ProBueno Turns Your Donated Skills Into Dollars for Charity

Leave it to the brains of MIT alumni to figure out a new way to give. Volunteering and sharing knowledge and skills are vital in a world with so much economic inequality. Nevertheless, sometimes your personal skills do not match the cause, charity, or nonprofit that interests you the most. That could make giving a time-consuming effort and deter you from donating anything at all.

Five MIT grads have launched a web application called ProBueno, which connects interested donors with those who immediately seek their special talents or skills. The donor chooses a donation amount, and the solicitor gives it to a charity chosen by the donor.

Giving your time is easy. You simply create an account using Facebook, LinkedIn, or email and then say what you want to offer, to whom, and for how much. More than 1.2 million local, national, and international organizations are already participating. A dropdown menu lists services like reviewing resumes, coding apps, and even baking cookies. It also allows you to "help in other ways," like giving lessons about a specific software title.

Khan Academy, a nonprofit educational service provider, is conducting research on giving and the collaborative nature of humans. It is promoting ProBueno by trying it out in a pilot program.

Organizations can raise up to $1,000 on ProBueno for free. For every $100 raised beyond that, ProBueno charges $4.25 in transaction fees and donation processing and $3 for funding its services. FirstGiving is handling the processing work.

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