

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Altruism... (4, Informative)

wermske (1781984) | more than 2 years ago | (#41383655)

Education is a broad category... geek-ish is equally broad depending on application.

Prime Directive... LOCAL...LOCAL...LOCAL. Your operative or key word is impact. You want to insure that as much as your dollar achieves its intended objective and that you have the ability to (if you choose) to verify the impact. Avoid a national or international blunderbuss -- such an approach scatters your money, creates too much dilution and generally includes excessive overhead.

Out-of-the-Box Brainstorm Suggestions:

Crisis Hotline, Woman's Center (or an similar support system for domestic abuse), Big Brothers Big Sisters, Homeless Shelters, Addiction and Rehabilitation Groups

You can also use Charity Navigator [charitynavigator.org] to assist you in researching specific organizations.

Each of these can be geeked-up to provide uplift and outreach were normal "geek enablement" or "geek opportunity" might otherwise simply be unavailable due to lack of funding. KEEP IN MIND -- Educational opportunities and technical services are very low priority when safety, food, and shelter are priority one!

Just a thought...

Re:Altruism... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41383729)

Does not meet 1st spec.

Find out if local hackerspaces are non-profits. If not, get that fixed.

With a big enough figure, find out if you local library would build one in an unused conference room.

Find out if local schools will run free tech training with (perhaps with loaner raspi's for checkout).

Re:Altruism... (3, Informative)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#41383773)

You want to insure that as much as your dollar achieves its intended objective and that you have the ability to (if you choose) to verify the impact. Avoid a national or international blunderbuss -- such an approach scatters your money, creates too much dilution and generally includes excessive overhead.

I'd just like to second that, and stress an important point. Many of these Big Charities spend about half their money on their own administration activities, like expensive lawyer fees. There was an article in The Economist a couple years ago about this. Even reputable charities like the United Way and a Lady Diana Foundation have run afoul of this.

Donating to something where you know the people spending the money personally, will avoid this. And you will have the personal satisfaction of seeing the money put to good use.

Re:Altruism... (0)

HanzoSpam (713251) | more than 2 years ago | (#41384633)

Education is a broad category...

Indeed it is. If you're looking for a broad, you can't beat the local community college!

I heard about this teacher... (3, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 2 years ago | (#41383657)

He's trying to teach typing to 500 students in India. [slashdot.org] I think he could use some help with some tablets, keyboards and solar panels.

Re:I heard about this teacher... (0)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#41383791)

It's better if the students can learn how to write, and spell, and using correct grammar, before learning how to type

Re:I heard about this teacher... (-1, Offtopic)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#41384295)

My 5 year old was typing before he could read, spell, or use correct grammar. I think you are wrong. Why? For things like that, I always suspect racism. Why not add in "speak correctly" as well, so it's easier to tell next time.

Re:I heard about this teacher... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41384347)

How is this racist?
Your language could be English, Chinese, or Hindi. Either way, knowing how to input characters without knowing how to actually string a sentence together ends up with people sending text message looking garbage around the internet. We have too much of that already.

Re:I heard about this teacher... (3, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#41384379)

I always suspect racism.

If you always suspect racism in everything that happened, in everything other people do or say, I sincerely suggest that you pay your local friendly psychologist a visit.

Re:I heard about this teacher... (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 2 years ago | (#41384733)

You quoted the GP as "I always suspect racism", when the full context was "For things like that, I always suspect racism"

The GP sounded like a dick, and now so do you.

Re:I heard about this teacher... (2)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 2 years ago | (#41384481)

Why couldn't your 5 year old read? Mine did at that age. I did at that age. My brother could at that age.Lots of kids are reading by age 5, IF their parents care enough to spend time with them.

Bangladesdh (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 2 years ago | (#41384027)

The first line says he is Bangladesh - not in India. I think you should at least read the first line of stuff you link to.

The EFF and TIA (5, Informative)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#41383671)

https://eff.org/ [eff.org] - Doesn't need an explanation really.
https://archive.org/ [archive.org] - The librarians of the internet

Re:The EFF and TIA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41383783)

So, to a bunch of asshats who ignore the real problems (EFF) and violate your privacy (Archive.org)?

Re:The EFF and TIA (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41383863)

These are both excellent choices. I was going to mention the EFF because it is, forsooth, the only organization that comes to mind as being worthy of donation. And I do contribute monthly.

Actually, I suppose I knew this, but wasn't actively conscious of the fact that the Internet Archive also takes donations. I really should contribute to them as well. I notice I currently have a couple of tabs open to archive.org. In case anyone's interested these are the texts I have in the queue for later perusing:

Porgy (1928)
http://archive.org/details/porgy031341mbp

The Universe In The Light Of Modern Physics (1931/00/00)
http://archive.org/details/universeinthelig032967mbp

Re:The EFF and TIA (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 2 years ago | (#41384419)

I second EFF, but you may want to give some money to The Pirate Bay as well. They're another front of the war against MAFIAA.

Re:The EFF and TIA (3)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 2 years ago | (#41384703)

Copyright may be a "crime against humanity" in your world, but I think the technological gift of a functioning water pump/bore for a dry village would have far more impact on people lives. It's not that these people don't have, or are not allowed to use, modern drilling techniques for fear of trespassing on someone's intellectual property, it's that they don't have the cash to make use of it. In a similar vein I have a good idea of how to build a Saturn V rocket, however it's almost a certainty I will never have the means to do so.

As for TFA, I won't offer a suggestion since the thread is full of charities far more worthy than the pirate bay. Instead I will offer a rough algorithm by which to compare the many excellent suggestions you will receive.
Rate 1 - 5 the following.
1. The "fit" of the charity's work to your charitable aims. Obviously the hard part is defining your aims and separating charitable talk from charitable work.
2. The transparency of the charity's accounts.
3. The charity's track record, which of their past projects worked, which one's failed and why.

Speaking of charity, I recently watched John Stewart interviewing Bill Clinton [youtube.com] on his charitable organization, which among other things is supporting clever technology such as bamboo bicycles. I'm not suggesting you do or don't donate to Clinton's organization, but I did find it interesting from the POV of how large charities operate and the problems they face. Regardless of your politics, listening to people who have "been there and done that" is always a wise move.

Re:The EFF and TIA (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41384727)

I support all of the above and would like to add the Free Software Foundation and the Richard Dawkins Foundation.
(Mind you, there are plenty of other good causes like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation or Médecins Sans Frontières, but I'm assuming we're looking for a way to give money to geek-y causes rather than causes a geek wouldn't mind sending his money to.)

Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41383675)

Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.

Re:Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41384069)

You'd be better off taking a tip from Steve Jobs - don't support any of them!

Re:Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#41384451)

You'd be better off taking a tip from Steve Jobs - don't support any of them!

Why not just donate to an action group of libertarian billionaires calling for a ban on evil government interference in the free parking market, i.e. disabled parking spaces.

Re:Bill and Melinda Gates foundation. (1)

Askmum (1038780) | more than 2 years ago | (#41384257)

Bill has more than enough money himself. Donate to the needy, not the greedy.

Mitt Romney (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41383679)

Help the numerically challenged, give Mitt your money.

Soemthing you care about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41383685)

Way too many good causes out there, inside and outside of the geek world..

Personally I think a persons "donation money" or better yet volunteer hours should go to something they personally feel strongly about or are directly interested in. Even if it's not the largest, most effective, or has a goal that seems small in comparison to the larger problems in the world. We can't focus soley on the "big" issues.. some money needs to go to the silly stuff.

Also while not really charity, I like to throw my money into things like buying indie music direct from artists and commissioning artwork (I buy a lot of ponies!). I think this kinda stuff helps make the world a better place.

Global or local (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#41383691)

Thinking as a global option consider tropical worms, water quality and simple drugs that can change a community.
The drugs are cheap, no patent anymore and dont need fancy electrical power for cooling or vast amounts of cash.
A health worker can get a community back to school or work and keep tracking the needs over years.
If your thinking locally:
Vast amounts of nearly new or less new quality hardware is donated by people doing good, wanting to be seen to be doing good or for tax reasons.
The problem is the old pay per seat software is hard to work out on each computer.
So help people who put Linux on older computers, getting free math, writing, coding, web, video editing software running on free operating systems.

The Humble Bundle is a good start. (3, Interesting)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 2 years ago | (#41383693)

You walk away with some good games to boot.

Hey what do you know? A new one just started! [humblebundle.com]

Re:The Humble Bundle is a good start. (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#41384457)

You walk away with some good games to boot.

Hey what do you know? A new one just started! [humblebundle.com]

Yes, what the world needs more than anything is for people to finance computer hobbyists making games that wouldn't sell otherwise.

It's lucky we've found a cure for cancer, solved world poverty and disease so on.

Re:The Humble Bundle is a good start. (2)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 2 years ago | (#41384641)

You do know you can choose not to give *any* money to the developers and make it all go to the charities if you desire?

also, Lol @ "wouldn't sell anyway" considering Torchlight's one of them.

charity for life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41383697)

what about here?
http://theotakukid.com/2012/08/breast-squeeze-as-a-charity-event-in-japan/

The Raspberry Pi foundation (3, Insightful)

psergiu (67614) | more than 2 years ago | (#41383707)

Give-it to The Raspberry Pi foundation [raspberrypi.org] .
In a world that is becoming increasely dependent on computers, they strive so today's and tomorrow's children won't become mindless consumers, regarding any electronic device as magic.

Elementary education (5, Insightful)

FrankSchwab (675585) | more than 2 years ago | (#41383709)

As someone who's kids are currently in Elementary school -
Find someone who's writing public domain textbooks for elementary education, especially those aimed at technological implementations (tablet based, etc). Why in god's name does my school district have to pay $60 for a fifth-grade math textbook - revised last year? What has changed in "3x=24" in the last, oh, 1000 years that requires a new revision of a textbook?

There's so much that could be done with technology and education that hasn't been. Why can't learning Multiplication tables be phrased as a game - come up with the answers to jump and capture a coin; take too long and you miss it? Why can't Spelling, and Grammar, be a game; Why can't the broad sweep of history be presented as a graph, with hyperlinks from points on the graph to an overview and details of that point in time? Why can't the out-of-copyright classics be available in a learning-reader format, with hyperlinks for all difficult words to pronunciation and definition?

Hell, give me the money and I'll get started!

Re:Elementary education (1)

arogier (1250960) | more than 2 years ago | (#41383891)

This. There are open source textbook projects that float around somewhere, but the one I've seen seem to focus on collegiate level general education texts. Writing for younger learners isn't as simple as putting the information together. There's a big component in using information from studies of childhood development and learning theory that shapes the presentation in quality elementary school texts. This is something that takes resources, but if a group can be found it would probably be one of the causes with the potential to have a broad impact.

Re:Elementary education (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41384053)

I would believe you, but having personal, recent experience I would suggest that none of the elementary level math textbook writers could even read a study of childhood development or learning theory, much less apply the lessons contained within.

Re:Elementary education (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41384407)

Take at look at what AoPS has been doing - ArtOfProblemSolving.com for math enrichment - it started at the high school and middle school level and has branched down to elementary lately.

Truly Open Textbooks (4, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 2 years ago | (#41383717)

The textbook publishers have managed to emasculate most of the "open textbook" projects so far. We need truly open textbooks that anyone can republish, and modify as time goes on and the art changes. These will be a gift to society that continues for decades.

EFF + Your favorite open-source project(s) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41383721)

Title says all.

Re:EFF + Your favorite open-source project(s) (1)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 2 years ago | (#41383897)

Surprised I had to scroll so far to see this. Ever notice how in every court case worth caring about, they've at least filed an amicus?

Not only technology (1)

Saija (1114681) | more than 2 years ago | (#41383731)

Technology is cool and all but life is more than that, i think some children's, women or homeless program, even animal shelters could use that money, maybe there's no tablets, linux or solar panels involved but you might help save lifes.

Re:Not only technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41383823)

I should have specified that my input in this foundation's distribution of donations is but a small fraction of the total. I can assure you that a wide range of deserving charities will be supported, but I'm probably the only representative in a position to forward some of the more geek-centric or techno-centric ideas. Don't worry. The others won't get left out!

The Ada Initiative (3, Insightful)

rusty (3244) | more than 2 years ago | (#41383735)

One of my favourite geek charities is the Ada Initiative [adainitiative.org] which provides resources and training for women in open source and open culture.

Needless to say, you should speak directly to any charity you're seriously considering; they'll often have good suggestions for how they money could be used.

Good luck!
Rusty.

setup you computer for computational help (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41383741)

setup boinc and allow computation time for projects who needs it.

If you want to continue being a geek... (1)

vga_init (589198) | more than 2 years ago | (#41383751)

I'd recommend the EFF.

National Science Olympiad (3, Informative)

loimprevisto (910035) | more than 2 years ago | (#41383755)

The National Science Olympiad [soinc.org] gets a good chunk of my charitable donations. They do a lot to promote science education and I had a great time competing when I was in high school.

Re:National Science Olympiad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41384445)

Similar direction - MathCounts is a Professional Society of Engineers sponsored middle school math program that helps expose young students to what's out there beyond the standard curriculum.

OSU Open Source Lab (1)

gchaix (1716666) | more than 2 years ago | (#41383763)

The OSU Open Source Lab is a donation-funded organization that supports the open source software community by providing project hosting, development, and mirrors for many open source projects. Apache, the Linux Foundation, Drupal, Busybox, Plone, PHPbb, Sahana, OpenMRS, and many others rely on the OSL for some or all of their infrastructure. http://osuosl.org/donate [osuosl.org] Full disclosure: I work for the OSL.

F.I.R.S.T. Robotics (4, Insightful)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 2 years ago | (#41383771)

I participated in high school back in 1995. It and its younger cousins are still going strong, introducing hundreds of thousands of elementary, junior high, and high school students to robotics and by extension programming, engineering, and science.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FIRST_Robotics_Competition [wikipedia.org]

ACLU (1)

Rijnzael (1294596) | more than 2 years ago | (#41383787)

The ACLU has done a lot for various freedoms, including internet freedoms. One instance, where the ACLU represented an ISP that was served with National Security Letters [wikipedia.org] , serves to illustrate the kinds of high profile and essential litigation they perform.

Re:ACLU (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 2 years ago | (#41384403)

ACLU does some good work, but it's tied in a ridiculous degree to the populist branch of the neocon party.

EFF doesn't have that problem.

Charity starts at home... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41383789)

So pay your mom the rent that you owe her for living in her basement.

Rock-It Science (1)

dbc (135354) | more than 2 years ago | (#41383795)

http://www.rockitscience.com/ [rockitscience.com]
Watch the videos.

OK, we're small. And local. But we're trying to change that. We have 200+ lessons that we are trying to document with teacher training materials and materials lists so that these lessons can be used in elementary schools everywhere. But it costs money: for video taping, transcription, documentation. Basically all the work it takes to turn a tested lesson that has been run many times into enough documentation that it can be replicated by a teacher anywhere.

Our philosophy is different from the way most science education is done. We start very young. We ban pencils and data collection. Its all about developing an intuition for the science that is happening, and developing a mind that can ask questions and explore. I call it "teaching physics through the belly button." When the kids get into high school the equations will make sense because they have an intuition for what will happen.

Unfortunately, what we do is almost never measurable in any meaningful way. That makes most grant giving agencies look at us like we are from another planet. But it does work. When my daughter was five, a typical post-class interview would be something like: "What did you do?" -- "We made some stuff." -- "What did you learn?" -- "I don't know." -- "Did you have fun?" -- "YEEESSSS!". Then a few days later we would be doing some project or another and she would say something like: "We need some popsicle sticks, string, a pulley, and some hot melt glue!!" A lot of learning was going on inside, but she wasn't able to articulate it at the time. Totally not measurable, but totally great. That's when I started contributing as a volunteer.

We need money :) Did I mention that?

national rifle association (1)

breman (683776) | more than 2 years ago | (#41383803)

NRA.org, They have a really good program and you can usually get a lifetime membership for $500 or $1000.

Re:national rifle association (1)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#41383851)

He said Geek... Unless the NRA is opening up a specialty group for rail guns... I think you're missing the gist of the conversation... but good try.

Re:national rifle association (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41383913)

I don't like much of the National Rifle Association's broader political activity that escapes the more focused causes it purports to advocate for. I however am a huge supporter of the National Railgun Association.

Re:national rifle association (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 2 years ago | (#41384291)

Gun Owners of America (GOA) - to preserve and defend your Second Amendment.

Re:national rifle association (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41384469)

NRA.org, They have a really good program and you can usually get a lifetime membership for $500 or $1000.

How about the like-minded GNAA as well? Best of all lifetime membership is free!

EFF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41383807)

Next question.

MIT Open Courseware and the Wikimedia Foundation (4, Informative)

FoolishOwl (1698506) | more than 2 years ago | (#41383831)

MIT Open Courseware [mit.edu] is a good project.

And everyone knows the Wikimedia Foundation [wikimediafoundation.org] , but they can use more help.

Re:MIT Open Courseware and the Wikimedia Foundatio (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#41384511)

Don't MIT have enough money already?

I thought US colleges did pretty well out of alumni?

Universities (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41383841)

University programs that promote a greater understanding of Science and Technology in Society (STS).
Example: http://www.sts.vt.edu/

One DVM per child (4, Informative)

Okian Warrior (537106) | more than 2 years ago | (#41383861)

How about giving away a free voltmeter [ebay.com] to any student from a 3rd world nation who passes the edX [edx.org] course "Circuits and Electronics"?

6002x "Circuits and Electronics" [mit.edu] , an online version of the MIT introductory electronics course. This was an exact copy of the MIT course, taught by an MIT professor, and was just as hard as the original course. Same material, same difficulty, online format.

Some of the 7,000 graduates were from 3rd world nations [wordpress.com] . For example, this article [mit.edu] talks about a class of high-school students in Mongolia:

I'm reminded of William Kamkwamba [bbc.co.uk] , who built a wind-powered generator and was able to bring electricity to his village. His Ted talk [ted.com] is pretty interesting.

Mr. Kamkwamba had nothing. He built his windmill from scratch after learning the principles of electricity from books in the local library. He built his own circuit breaker by winding wire onto nails driven into wood.

His task would have been so much easier if he could have measured continuity, or the output voltage of his generator.

Most of the modern world is based on electronics - measurements, actions, communications, and so on. Having the tools and understanding would allow people to repair broken equipment and machinery, to take pieces from ewaste and hook them together in new ways, and generally have better life opportunities.

Supplying 5,000 students (a generous estimate) would cost only $10,000.

Here [edx.org] is the contact page for edX.

Trisquel - free software distribution /w education (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41383873)

Send the money Trisquel's way. It is a distribution which could really use the funds.

The project is actively engaged in supporting education. Not only as a no-cost platform to run proprietary software- but also as a learning environment. Every program is 100% free.

The distribution is at it's core compliant with free software principles and upholds the essential freedoms:

The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others (freedom 3). By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

The lead developer is also involved in the one laptop per child program which is doing a lot of good despite the criticisms. The Trisquel project even has a version targeted at educational institutions. It's called Trisquel Edu.

CHILDS PLAY (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41383911)

Childs Play, and also really any charity you agree with. Just because your a geek doesn't mean your going to revoke your geek card if you donate blood and donate to something like the Red Cross instead of something more "geeky".

Congrats (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 2 years ago | (#41383929)

First off. Congrats to you and the larger slashdot community that we are asking such questions. Man have we come a long way in a decade or so.

Beyond that, I strongly echo EFF. Really important. Another that I've recently seen is A World in Motion which is supported by the society of automotive engineers among others. Great way to introduce engineering to school kids.

Beyond that - good luck, and thanks for making a difference.

An idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41383931)

Use the money to purchase a neckbeard trimmer for each Linux sysadmin in the United States. This will increase their chances of getting laid from 0% to 0.1%, thus helping to ensure the survival of the obese and hirsute.

Center For Applied Rationality (3, Interesting)

Jimmy_B (129296) | more than 2 years ago | (#41383981)

Consider giving it to the Center For Applied Rationality [appliedrationality.org] . Their goal is to make people more rational, by teaching about cognitive biases and scientific decision making, and studying how to do so effectively. They're doing great things, on relatively little resources; your marginal dollars would go a long way.

jeremy scott shoes (-1, Offtopic)

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Age of Photonics! (and free teaching apparatus) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41384009)

If the 20th C was the electronics age then the 21st is the age Photonics - the study of light and its applications.

Schools have been slow to uptake photonics equipment because of the complexities in setting up experiments. Myself and a colleague have developed a simple all in one kit for schools - and we're not interested in profit - we would just like to see better equipment available to school kids. With the minilab you can run spectroscopy experiments, diffraction, fiber optics, digital and analogue signals, interference patterns and heaps of other cool experiments that really engage the kids.

If youre interested I can pass on all of the details - PCB's and component designs to build the kits locally. Weve exported these around the globe - Poland, Singapore, UK and lots here in Australia at schools and universities. they're robust - relatively cheap to build - come with instructions for over 50 photonics experiments...

Get in touch for more info! martin.raynor@anu.edu.au

Alternatives to money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41384033)

We have some spare bandwidth and old servers. Good/best ideas on what to host 'as a charity'?

A fool and his money... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41384099)

If you're dumb enough to be giving away your money to "worthy causes" that mostly encourage parasitism at best, or line the pockets of their administrators at worst, why don't you just send it to me? Believe me, I'll be certain to do my best to keep unfortunate hookers and bartenders off the streets and out of trouble...

Where Should a Geek's Charitable Donations Go? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41384107)

Microsoft ?

Education + Technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41384111)

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned either Project Gutenberg or the Khan Academy. Both of which are using technology to inexpensively give people more access to information & education. You might also consider the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) organization. Another possibility would be specific educational software projects. Unfortunately, I don't think that donations to Gcompris would be tax deductible or they might be a good choice.

Re:Education + Technology (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#41384371)

I came to mention Khan Academy, and AC beat me to it. Tragedy. But here's the donate link:
http://www.khanacademy.org/donate [khanacademy.org]

Nick's Marathon! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41384113)

Nick's Marathon! [nicksmarathon.org]

Every year, my friends and I have an all-weekend video game marathon, streamed live on the net, to raise money for charity. We do this in memory of our friend Nick who died of Leukemia a few years ago, and one of his dying wishes was that his friends continued to hang out and spend time together like we used to. So every year, we get together, play some games, talk about Nick, and have a great time. We raise money for Child's Play (As a pediatrics resident physician, I can attest to how much these gifts help out), Ronald McDonald House (helped Nick a lot when he was a kid) and Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (research).

This year, Nick's Marathon will be shortly after the WiiU launch and it will be the centerpiece of the fund raiser. Hope everyone can support us!

Your Local Community College (2)

chub_mackerel (911522) | more than 2 years ago | (#41384125)

Consider your local community college when deciding where to put your money. You can probably connect with someone in the college's foundation and get a great tour. Community colleges provide cheap education for geeks and non-geeks alike. They've seen enrollment skyrocket as the economy (and state funding) has tanked.

Connect up with the college's foundation for options. Depending on how much you're talking about, you can do endowments or 1-time gifts, etc. You can set it up to go to one or more departments if you like what the faculty members are doing (CS, math, science, applied tech programs of different kinds), or to student clubs if you like what they're up to, or just set up scholarships for students in technical fields. You could target basic skills (math literacy), specific sciences, computing, even the library.

BSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41384151)

The FreeBSD Foundation. They descend directly from CSRG who brought you TCP/IP, among other things. And their licensing leaves no room for any hippie preachers.

Pirate Party (3, Informative)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 2 years ago | (#41384155)

The pirate parties of all countries need lots of donations to organize the upcoming elections...

A Worthy Cause (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41384159)

If you're looking to support an organization looking to better the country with an ongoing outreach and education program, I strongly recommend these guys. [tinyurl.com]

Wikileaks? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 2 years ago | (#41384177)

Education isn't just for children.

Don't just give money (4, Insightful)

randomsearch (1207102) | more than 2 years ago | (#41384201)

I just happened to mention this to my Mum, who works with several charities in the UK.

She says - "Don't just give money. Most local charities are in dire need of help with their IT."

RS

Local Educational: Hackerspace (2)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 2 years ago | (#41384219)

Find out if there's a hackerspace near you. The one I go to (not nearly often enough) has worked with schools before -- you might be able to get some community involvement going on. Ask if they'd be interested in hosting a class field trip, or developing extracurricular activities or class projects. Think Stirling engines, robots, 3D printers, arduino gadgets, laser cutters, all kinds of cool hands-on stuff. Obviously YMMV pretty significantly from one space to the next, and they're not all charities, but it could be really cool if there's a good one near you.

You can look for a hackerspace near you at hackerspaces.org [hackerspaces.org] or just use your favorite search engine with your region and "hackerspace". If not, maybe look for other local clubs that are into hands-on activities; rocketry, halloween, stagecraft, burners, whatever.

charitable donation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41384241)

http://www.raspberrypi.org

35 dollar Linux devices to teach coding on.
Check it it!

Geek Health and Safety (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41384249)

This outfit is dedicated to educating geeks (and everyone else) about one of the greatest threats to their health, safety and property:

http://stuffblackpeopledontlike.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

This website will serve to educate the general public on Black people and the Stuff That Black People Don't Like. Black people have many interesting eccentricities, which include disliking a litany of everyday events, places, household objects and other aspects of their everyday life. Black people are an interesting subject matter and this website will chronicle the many problems in life that agitate this group of people.

Your local library (2)

OnePumpChump (1560417) | more than 2 years ago | (#41384261)

Friends of the Library. Your local library probably has one. You might become active with them if you want to promote technology access for those without...your local library is probably the only internet access for a substantial portion of the people who use it.

DonorsChose (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 2 years ago | (#41384305)

It's a bit of work because of the nature of their model (lots of small projects around the US); but you could fund a number of science / math / technology needs for classrooms across the US.

Local technical museums, hackerspaces or similar (3, Informative)

Rastloser (1364593) | more than 2 years ago | (#41384323)

As a volunteer for the club that restored Germany's first radio telescope (see http://astropeiler.de/ [astropeiler.de] ), I am certainly quite biased, but I think that technical, hands-on museums would also be a good target. Check your area for volunteer-run astronomical observatories, open electronics labs, private physics labs... essentially places that are open to everyone interested in science, give people a hands-on experience with old (or current) technology and where everyone can repeat important experiments that shape our world-view. For example, we offer everyone the chance to repeat the measurements by Oort et al. from 1958 that show that the Milky Way has a spiral structure, and hope to support and promote an evidence-based world view by doing so. (And, besides, it's just great fun to operate your own radio telescope!)

Kiva (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41384335)

Mine go to Kiva [kiva.org] , although technically it's a loan not a donation. You can keep re-loaning the amount once you've been repaid. There's a lot of choice available in terms of where you consider loaning, both sectorwise and geographically.

EFF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41384337)

EFF

FMAFE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41384375)

The FMAFE [fmafe.org] provides scholarships to disadvantaged students.

MOOC: Coursera and edX (2)

AchilleTalon (540925) | more than 2 years ago | (#41384409)

Donate to MOOC like Coursera and edX and request the money be spend on technology to facilitate access to disabled students. It is well proven education spent on disabled people is having a great ROI and enable them to avoid living in poverty.

same place as any other stereotype (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41384415)

Being a geek doesn't absolve you of social responsibility. Technology is useless in a corrupt centralised world.

local after school clubs (3, Insightful)

fantomas (94850) | more than 2 years ago | (#41384443)

Help fund local after school clubs: activities run in your local schools that further education local kids in a more informal environment. Get in contact with a local school and ask them what would help them run a technology / computing after school club. Perhaps they could do with some electronics tools (soldering irons etc) or some raspberry pi's, or basic robot kits.

  These activities really help both academically struggling kids to find something they enjoy and catch up with their peers, reduces the chances of them dropping out, and also give gifted pupils the opportunity to push on further. The teachers can be more laid back as these activities are outside the core curriculum and not strictly evaluated so they often encourage the children to try out more experimental activities and emphasise fun and individual learning more than exam passing. And it's a good place for kids to be after school, they also learn a lot of positive social skills.

To be totally selfish, helping local kids to become inspired and enjoy education is better for your neighbourhood as well, and builds future social capacity as well as economic capacity in the area!

Health... (1)

AlienIntelligence (1184493) | more than 2 years ago | (#41384563)

You must be one lucky individual to have never had a health
care, scare or had a friend or family member that has had one.

Breast Cancer
Alzheimer's
Cystic Fibrosis

the list goes on, but gets more depressing.

I have Alzheimer's in my family. 95% my donations go to that,
5% goes to dog specific non-profits.

And on top of that, I run a non-profit for disadvantaged families.

-AI

Re:Health... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41384597)

I have Alzheimer's in my family.

Well! We never would have guessed!

Obvious (1)

udachny (2454394) | more than 2 years ago | (#41384613)

Geeks' charitable donations need to go towards building companies.

Geeks shouldn't be charitable, they should be smart. Pool your money together, set up your own VC fund and use it to grow new ideas.

Ask Petter Reinholdtsen (DebianEdu/Skolelinux) (1)

lowieken (522530) | more than 2 years ago | (#41384629)

Petter Reinholdtsen of Debian Edu/Skolelinux fame will have a lot of useful no-nonsense suggestions. Contact information at http://www.hungry.com/~pere/ [hungry.com] .

Where should it go? (2)

Brett.Eden (2733975) | more than 2 years ago | (#41384707)

I don't agree with a lot of the suggestions posted here, particularly those supporting the provision of funds to larger internet-based organizations. Many of these organizations won't put the money to effective use and there's a good chance that it will simply be gobbled up by operating costs or other miscellaneous expenditures. Ideally you want a lasting return on your investment, so considering education is definitely a priority. Many families who live on either low or no income are not able to afford a decent computer, printer and internet connection and since education begins in the home, this is another area where the money would be well invested. Schools are generally well looked after (in most countries) in terms of their I.T., but schools in smaller countries (such as Samoa and other Island nations), some of which do not enjoy many of the basic schooling supplies-- let alone computers-- would definitely benefit. Making use of solar in countries which are fortunate enough to have year-round or near year-round sunshine should definitely be considered. Recent advances in IC technology have brought a range of different products to market which are capable of running on very little power. Some examples are VIA's range of small form-factor systems and mobile solutions from companies such as Nvidia (which incorporate a CUDA-powered GPU). Samoa is one such country which would be an excellent candidate for this sort of setup. Of course, there's no use supplying the technology without having the right people to educate others in how to use it effectively. Funds should be devoted to providing not just training, but the _right_ training to the teachers and other educators who will be assisting students to use this technology. Students need to be able to get the most out of the equipment and software, without having to be put through extensive training and with minimal supervision. The whole experience should place an emphasis on fun, to the point where the students don't even realize they're learning. Lastly, local investment is key -- create jobs locally, source as much as possible from the local economy and wherever possible, use Open Source operating system and applications... don't throw any more money at Microsoft or any of the other 'Big 3'.

Internet for everyone! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#41384737)

Hands down, these guys: http://ahumanright.org

They're working hard to ensure every person has access to the Internet. They tried to crowdfund the purchase of a satellite to move over the middle east during the Arab Spring, now they are working on moving a transatlantic cable 50 km south to connect an island that only has satellite (crappy) internet access.

They're also building "The Bandwidth Bank" which will take the worlds unused Internet capacity and put it to work for humanitarian and social causes.

Awesome org, please support.

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