Micro Funding– A little bit goes far
With the new snow landing today it is a good time to thinking of summer on Cape Cod. Can you think of anything better than stopping at Four Seas Ice Cream on a hot summer day? If you’ve been to Four Seas you know that the employees have a big glass tipping jar to help those college bound students. That is a form of microfunding – getting a lot of people to give a little bit. Now a days you don’t have to wait till summer to add to the tipping jar. There are many microfunding sources and widgets on the Internet that you can utilize to make contributions and organization can tap into for additional fund raising revnue. Just think of that big glass jar going high tech.
Let’s start with a great example of microfunding. On September 18th 2008, Mashable’s Twitter followers donated $3536 to Charity:Water, an initiative to build wells in Ethiopia.. You can read the entire article The Well That Twitter Built to see how employees at Mashable engaged their followers to make donations.
Getting a bit interested now in microfunding? Here is a synopsis of tools available from an article on Mashable. 
1. ChipIn – Is a Web-based service that simplifies the process of collecting money from groups of people. They make this process quick, easy, and secure, and provide organizers with numerous ways to get the word out about their ChipIn event. They offers a way to put a giving widget on a web page or blog entry. This widget tracks the goal amount, the donations received and how close you are to your goal.
2. Pledgie – Is a framework of services which creates an open collaborative context around the act of giving. It uses PayPal as the source for monetary transfers, and does not require an account with Pledgie to use. Pledgie offers badges for your blog or social network to notify people of your campaign, or a mass email system.
3. Firstgiving – You can make your own fundraising page to raise money for any nonprofit organization. Email your page to friends, family and colleagues, who donate by credit or debit card in an easy, secure online transaction. FirstGiving is an option for people who don’t want to have their campaign tied to PayPal, as they accept credit and debit card donations. However, being able to accept regular credit cards without PayPal means that there are fees associated with FirstGiving. With other options, charities and causes receive the entire donation amount.
4. Donorschoose – Is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need through donations of any amount. Teachers post classroom project requests on DonorsChoose.org. Requests range from pencils for a poetry writing unit, to violins for a school recital, to microscope slides for a biology class. Then, you can browse project requests and give any amount to the one that inspires you. Once a project reaches its funding goal, they deliver the materials to the school.
5. Socialvibe – Is the leading social media utility connecting people with brands, empowering them to engage with sponsors and share branded content with their social graph to benefit a cause of their choice. With SocialVibe, individuals make a positive, measurable impact for the charity of their choice just by completing branded activities.
There are plenty of ways you can become more involved in the causes you believe in and now you have the tools available to you with a click of the mouse !
 Leslie Poston of Mashable – http://mashable.com/2009/01/01/social-microfunding/