The goal of CharityKoala is to provide an easy way for people to know what organizations exist in their area so that they can reduce waste by donating items instead of throwing usable goods away. We believe that a lack of knowledge of existing groups which accept various items for reuse prevents a lot of donatable items from being donated. We hope that CharityKoala can help bring awareness and thus more items donations to local organizations.
Currently, CharityKoala consists of a website (CharityKoala.com) that provides summaries of organizations, what they accept, whether they provide pick-up, and contact information. All information is provided and updated by the organizations themselves. Soon, on the CharityKoala Facebook page we will post spotlights on local Pittsburgh nonprofits. Spotlights will highlight the partner organization's mission, current happenings, and other fun facts. We also plan to start a Pinterest board for CharityKoala to increase awareness on that platform. We aim to reach as many people as possible to get people familiar with what organizations are out there so that more items can be diverted from landfills and reused.
Another aspect of CharityKoala is hosting drives. We plan to host a collection event soon on the University of Pittsburgh campus in which we partner with a local nonprofit and provide some fun incentive for college students to bring their scrap paper, fabric, and other craft tools to donate. Hosting drives brings the donation site to the people, making it both convenient to donate and obvious what can be donated to any particular partner organization. Additionally, incentives motivate people to get involved.
In the future, we want to include on our platforms a notification of emergencies that require an immediate collection for particular donations. It would provide information on how specifically to help the area in crisis for local small scale disasters, such as small floods or residential fires, and for large scale disasters, such as hurricanes or earthquakes, around the world. During times of crisis, more places, such as churches and grocery stores, start to collect items; having all the information necessary to help during these situations in one place could bring in many more people who want to help but wouldn’t have known how otherwise.
Our vision for CharityKoala is to facilitate the donations process through communication of what already exists. We want to increase understanding of how to donate not only around Pittsburgh, but around the United States. We aim to show people how easy it is to donate or recycle items. Nonprofits work very hard to help communities, but many of them are not very well known outside of their immediate area. We plan use technology and social media to improve communication between the public and organizations to help them achieve their own missions.